Thursday, May 27, 2010

Daisies Ways Not To Die #4


Yes indeed it's the triumphant return of MNPP's Daisies Ways Not To Die series! Wherein we celebrate the gorgeous technicolor slaughters of the television show Pushing Daisies, with some assistance from the show's creator Bryan Fuller.

Previous Installments of Daisies Ways Not To Die:
#1 - Deep Fat Fried In My Own Unique Blend of 500 Herbs & Spices
#2 - Aggravated Cementia #3 - Scratch & Snuffed

And my apologies to yall over the unexpected brief hiatus with the series. Early Summer late Spring vacations got in the way. But here on the fourth Thursday of May we're jumping back in, both stumps first. And we've got a super duper amazing surprise in store for you at the end to make up for the wait! But for now, death comes for us in the form of...

Pushing Daisies
Episode #20 - "Window Dressed To Kill"

MNPP: So whose sick idea was this grisliness anyway, and what buried layer of depravity begat it?

Bryan Fuller: The central murder mystery for “Window Dressed to Kill” was actually based on a true tale of window dressing intrigue, sans murder mystery. So really it was based on the fantasy of how certain events might have transpired in the true story if one of the parties involved had homicidal tendencies. Essentially, if you are a window dresser named Erin and/or Coco and you ever took credit for windows you didn’t dress, this is about you and your alleged shameful deeds. Shame on you, Erin and Coco (allegedly).

MNPP: Y’all always made gratuitous violence so whimsical! What were the priorities with these specific corpses’ decoration? (so close to desecration…)

Bryan Fuller: The priority for the gratuitous violence on Daisies was almost always comedy. We come from the Looney Tunes School of Violence and appreciate the opportunities for extra credit – as much as BS&P will allow. Erin Embry’s bludgeoned ice-water death in the fountain was relatively free of human debris so Broadcast Standards & Practices were not as concerned with that death as they were Coco Juniper’s death by escalator. They forbade us from showing any kind of grizzled hamburger meat stumps hanging from her torso. Why am I forever denied my grizzled hamburger meat stumps? But I was thrilled with the “CHIP-CLIP” style body bag cincher for halved corpses and Coco’s fumbling search for her legs whilst on the Mortician’s slab.

As an aside, this was my favorite note from BS&P for this episode:

"Page 47, sc. 46 - While “Dick” and “Dicker’s” is acceptable when used as a name and place throughout, please eliminate Erin’s and Coco’s unacceptable use of “Dick” here."

MNPP: Besides just the occasional notes from the higher-ups, what sort of difficulties – special-effects or budget or time limitations - did y’all face getting your vision for this episode out, and what do you wish in retrospect you could’ve done here that you didn’t?

Bryan Fuller: I will forever want for grizzled hamburger meat stumps.

Stumps aside, we were really able to do everything we intended with this episode. When we were breaking the story, I poked my head into Bill Powloski’s (our Visual Effect Supervisor) office and told him he needed to start thinking about a computer generated Rhino. He grinned from ear to ear and gave me exactly what I wanted.

That last sentence sounds dirty, but I’m okay with that.

MNPP: Every episode’s stuffed with homage to previous pop touchstones – what ones stick out to you in this specific episode? Why’d you love these moments in their original happenstance? And what made them seem like a good fit for the Daisies world?

Bryan Fuller: The chief load-bearing homage of this episode was, of course, SAVANNAH SMILES, the story of a spry young girl who is inadvertently, accidentally kidnapped by petty car thieves.

The movie is schmaltzy as all get out, but somehow found a place in my heart, mind and developing creativity that had just as much to do with this film as the company it kept when it was released – a year that also brought us BLADE RUNNER, John Carpenter’s THE THING, E.T., TRON, CREEPSHOW and POLTERGEIST.

God bless you, 1982.

This was the second time we tried to tell a SAVANNAH SMILES backstory with Olive Snook. We originally were going to feature this homage in the Young Olive story in the episode BAD HABITS, when Olive was still in the nunnery. But ABC felt Young Olive being a high-profile kidnapping victim was too dark, too early in the season. So we put it in our back pockets and pulled it out for “WINDOW DRESSED TO KILL.”

In addition to SAVANNAH SMILES, we had shout outs to JUMANJI with the hey-ho Rhino escape and RAISING ARIZONA with the prison break, all peppered into the story with the age-old debate “Who’s the real man? Superman or Clark Kent?”

