All Of The Musical Performances On 'Pushing Daisies,' Ranked
For two short seasons, Pushing Daisies delighted viewers with a candy-colored palette, a subversively macabre plot, and an achingly sweet romance between Ned the Piemaker and his sweetheart Chuck. But one of Daisies' biggest assets was always supporting player Kristin Chenoweth as besotted waitress Olive Snook. The Tony-winning Broadway star (also famous for her recurring guest role as Glee's April Rhodes) was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award both years Daisies was on the air, actually taking home the trophy in 2009 for her performance in the show's second season.
Part of what made Olive, who could have been a flat, one-joke character, so memorable was her penchant for breaking out into song when her emotions ran particularly high. In fact, her musical moments were such an intrinsic part of the show that I honestly can't imagine what Pushing Daisies would be like without them. And I never, ever want to. Chenoweth is a talented performer, and I'm glad that her Pushing Daisies character got to play to her musical strengths in a way that added expertly to the overall story. Mostly because I will never turn down a chance to hear Chenoweth sing.
Here are all the musical performances Chenoweth performed on the show, ranked.
6. "Candle On The Water"
Season 2, Episode 9: "The Legend Of Merle McQuoddy"
Unlike most of the songs on this list, the performance of this literal torch song from the Disney movie Pete's Dragon doesn't occur in an elaborate fantasy sequence. Watching Olive join in on the ditty with an impromptu a cappella chorus was fun, but ultimately not the most memorable performance in the show because it was so short.
5. "Birdhouse In Your Soul"
Season 1, Episode 4: "Pigeon"
The second of the two performances that actually occurred within the reality of the show. This time, Olive was joined on the They Might Be Giants tune by the only other character to ever break into song: Chuck's aunt Vivian, played by Ellen Greene, who is most famous for originating the role of Audrey in the 1986 musical comedy Little Shop Of Horrors. (Fun fact: this episode also won Daisies the Emmy for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series.)
4. "Eternal Flame"
Season 2, Episode 8: "Comfort Food"
And now we get to Olive's musical daydreams. This Season 2 episode, which revolved around the annual Papen County Comfort Food Cook-Off, climaxed in a triumph for Ned and Olive, the latter of whom imagined herself giving a victory performance of The Bangles' 1989 hit single. One of the things that made Olive's songs so great was the way they transitioned seamlessly in and out of reality as her grand imagination would be casually interrupted by the show's other characters.
Season 2, Episode 11: "Window Dressed To Kill"
Ned's and Olive's engagement may have been fake, but the waitress' feelings for the piemaker certainly weren't. After she'd kissed his adorable face for the first time, how could she help but burst into a melancholy rendition of Lionel Richie's 1984 classic under a shower of softly falling snowflakes?
2. "Morning Has Broken"
Season 1, Episode 7: "Smell Of Success"
Ellen Greene's Aunt Vivian gets the honor of having the only solo musical performance not performed by Chenoweth in this Season 1 episode. Greene's distinct voice may not possess the same lyrical finesse as Chenoweth's, but the emotional potency of the storyline made this performance a memorable one. Aunt Vivian and Aunt Lily used to be famed synchronized swimmers known as the Darling Mermaid Darlings before they became shut-ins. But this episode ends with Vivian urging her sister out of their house — and back in the pool — to the beautiful strains of this popular Christian hymn.
1. "Hopelessly Devoted To You"
Season 1, Episode 2: "Dummy"
Often, the first time really is the best time. Olive's inaugural musical reverie came in the show's second episode, when she belted out her feelings for Ned while cleaning up the Pie Hole... with a little help from Olivia Newton-John, natch. The constant interruptions, Manuel and his oblivious dancing, Digby's soulful howl, and — of course — Chenoweth's flawless vocals all combine to make this the quintessential Daisies musical performance. Now, aren't you inspired to make your own life a little more musical?
Image: Warner Bros. Television