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maryann johanson, ruining movies since 1997

‘Pushing Daisies’ blogging: “Comfort Food”

(previous: Episode 7: “Robbing Hood”)

Do you smell pie? I smell pie. Mmmmm, pie…

[spoilers after the jump!]
I am now as sad as Ned has been since childhood as I face the prospect of the end of this show. It’s a bright spot in my TV week, which is otherwise pretty grim and pretty empty these days. How can Pushing Daisies go away?

Why are people not watching this show? Is it not cheery enough? Or can most people only handle cheery when it is not, in fact, accompanied by deep-fried death? Can people not handle all the sex? Well, there’s no actual sex, of course, but what could be more full of sex and yearning and passion and all that bittersweet goodness than Ned’s plastic-wrapped arm hugging Chuck in his sleep? Maybe people prefer sweaty rutting bodies to genuine feeling? Do they not get the joke of the Come & Sleep Hotel? Or is that just too clever for people?

I just don’t get it.

Maybe people don’t want to be smacked in the face with such wisdom as “Lying to yourself about love never works” or “A forkful of immediate gratification can lead to a world of consequences.” Is that it? Pushing Daisies is too obscure for people who think Two and a Half Men is deep? Do people not want to hear narration that includes actual punctuation, like how you can hear the parentheses in “Dwight Dixon (gentleman caller)”? Who could not adore the simultaneous wisdom and hilarious horror and sly pop-culture referencing and sneaky astuteness of this exchange:

“I’m going to win that blue ribbon, wrap it around her neck, and strangle her with it.” –Olive
“Olive, you’re baking with hate!” –Ned
“Ah, rich, buttery, high in carbohydrate hate. You know what no one tells you about cooking with the Dark Side? The food is really good.” –Olive

It almost makes you want to bake with hate, too. Just to try it out.

Or maybe Pushing Daisies is too full of life. Or undead life. Or something. Because when Chuck explains to her now-revived father about how his dreams are gonna be more vivid and everything tastes better and even her revived undead bees now make better honey… well, doesn’t that sound like a prescription for mindfulness, a reminder that our time here is precious and should be enjoyed to the fullest? (Maybe everyone who already understands that isn’t bothering to waste time watching TV, even only this one hour of it each week. Can TV only succeed when it indulges and encourages lethargy and couch-potato-ness, and when it actively refutes mindfulness and passion? I’d hate to think that, but maybe it’s true.)

Oh, Chuck’s father? I got so wrapped up in young Ned being “awakened by loneliness-induced insomnia” and comfort baking at school that I forgot, until we jumped back to the future where Ned and Chuck were standing over her father’s dug-up and open casket, that that’s where we’d left things last week. And now: Chuck! How could you? How could you fool Ned like that? How could you use Ned like that? Sweet, sensitive, lovely, adoring and adorable Ned…

Poor Ned! No wonder Olive’s still in love with him. Who could not be in love with Ned?

I’m too upset that this is almost over. I’m declaring an emotional snow day.

(Watch full episodes at ABC’s official site for the show.)

(next: Episode 9: “The Legend of Merle McQuoddy”)


viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb
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