Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pushing Daisies: Sealed With a Kiss?

One of the only redeeming qualities of WGA Strike 2007-2008 is that it gave me some time off from my favorite shows to find new favorite shows. During the strike, I got caught up on Weeds, watched every episode of 30 Rock, and fell madly in love with Pushing Daisies. I remember when Daisies came out that I thought it looked interesting and full of OTPotential, but I knew I just couldn’t make time for it in my busy TV schedule. Nevertheless, I caught the last five minutes of several episodes as I tuned in for Private Practice. Those closing moments were enough to pique my interest and demand that I watch the whole series.

I love it, I really do.

The only words I can find to describe it are precious and whimsical. I’ve been a fan of the fantastic Kristin Chenoweth and Swoosie Kurtz forever, but the jaw-dropping talent and downright sweetness of the leading actors is what really drives the show, which, let’s face it, surrounds itself completely around an achingly delicious romance.

Chuck and Ned can’t touch, you guys. But what Shonda Rhimes would see as a terrible limitation, the producers of Pushing Daisies use as an unbelievable plot device with limitless potential.

The bee suits. The car barrier. The plastic wrap.

It’s all just so sweet. Coupled with amazing photography and impeccable writing that perfectly describes the joys and woes of being in love (heightened by this unfathomable barrier), the series is an exercise in creativity and childhood glee and grown-up romance and desperation, really. The delivery is fast-paced but spot-on, as beautiful syntactically as it is in content.

Here’s the twenty-second version of Chuck and Ned cuteness.

Here’s a slightly longer version.

Ned’s bumbling description of his selfishness (“I just thought my world would be a better place if you were in it.”) just makes my insides sigh. He has millions more quotes like these. I’m particularly fond of his frustration at making choices: "Everything we do is a choice: oatmeal or cereal, highway or side street, kiss her or keep her. We make choices and we live with the consequences. If someone gets hurt along the way we ask for forgiveness. It’s the best anyone can do.”

“Kiss her or keep her”? Are you kidding me with this adorableness?

It’s so inventive, too. Who in the world dreamed up not only this insane story (complete with a litany of do’s and don’ts for reviving the dead), but just the incredible details that go into every episode. These tragically hilarious death stories, like the jockey-with-horse-legs caper or the totally-bizarre dandelion car disaster, are partially fun to watch just for their silliness.

Enough with the love-fest, though. Because I’ve got one big ol’ question for Pushing Daisies:

Is Chuck immortal?

Digby’s been alive and kicking ever since Ned gave him the magic touch years and years ago, and yet he’s not looking any older. One could assume that Digby’s going to be alive until Ned magic-touches him again (ooh! dirty!). Can I be sensing a season finale moment: the decision to let Digby go?

Anyway, enough about Digby. What about Chuck??

Is she just in this constant state of limbo, one that can only be broken by Ned touching her again? What if something happens to Ned? Even worse, how could Ned possibly decide to kill her? And this show has already proven that its conclusion will deserve much more than Ned accidentally grazing Chuck’s arm.

It seems to me that the only way the show could end is for Ned and Chuck to die together. Like, he’s been fatally wounded, she can’t touch him to help him out, and so in a final moment, she kisses him and they both die at the same time.


Perhaps there’s another rule that Ned doesn’t know about yet. Maybe one of these days, he’ll accidentally touch Digby to find that the “spell” wore off or something. So Digby’s all happy and everything, because now he gets to have his master pet him, but poor Chuck is still starved for physical affection. (PS, Thanks, ABC, for the absence of condom jokes. I’m forever grateful.) So they calculate how long it’s been since Digby’s magic-touch and realize they only have to wait that long before they can touch each other—one wouldn’t want to risk a preemptive touch, not knowing precisely when the magic wears off. And then the show can end with that moment, twenty-so or whatever years later, with a kiss of freedom.

For as much as I’d love to be able to see those two just absolutely go at it, the sexual tension is pretty gratifying just the way it is. And I really don’t want to see a cop-out rule change unless it really makes sense. I worry at this point that the show is painted into an insanely small box...but it’s a pretty box for now, and it sure is fun to watch.

One response to “Pushing Daisies: Sealed With a Kiss?”

Anonymous said...

People should read this.