Wednesday , February 28 2024
A show with a little for everyone that no one is watching.

Pushing Pushing Daisies

Sigh.  There are some shows that I don't mind seeing go away – shows that have run their course, shows that never should have had a course, that sort of thing.  Unfortunately, all too often I see shows on the verge of going away that I would like to stick around for a while longer.

Today's case in point, Pushing Daisies.  Wackily off-beat, the show has finished filming 13 episodes in its second season.  ABC hasn't yet decided whether that will be it for the series which saw itself get nominated for several Golden Globes and Emmys (it even won an award here and there, including an Emmy for Outstanding Directing of a Comedy Series).

I was, as you may recall but probably don't, initially somewhat hesitant about the series.  I thought that it was funny and smart and well-written, I was just worried that its syrupy-sweetness might be something I would eventually find off-putting.  That never happened.  Every time a new episode airs I'm just as excited to watch it and see what sort of wackiness Ned the pie maker and the girl named Chuck are up to.  Usually it involves some sort of murder committed in a terribly odd way and they get the help of (or, perhaps, provide the help to) Emerson Cod.  There's also always some sort of long-term plot involving Chuck or Ned's history, their family, and some sort of familial deception that has been going on for decades. 

However, for me to analyze the show in such a way, to dissect it to its barest plot-based elements, is to eliminate everything about the series is which pure magic.  It doesn't address Ned's being able to bring the dead back to life by touching them – but only for a minute or something else will die.  It doesn't mention Chuck being one of those things that Ned has brought back to life.  It certainly doesn't address the wonderful love that Chuck and Ned feel for each other, a love which is palpable in every scene of the show, a love which can never be consummated, because if Ned touches Chuck again she'll once again be dead.

Pushing Daisies is one of those shows that has it all – love; mystery; great acting; compelling single- and multi-episode story arcs; an incredibly unique, hyper-stylized worldview; a devoted fan base; and virtually no one watching.  To take the pessimistic viewpoint – a viewpoint I don't often subscribe to in regards to television –  it seems that early cancellation was an inevitability for such a show.

I don't tell you all this in order to make you feel bad for destroying that which is good on television due to your willful neglect.  I don’t tell you this because I believe that somehow my statements will make you watch the show.  I am merely stating that which I know to be true about a subject, in general, and a show, in specific, which I understand critically and quite enjoy.

I don't expect you at this point in time to suddenly find Pushing Daisies on ABC's schedule and realize everything that you have been missing (which is a lot).  I just want you to understand that by skipping the show, by not watching it and thereby helping to end it, you just provide more ammunition to the folks that say that television is vast wasteland.

About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.

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