The Piemaker's Watcher's Dilemma

Pushing Daisies is back after a prematurely strike-ended season on ABC.

This is amazing news.

I, however, have great feelings of conflict about this, for the same reason I'm conflicted about Joss Whedon's Firefly: my sister loves it, too.

She's an odd beast, the sort of person who sees the world through much rosier glasses than the normal joe. This is our primary difference, exacerbated by our choices of viewing in the entertainment industry.

My sister is an idealist. About the only thing we might agree on is Casablanca. Maybe. I don't really want to ask the question.

Case in point Firefly. Brilliantly-written space western and politically-astute Reconstruction era allegory from the man who brought you two flavors of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Or touching love story?

Thus begins our argument.

Sure, let's ignore anything even vaguely plot-based and focus instead on Captain Hunky Hunkenstein and his unrequited love for Whore-ella McFucksforcash. How romantic! There's an episode where he takes his shirt off. Swoon!

As you can imagine, I don't bring up the subject much around my sister. When she refused to change the conversation, I hastily admitted that yes, I may have seen an episode or two of the show and tried to move on.

There's just no accounting for bad taste. And there's just no use arguing with a woman who considers Meredith Gentry novels to be haut literature.

So, what of Pushing Daisies? It's the simple tale of a man who can resurrect the dead with a touch. He brings back the woman who used to live across the street from him when they were tykes. They fall in love, but if he ever touches her again, she will die.

I agree on this point: it's quite romantic.

But there's so much more. Every episode is so elaborately developed to contain tactile textures, evocative color palettes, rich plot, suspense, humor, and lovingly-interwoven references to art, music, and film.

Lost, all of it. My sister sees a love story. That is the focus of her attention and, thus, the single focus point of the series.


Case in point, I had to explain to her last season's Vertigo homage, a delicious scene (in more than one way), where the private investigator has a dream sequence identical to the one that James Stewart has in the famous Hitchcock film, only with gratuitous shots of pies where the swirls and psychedelic imagery would normally be.

Calling Pushing Daisies a mere love story is like calling Citizen Kane a movie about a bobsled.

And so I sit down and watch the second season with mixed feelings: it's back! I love it! The show is better than ever! And yet, I know that at some point my sister is going to try to impress it upon me as a topic of conversation, only to find she wants to start complaining that I don't appreciate it on her level.

Bitch, fuck your level.

1 comment:

Jezcabelle said...

I love them as well, but I appreciate both on the levels you do. I just thought I'd toss that out there. The only thing I would add* to PD is the alliteration in the dialogue = quite quite lovely. As your sis's good doppleganger I can only offer you these simple truths. & until you venture up this way again you can always make up & excuse & hang up with her. And Meredith Gentry novels are pure fey porn - utter crap, enjoyable like a fried Twinkie, not something for everyday, but indulgence can bring brief joi albeit with an upset tummy.

*And Cap't Tightpants was Nekkid in an episode. I like that part.