MNPP: If you had to choose one single thing from this episode to frame and hang on your wall – a scene or a costume or a reaction-shot or a line of dialogue - what’d make the cut?

Bryan Fuller: Without hesitation, it would be songbird Kristin Chenoweth’s cover of Lionel Richie’s HELLO. (Watch the clip here)

Kristin was recording her Christmas album between PUSHING DAISIES season one and two, and took it upon herself to record a wish list of songs she would like to sing as Olive Snook, each one with a personal introduction by Kristin addressed to me. So essentially, I have my very own Kristin Chenoweth album – which I have to say is one of the biggest highlights of my PUSHING DAISIES experience.

MNPP: Two other things that happened behind the scenes while shooting this episode… go!

Bryan Fuller: Gushing to Richard Benjamin about my undying love for his 1979 masterpiece “LOVE AT FIRST BITE.”

Pigby the Pig refusing to cooperate with her trainer and pulling poor Anna Friel around the Warner Brothers back-lot at any given whim.

MNPP: And finally, if you gotta go, and we all gotta go, would you wanna gotta go like this?

Bryan Fuller: No, thank you. Not a fan of bludgeoning or losing the lower half of my body in the teeth of an escalator. I’m sticking with orgasm-induced aneurysm.

And now for that super duper amazing surprise
that I promised y'all up there at the start!

Kristin Chenoweth's cover of "Hello" - composed by Daisies chief musical genius Jim Dooley - in this episode isn't on the Pushing Daisies soundtrack that was released (but you should still buy the soundtrack, it's awesome). Bryan just told us above about his own personal Chenoweth mix-tape of songs she wanted to sing on the show... well, he's gone and given me both her original Wish List version of "Hello" that's personalized to him AND the studio recorded version to share with you guys! Whee!

You can download the "Wish List Version" here;
or you can just listen to it right here...

And the studio version, which is an extended and finalized cut of what we see in the actual episode, can be downloaded right here. You can listen to that one right here:

Both files are also right here at Sendspace. ETA the bandwidth seems to have blown up on the top couple of links right now, but Sendspace seems to still be working so you can download them there. And here's another link just in case.

Amazing!!! Thank you, Bryan Fuller!

