Friday, October 17, 2008

Peddling Pies for Pushing Daisies

There are very few television shows that fall under my "Must-See TV" list. The Office, Lost, Brothers and Sisters and past seasons of Project Runway make the short list. But you know what other show I adore? Pushing Daisies. Hot dang, I missed this show.
If you haven't seen it yet, tune in next Wednesday night. You can also watch the previously-aired episodes on-line.
For those new to the Pushing Daisies world, it is a "forensic fairy tale" featuring Ned, an introvert piemaker with the ability to revive the dead. Ned - joined by his once-dead childhood sweetheart, Charlotte "Chuck" Charles and snarky private investigator pal, Emerson Cod - capitalizes on this gift and resuscitates murder victims long enough to solve the mystery of their death and collect any outstanding rewards.
So not only is this show a visual masterpiece, but I don't know that there is a more phenomenal cast on TV right now. I just love me some Chi McBride, who is outstanding as the cranky, vest-knitting Emerson. And Kristen Chenoweth is a hoot playing the lovelorn Olive Snook. In addition to the musical Ms. Chenoweth, there are several other Broadway veterans gracing the small screen. Tony Award winner Raul Esparza is a traveling homeopathic antidepressant salesman who frequents Ned's shop, while Swoozie Kurtz and Ellen Greene (Audrey!) play Chuck's eccentric aunts, former synchronized swimmers who hate leaving the house.
I'm concerned, though. I've heard that ratings haven't been particularly good following last season's strike-gutted run. So pretty please, people. Step away from The Hills and Rock of Love and all those crappy reality shows and give Pushing Daisies a shot. I mean, in the first episode of this second season, Olive escapes to a nunnery - paving the way for all sorts of Sound Of Music references. Recent mysteries have involved a revenge murder via a swarm of bees, a bunch of clowns dead at the hands of a surly anti-union French acrobat and an amorous pig running down a nun for rare Italian white truffles that were being secretly cultivated in a bell tower. HOW DO YOU TOP THAT??
Anyhoo, the only downside to the show is I've been craving a whole lot of sweet treats lately - which I blame entirely on the array of delectable desserts on display at The Pie Hole, Ned's humorously-named restaurant. A friend recently suggested we all start getting together each Wednesday night for Pushing Daisies viewing parties, with each person taking turns to bake a pie. It reminds me of the old days when I used to attend Sopranos parties, complete with wine and pasta. Yum!
Anyhoo, here are a few low-calorie, sugar-free pie recipes to get you through the long weekend or to prepare you for the next episode of Pushing Daisies.

Berry Cherry Pie
Nostalgic Apple Pie
Banana Cream Tart

And for fun, I'm attaching some clips of this awesome show. In the first, Chenoweth serenades the Sound of Music.
The second clip highlights some funny clips featuring everyone's favorite grouch, Emerson.
And the last features Chenoweth and Greene harmonizing on the They Might Be Giants hit, "Birdhouse in Your Soul." It just doesn't get any better than that.






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