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<I>Pushing Daisies</I>: How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

I adored Pushing Daisies last season, it was just so cute and clever and charming, but I worried, because I also adored the first season of Ugly Betty and season two got a little dicey and season three's been hit or miss. I'm just delighted that Pushing Daisies (which no one is watching for whatever reason) is still as perfectly precious and adorable as it was and now even more so because the characters have just really come in to their own. Sometimes I feel like I'm going to burst with absolute love for it. I need a hug machine to give me a comforting squeeze after each episode! I was feeling inspired to write poetry about how I adore this show, but I'm really terrible at writing poetry. Instead, I'm just borrowing my title from the Elizabeth Barret Browning sonnet and counting the multiple ways that I am absolutely smitten with this show.

I love thee for your heartwrenching star-crossed lovers storyline
Ned brought the love of his life back to life, and now can't touch her. It's just so tragically romantic. And finding ways to keep them questioning their relationship is breaking my heart, but makes total sense and Ned's forlorn looks are just the sweetest thing I've ever seen.

I love thee for the creative use of guest stars
A show that can bring in Paul "Pee-Wee Herman" Reubens, David Arquette, Autumn Reaser, French Stewart and Molly Shannon (all of whom usually annoy me) and make them interesting and not totally irritating, is genius in my book. And extra points for bringing on my Broadway fave Raul Esparza, the adorable Everwood alum Debra Mooney and narrator Jim Dale.

I love thee for your brilliant use of set design
Ugly Betty used to be the most vivid show on TV, but Pushing Daisies' oversaturated colors are just infectiously eye-catching. Even my toddler is transfixed. Or maybe it is because I watch so much kiddie programming that I'm subliminally attracted to the brightness, but whatever. I loved Big Fish and The Wizard of Oz before I had a kid and they were all about colors, so there. Keep up the pretty. It's a refreshing change.

I love thee of the occasional bursts of song
Not much makes me happier than Kristin Chenoweth singing (I know this doesn't have the same effect on everyone). Sound of Music references, Grease songs, whatever, even Ellen Greene's gorgeous "Morning Has Broken," they are like the cream-filling in an already delicious treat.

I love thee for the doubling up of names for comic effect
From the Darling Mermaid Darlings, Couer d'Couers, uberlife life insurance, etc. That combined with clever things like corpsicles and frescorts, just make this dialogue distinct from the rest of the TV landscape.

I love thee for the visual gags
Multiple murdered clowns coming out of one teeny car, the crazy ways that Ned revives people and their initial reactions to being offed and then un-offed, having umbrellas or eye patches conveniently block out information, tossing in ruby slippers and striped tights on a dead clown, having a bee company be set in a hive-shaped building and a pie shop look like a pie crust. Genius.

I love thee for Emerson's odd hobbies.
He's big and gruff and in the PI business just for the cold hard cash, but it is such a sweet juxtaposition to see him crafting a pop-up book for his daughter or knitting. You never see the guys on CSI knitting.

I love thee for finding ways to put Kristin Chenoweth and Swoosie Kurtz together
Love these two actresses, they steal every scene they are in, and when they are paired up, it is like lighting in a bottle. I almost wish that Olive Snook had stayed at the nunnery longer. Though I am glad that she brought Pigby back with her.

I love the for the double entendres
Coming up with ways for Ned to express his feelings about Chuck, or talk about how they can be together with some clever devices. There're always sneaky things slipped in, just to remind you that this is a show for grown-ups... in case you'd forgotten because of all the pretty colors and whatnot.

I love thee just because...
When you put all these things together, it just adds up to happy. And with all of the other crime shows on television, its just nice to have one that has a happily ever after... at least most of the time.

Love this show too? Got other reasons I left off? Just don't get why anyone would watch? Let us know.

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