Previous Ways Not To Die: Hands Off the Haas Orb -- Bullet Ballet -- A Single Vacancy at the Roach Motel -- A School Bus Slipped Thru The Ice -- Trache-AAHHHH!!!-tomy'd - For Mel Gibson's Sins -- A Wide Stanced Slashing --- Daisies Ways #3 - Scratch n' Snuffed -- The Victim of a Viscous Hit & Run -- Curled -- Kabobbed -- Daisies Ways #2 - Aggravated Cementia -- Boo! Nun! -- 2009's Ways Not To Die -- Bug Scratch Fever -- Daisies Ways #1 - Deep Fat Fried in My Own Unique Blend of 500 Herbs & Spices -- By the Yard End of the Stick -- Screwed From A Very Great Distance -- A Righteous Bear-Jew Beatdown -- Fisted By Hugo Sitglitz -- Xeno Morphed -- Fuck-Stuck -- A Vengeful Elevator God: Part 4 -- Lava Bombed -- The Cradle Will Rock... Your Face Off!!! -- The Food of the Nilbog Goblins -- The Slugs Is Gonna Gitcha -- Phone Shark -- Hide The Carrot -- Sarlacc Snacked -- Avada Kedavra!!! -- Hooked, Lined and Sinkered -- "The Libyans!" -- Axe Me No Questions -- Pin the Chainsaw on the Prostitute -- The Wrath of the Crystal Unicorn -- The Ultimate Extreme Make-Over -- Drown In A Sink Before The Opening Credits Even Roll -- The Dog Who Knew Too Much -- Don't Die Over Spilled Milk -- Inviting the Wrath of Aguirre -- An Inconceivable Outwitting -- The Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique -- Nipple Injected Blue Junk -- Your Pick Of The Deadly Six -- Thing Hungry -- Don't Fuck With The Serial Killer's Daughter -- DO Forget To Add The Fabric Softener -- Any Of The Ways Depicted In This Masterpiece Of Lost Cinema -- Rode Down In The Friscalating Dusklight -- Good Morning, Sunshine! -- Mornin' Cuppa Drano -- The Cylon-Engineered Apocalypse -- Tender-Eye-zed -- Martian Atmospheric Asphyxiation -- Maimed By A Mystical Person-Cat -- The Sheets Are Not To Be Trusted -- Handicapable Face-Hacked -- I Did It For You, Faramir -- Summertime In The Park... Of A Pedophile's Mind -- A Vengeful Elevator God: Part 3 -- Strung Up With Festive Holiday Bulbs By Santa Claus Himself -- A Vengeful Elevator God: Part 2 -- A Vengeful Elevator God: Part 1 -- Decapitated Plucked Broiled & Sliced -- Head On A Stick! -- A Trip To The Ol' Wood-Chipper -- Pointed By The T-1000 -- Sucking Face With Freddy Krueger -- A Pen-Full Of Home-Brewed Speed to The Eye -- Motivational Speech, Interrupted -- A Freak Ephemera Storm -- When Ya Gotta Go... Ya Gotta Go -- Hoisted By Your Own Hand Grenade -- Having The Years Suction-Cupped Away -- Criss-Cross -- Turned Into A Person-Cocoon By The Touch Of A Little Girl's Mirror Doppleganger -- Satisfying Society's "Pop Princess" Blood-Lust -- Done In By The Doggie Door -- Tuned Out -- Taking the 107th Step -- Rescuing Gretchen -- Incinerated By Lousy Dialogue -- Starred & Striped Forever -- Vivisection Via Vaginally-Minded Barbed-Wire -- Chompers (Down There) -- Run Down By M. Night Shyamalan -- Everything Up To And Including The Kitchen Toaster -- Sacrificed To Kali -- Via The Gargantuan Venom Of The Black Mamba Snake -- Turned Into An Evil Robot -- The Out-Of-Nowhere Careening Vehicle Splat -- "Oh My God... It's Dip!!!" -- Critter Balled -- Stuff'd -- A Hot-Air Balloon Ride... Straight To Hell!!! -- Puppy Betrayal -- High-Heeled By A Girlfriend Impersonator -- Flip-Top Beheaded -- Because I'm Too Goddamned Beautiful To Live -- By Choosing... Poorly... -- Fried Alive Due To Baby Ingenuity -- A Good Old-Fashioned Tentacle Smothering -- Eepa! Eepa! -- Gremlins Ate My Stairlift -- An Icicle Thru The Eye -- Face Carved Off By Ghost Doctor After Lesbian Tryst With Zombie Women -- Electrocuted By Fallen Power-Lines -- A Mouthful Of Flare -- Taken By The TV Lady -- Bitten By A Zombie -- Eaten By Your Mattress -- Stuffed To Splitting -- Face Stuck In Liquid Nitrogen -- Crushed By Crumbling Church Debris -- Bitten By The Jaws Of Life -- A Machete To The Crotch -- Showering With A Chain-Saw -- In A Room Filled With Razor Wire -- Pod People'd With Your Dog -- Force-Fed Art -- Skinned By A Witch -- Beaten With An Oar -- Curbed -- Cape Malfunction -- In The Corner -- Cooked In A Tanning Bed -- Diced -- Punched Through The Head -- Bugs Sucking On Your Head


Anonymous said...

You rock! I bought the PD soundtrack, but was sad that Kristin's versions of "Hello" and "Eternal Flame" were missing.

Now I only need to find "Eternal Flame" to have Kristin's complete Pushing Daisies oeuvre. (Thanks also for the opportunity to use the word "oevre.")

Jwise said...

Thank you JA for the Mp3 hook up. Made my day.

Joshowa said...

This is so awesome! I have really enjoyed these interviews and the songs are like the icing on the cake. Thank you to both Jason and Bryan Fuller.

I also love how Mr. Fuller talks about Savannah Smiles as an inspiration for Olive's backstory, as that's immediately what I thought of while watching this episode. Fond childhood memories.

What I want to know is when are we going to get more Bryan Fuller-created awesomeness on our TV???

Anonymous said...

Thank you sooo much, I have always been jealous of Bryan Fuller for having that concept album (both he and Kristin talked about it in interviews), and dreamed of hearing it one day! One song is enough to make my day!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your awesome interviews! Love the show and miss it very much, so it is always nice to hear more about it. :D

homeslaughter said...

Though I do appreciate Ms. Chenoweth, the chip clip was the high point. Meat stumps and Savannah Smiles in one episode, I am happy to have this on DVD to watch over and over.

ShoNuff Lives said...

late to the party (as usual), but i'm also hunting for "eternal flame".

i need to rewatch both seasons soon. perhaps this weekend.

JLang said...

Thank you a lot man, you're amazing! I appreciate this so much. This work you're doing means a lot for the fans of the series who misses PD extremely
:D :D