Saturday, November 29, 2008

Save Pushing Daisies

It was one year, one month, twenty six days, two hours and thirty-nine minutes ago that Pushing Daisies debuted in the United States, and now one of the freshest new television programs in a long while is in danger of living up to its name by prematurely kicking the bucket.

The facts are these. Pushing Daisies is a ‘forensic fairy tale’ about a pie-maker who can revive the dead with a touch. This gift is not without rules; the dead can live for a mere sixty seconds without consequence. Should they chew their second bite at the apple for more than that, something else comparable has to die. Not only that, but should the pie-maker touch a formerly dead thing a second time, it becomes currently dead – forever. His gift allows him to partner on the side with a private detective, solving murders by simply asking the victims who killed them. It is also a love story, for early on he revives his childhood sweetheart from death’s embrace. Now, their love is bittersweet, for they can never touch again.

Hokey concept, maybe. But the execution is brilliant. The visuals are reminiscent of Tim Burton’s directing, and the writing is lyrical and melodic. It’s the kind of show that anyone who’s watched has loved. The critics loved it. It’s been nominated for dozens of awards, including ten Emmy award. Nominations included Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy series. It won three, including Outstanding Direction of a Comedy Series.

What could kill such a juggernaut? Unfortunately, despite a full 22 episode season order last year, the WGA strike ensured that only 9 would be filmed. It’s hard for any series to come back with momentum blunted like that, but Pushing Daisies managed an additional 13 episodes for this year. Now, ABC has announced that they won’t be picking up the show for a full second season, leaving us with just 13 for the year. Now, that’s not a death . . . there is always the possibility of a season 3. But the odds don’t favor it. You might visit for some ideas on how to save this quirky, funny, smart comedy/drama. Perhaps, if we’re very lucky, the pie-maker’s touch can revive the show for a season 3.

1 comment:

Mark Baker-Wright said...

I'd heard about the cancellation (although not that the last episode is supposed to be a cliffhanger. I really hate it when they do that. I really think someone should ban all cliffhangers for shows that haven't already been granted an extension....

Too bad, really, because I love this show!