I wasn't quite counting down the hours to tonight's premiere of Pushing Daisies (like my buddy JA was) but my DVR was aware and the recording was triple-checked. Okay so I was counting down the hours. It had been a long time between the first and second season. I was nervous.
How kind of them to thank us for that interminable wait by stripping scrumptious Lee Pace down to his skivvies soon after the recap scenes. The only more rewarding way to kick off the premiere might have been a brief musical duet from Kristin Chenowith and Ellen Greene but you can't have everything.
I'd rank this episode somewhere in the middle of the quality range that Pushing Daisies hits. At its best the show's sublime silliness and pinch of bittersweet drama tastes totally gourmet. At its worst, it's still a decent meal but the flavors a touch ripe and the plating way too busy.
My favorite line in the new episode was delivered by "Olive Snook" i.e. Kristin Chenowith, the winner of the 2008 Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy (Shut Up! this show encourages fantastical thinking. I'm having a pleasant false memory). She has been shipped off to a nunnery (don't ask) by Lily Charles (Swoosie Kurtz), who once stayed there to hide a pregnancy.
You holidayed here 30 years ago and found a baby in the cabbage patch. And by cabbage patch I mean your lady parts.LOL. So why am I not talking about Lee Pace, the presumed subject of this post? I'm getting there.
In truth, he never has all that much to do in any given episode. In many ways he's the straight man of the show. The supporting cast is the swirling colorful comic relief. Pace is there to provide anchor. He does it beautifully. Pace never flinches from or winks away "Ned"'s sweetness, softness or soulful sincerity which would be temptations for some lead actors... especially within a show so possibly indulgent of winking.
Since this is a film blog, I must say that I hope he gets big movie roles on every Daisies hiatus. It'd be a shame if he was never challenged with a Soldier's Girl level role again. He was so convincing as the transgendered "Calpernia" in that Showtime film. Directors ought to be asking him to stretch again... when he's not making pies. And while we're talking movies, I really must rent The Fall. I'll leave you with this beauty of a number from the spring period comedy Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (spoilers -- it's late in the film). Kristin Chenowith isn't the only woman who bursts into song when she's thinking about Lee Pace. He has that affect on Amy Adams, too.
previous seasons of Hump Day Hotties
... if you're feeling chilly.