The Boyfriend of the Week

November 17, 2008 [comment on this write-up]

Okay, I've had it. This needs to be said and I'm done being diplomatic about it.

YOU ARE ALL BUTTHEADS.*

*except for those of you who are already fans of Pushing Daises -- you guys are awesome.

Pushing Daisies is one of the best shows on television right now! WHY AREN'T YOU WATCHING IT?! You're not! You're not watching it! They are about to cancel Pushing Daisies!! Cancel it!

WHY ARE YOU LETTING THEM DO THAT TO ME?

Wait, wait, nevermind. Don't answer that. Your answers will not satisfy me. And when they cancel this show because you couldn't see past its quirks and sugar and pies and synchronized swimmers and nuns and Pigbys, you will be dead to me, I'm serious. As dead as one of the corpses main character Ned (played by this week's Boyfriend, Lee Pace) touches to bring back to life for sixty seconds, so he can find clues to their murder and solve their case along with the help of his beefy, sock-knitting, pop-up-book-writing, private investigator friend, Emerson Cod (the uber-awesome Chi McBride), and, of course, his dead girlfriend/sidekick Chuck.

But you won't be as dead to me as Chuck, because Chuck isn't dead anymore. Though, she could be dead again at any moment if she should accidentally brush up against Ned. We're hoping that doesn't happen, however. Nope, instead, you'll be as dead to me as one of the ACTUAL dead people on this show. The ones that stay dead. THOSE ones. That's how dead to me you will be. THAT DEAD. If they cancel this show.

I mean, really. Like it wasn't hard enough when the last TV show the awesome Lee Pace was in, a show equal in both brilliance and weirdness, got canceled just because too many people in this country wouldn't know "brilliant and weird" if it crawled up and counted out pi to 32 places while it licked their kneecaps (brilliant/weird)?

Remember that one? Bryan Fuller's previous creation, Wonderfalls? It was set at Niagara Falls and was about an "over-educated, under-employed" young woman named Jaye (Caroline Dhavernas, next appearing in the Canadian WWII romance, Passchendaele, written, directed, and starring Paul Gross, hummina hummina). One day while at her job at Wonderfalls, the official Niagara Falls gift shop, Jaye has a life-altering experience when a smooshed wax lion figure starts bossing her around. And it doesn't even have a larynx!, as Jaye herself points out none-too-calmly.

A few days later, a myriad of other inanimate objects have joined in on the chat (my favorite is the bookend monkey who loooooves her -- he so does), periodically ordering her to do things that seem incredibly weird, but invariably, and extremely roundaboutedly, end up helping people.

Is it God? Is it Satan? Or is she just nuttier than a bag o' pistachios?

Wish we knew. Alas, it got CANCELED before we could find out. GAH!

And yes, before you take a moment to point it out, I do indeed hold a grudge. Just ask me how I feel about blue M&Ms sometime. Mars Company bastards.

TAN 4-EVA!

Now, I loved Wonderfalls, obviously, so I was pretty surprised when, a couple of weeks ago, I realized it had also starred Lee Pace. I didn't remember him at all from it, so smitten was I, I guess, by ex-Boyfriend Tyron Leitso, the hunky barkeep who keeps trying to get Jaye to be his rebound girl. But I just rewatched the first half of the series and, wonder of wonders, there he is! Lookin' all, like, Lee Pace-y n' stuff! How I managed to overlook him way back then, I have no idea. Except for, you know, the fact Tyron Leitso's perpetual five o'clock shadow makes me want to tear my clothes off.

I'm very easily distracted by the unkempt. As well you all know.

In any case, Lee played Aaron Tyler, Jaye's brother, an atheistic comparative religion major living at home, and while he's a total smart ass in the first few episodes, he soon reveals himself to be an extremely sweet little brother, even rescuing, at one point, a cow creamer Jaye insists is the key to figuring out how best to help their extradited French-Canadian nanny.

Now THAT'S brotherhood, my friends. When your sister says, "I need to talk to that cow creamer!" and your reaction is, "You. . . what? Nevermind. HERE!" you should win some kind of family-awesomeness prize. My own brother? Would have rolled his eyes and then sat on me to keep me from eating out of his Spiderman cereal bowl again. (Hi, Josh!)

Wonderfalls only lasted about 14 episodes, all of which are out on DVD now. So, if you never saw it, it's not too late to experience its weird brilliance (kneecaps/pi). And, hey, maybe it'll be just the thing you need to begin to appreciate how awesome Pushing Daisies truly is. BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE! Aren't you tired of all those stupid CSI and Law & Order shows anyway? Aren't you bored with the Cold Cases and Without a Traces? You already let them cancel My Own Worst Enemy, which, HELLO, I was still ENJOYING, thankyouverymuch. Don't let them take my Pushing Daisies too!

Oddly enough, the number one complaint about PD I've heard, is that the narration by Harry Potter books-on-tape reader Jim Dale is excessively and annoyingly "sweet." To which I have but this to say: No it isn't. Followed shortly by: And shut up, you.

I mean, really! You turned it off because of the narrator? The narrator who is. . . TOO NICE? But, but. . . haven't you noticed how cute Lee Pace is? His big ol' eyebrows? His moppish hair? His cute little twinkly eyes? His big broad smile? The tortured way he looks sometimes when he thinks about the fact he can never touch the two greatest loves of his life -- his dog Digby, and his girlfriend Chuck?

Don't you WANT to spend an hour every week with Lee Pace? And Chi McBride? And PIE? And LAUGHING. And saying things like, "What? That made no sense. . . Do it again!"?

You guys stink.*

*Again, except for those of you who don't.

But fine, you're not a TV watcher, perhaps. I can accept that. Lucky for you, Lee Pace is not just a small screen actor -- he's also made several movies, two of which I saw recently and ADORED.

