Today is National Pie Day (not to be confused with National Pi Day, which is, of course, on 3/14). I baked an apple pie yesterday, and it turned out quite well. I really love baking pies; it’s not something I did until last year, and now it is one of my very favorite activities. I know what caused this, and I feel that on National Pie Day, it would be a good time to remember the wonder of Pushing Daisies.
I could bitch about the way ABC mismanaged this show and about how they should just put the damn episodes up online, because they’re obviously not going to show them on television, but I won’t. It’s PIE DAY. This is a day of joy.
Instead, I’ll just say:
What made Pushing Daisies so great was that it blended the whimsy and fairy tale elements with a lot of lonliness and pain. All of the characters were quite damaged, but all of them tried to deal with their problems and move forward. The show allowed them to grow and progress in a way a lot of shows don’t. Shows with high concepts like this often get stuck because they don’t allow the characters to move and change, afraid it will upset the “concept.”
Each of the characters has his or her flaws and problems, and the show doesn’t shy away from them, but it also doesn’t let them wallow in their flaws or problems.
Chuck tells Ned that she doesn’t feel alive and that she’s not sure if she wants to stay undead, Olive sings an Oliva Newton-John song to herself, Ned reacts angrily and coldy to his brothers’ magic tricks, because they remind him of their father’s magic, Emerson writes a pop-up book to help find his long-lost daughter, and all of those feel emotionally honest and true, not gimmick-y. The show is quirky, to be sure, but it has a depth, a sadness, but also hope.
Ultimately, I think that is my favorite part of this show: that each of these characters, faced with pain and problems, chooses to pick themselves and keep going.
It’s raining here today, so it seems appropriate to share this moment, which is one of my favorites anyway, and which shows so much about what I love about this show.