Voices are unique, especially in the world of audiobooks. For years I worked in the Movies and Music area of the library and paid very little attention to the world of books beyond those in my own areas of interest. One day I began hearing about a series of books that was taking not only the country but the world by storm; books about a young lad named Harry Potter. I decided to check them out. Not having much time to read at the time I decided to listen to the first book in the car on my way to work. The Harry Potter series was read in the United States audio editions by Jim Dale. His manner of reading entranced me and brought me into the world of Harry Potter. I could have listened to him read the phone book and been happy. I know this is a trite overused comparison, but it is accurate. So imagine my joy when I watched the first episode of the series Pushing Daisies and heard his wonderful and unique voice starting out “At this very moment in the town of Couer d’Couers young Ned was nine years, twenty-seven weeks, six Days and three minutes old.” I was hooked just by this voice alone, then as the story progressed I was hooked by the whole show
Pushing Daisies started life as rejected script idea for an episode of the show Dead Like Me, in which the character of “George” Lass finds that she cannot collect any souls because someone was resurrecting the dead by touching them.
Though the premise was rejected it eventually evolved into the story of pie maker Ned (Lee Pace) who is able to return a person to life just by touching them. There are catches, however. If he touches them a second time at any point in their resurrected life they die again never to be revived and if the person remains alive for longer than one minute someone else dies in their place. Further complicating his life are several other “problems.” He has resurrected the love of his life Charlotte “Chuck” Charles (Anna Friel), who wants to be a part of his life even though he can’t touch her. There is a dog Ned has had since childhood that he is also unable to touch. Olive (Kristin Chenoweth), the waitress at the pie shop is unknown to him, hopelessly in love with him. A private detective Emmerson Cod (Chi McBride) has discovered his secret and has talked him into helping him solve crimes by bringing the victim back to life so he can ask them who killed them and then touching them again to let them die.
The show is very tongue-in-cheek and filmed in cartoon colors which contrast sharply with the macabre nature of the subject. Pushing Daisies is a dark comedy that may not be to everyone’s taste, but it gained a dedicated fan following while it was on. The program was a victim of a television writers’ strike after its first season and this resulted in a span of almost two years between season one and two. It lost enough of its audience to result in its cancellation. I would have loved to have seen more of the series. It was canceled with several unresolved questions to be answered, but this doesn’t mean you should be concerned about starting it. Despite its dark premise Pushing Daisies is fun, light hearted and a pleasant way to spend forty-two minutes.