The first was Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, which is best summed up by the phrase, "absofrankly charming."

It's about a middle-aged governess, Guinevere Pettigrew (played by the also uber-awesome Frances McDormand, who I've had a massive girl-crush on since I first saw Blood Simple lo these many years ago), who has just gotten fired from her job. Desperate for a position, she manages to finagle her way into the employment of Delysia Lafosse, a young starlet looking for a social secretary. Miss Pettigrew may not LOOK like an upscale social secretary, but she quickly wows Delysia with her capabilities, and after a quick makeover and shopping spree, she seems to fit right in.

Delysia, as it turns out, is courting a bunch of different beaux (nice with the French pluralizing there, eh?), waiting to see which one of them will make her a famous singer first.

But the one who loves her the most? And the most unconditionally? The underdog (woo!), her pianist, Michael. Played by the absolutely ADORABLE ADORABLE HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE HIM?! Lee Pace (naturally).

Delysia, though, barely seems to recognize that Michael is alive and instead is thoroughly focused on her plan to seduce a producer who is casting a play that has a role she desperately desires. Miss Pettigrew's job? To get her that part!

Only, of course, Guinevere is no idiot, and she also knows a little something about love, having lost her husband in the first World War. Now that the second World War is on its way, she can't bring herself to let Delysia throw her own chance for true love in the can, and, together with Michael, Miss Pettigrew works out a plan to get the right duo together for good. Whilst, incidentally, falling in love herself with a wealthy lingerie designer, an older man named Joe (future Boyfriend Ciaran Hinds, yum).

Dude, the cast of this movie? Is. Awesome. And the storyline is wonderfully entertaining and light and FUN. A nice change from the norm for me, in that no dead people came back to life and not a single person was decapitated. How refreshing! And even though it's probably technically a romantic comedy, I think it's fine if we all pretend it's actually just a "period drama" instead. Better for our reps. Cuz we cool, yo.

And golly, did I mention Lee Pace looks fabulous behind a piano? He so does.

Ooh, you know what else he looks fabulous behind? Fake eyelashes -- as evidenced by his role in the other movie I saw him in recently, Soldier's Girl.

In this Showtime film, based on a true story, Lee Pace plays a transgendered nightclub performer named Calpernia. One night, a group of soldiers show up at the nightclub where Calpernia performs, and one of them in particular, a young man named Justin Barry [error fixed thanks to a commenter!], catches her eye. The two begin to talk, Barry not realizing (or realizing but maybe not fully accepting?) that the woman before him has boy parts instead of girl parts. They make plans to see each other later and, after a few dates, gradually begin to fall in love.

When Barry finally discovers the truth about Calpernia, he is horrified but unable to resist his strong feelings for her. Unfortunately, and of course, as soon as his friends discover Calpernia's got a Y chromosome, they completely freak out. The movie ends horrifically in a scene I found almost impossible to watch, not just because of its violence, but because nothing frustrates and infuriates and boggles my mind so much as the continued hatred for gay, lesbian, bi, and transgendered people in this country.

Jeez, people, it's 2000-and-freaking-8 already. Get over it. I can't believe we're still having to protest this crap, I'm sorry. (And kudos to all of you who came out for the Proposition 8 National Day of Protest this past weekend -- you guys rule, even so many of you apparently hate my favorite show.)

Political applicability aside, though, you will be amazed at how great Lee Pace is as a woman. If I hadn't know who he was when I went into this movie, I would not have immediately deduced what was really under his skirt, that's for sure. He's got delicate features and a long, lithe body (mrrowl!), and he's also, quite frankly, just incredibly gorgeous no matter what he's wearing, be it a pie maker's hat or a shimmery nightclub gown. This is a smart, well-made film (one for which Pace won a number of awards, by the way), and it's very worth a rental if you're a fan.

That enough for ya? Watch the damn show already.

Pushing Daisies is on Wednesday nights at 8pm on ABC. You can watch old episodes on the ABC web site, but you should feel free to just leap right in mid-second season because they usually give a brief recap early on in each episode that will orient you (sure, I've said several times I hate jumping into the middle of shows, but, look, I'm crazy -- don't be like me).

Watch it. Watch it. Watch it. Even if you hate it, watch it anyway. It's time you give a little something back. TO ME.

MacGyver Factor Score: 97.6%. Points off for a reason that isn't Lee Pace's fault at all, but I still can't help it and besides, I have to deduct points for SOMETHING so it might as well be this:

You know how on Pushing Daisies, his pie restaurant is called "The Pie Hole"? Great Scott, I HATE that phrase ("Shut your pie hole," e.g.). I literally HATE it. I hate it as much as I hate, for example, blue M&Ms. As much as I hate Kleenex (or any/all of its generic equivalents). As much as I hate baby corn. As much as I hate gum on my shoes. As much as I hate muzak. As much as I hate escalators. As much as I hate downhill skiing and other past-times that involve going up and down the same freaking hill all day long. As much as I hate biting into a piece of moldy bread and not realizing it until I get that terrible taste of dirt. As much as I hate biting into a piece of dirt and not realizing it until I get that terrible taste of moldy bread. As much as I hate. . . BILL O'REILLY. And that's saying QUITE a lot, my friends.

I think we should rename it. Let's come up with something. Post your suggestions in the comments!

Points back, by the way, because he's apparently one of the few men left in America doesn't shave or wax his chest hair: http://www.squarehippies.com/actors/2008/01/lee-pace/. Why are you guys all doing that now? It's weird. Stop it. And watch Lee's damn show already.

 


Boyfriend-Related Links

Lee's IMDb page
Official ABC Pushing Daisies site
Lee Pace Online (fan site)


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