We all have our little rituals to celebrate spring. Maybe you take a hike along Ladybird Lake, or get some cute pics against the bloom of bluebonnets. Spring is when you can curl yourself up in the sun, feeling like there’s endless adventures ahead. For me, I like to cut up a fresh watermelon
Story by Savannah Olson
Starring the charming Lee Pace, “Pushing Daisies” was a short-lived 2007 fantasy comedy with a dribble of drama. Pace plays the cute piemaker, Ned, who has a special ability: he can bring back living things from the dead. As a pie maker, he uses this to his advantage and ripens the once dead fruits, then makes delicious pies for his shop. Once his abilities are revealed to Detective Emerson Cod, Ned begins solving crimes with Cod by bringing the murdered back to life for a minute to get personal details that other detectives could not. Eventually, Ned brings his childhood sweetheart, Chuck, back to life after her untimely death and she joins him and Cod on their adventures.
Ned brings back more than fruits and old flames, though. The ill consequences of his powers make themselves known during an event in his childhood. After Ned’s mother had an aneurysm, he brought her back to life with a touch of his finger. But before Ned knew of the pros and cons of his ability, his mother was once again given the kiss of death just by pecking his head goodnight. From the first episode, “Pushing Daisies” lets the audience know that although this show looks cutesy and soft, there is sadness lurking underneath the surface. This is perfectly replicated in Ned and Chuck’s own star-crossed lovers dynamic. Since Ned brought Chuck back to life, he can’t touch her again without killing her. They love each other deeply, yet the simple intimacy of holding hands or kissing is an impossible feat. This tension makes the show perfectly appropriate for the season, commenting on how beautiful things in our lives are always a two-sided coin – in spring, flowers bloom but eventually must die, awaiting for life once again.
From the jump, the visual design of the show plunges you into the happiness of spring. Bright colors like yellow and green are bouquets for the eyes, embedded in the wardrobe and set. If I had any talent in poetry, I would draft a fluffy piece proclaiming my adoration of the main costume designer on “Pushing Daisies,” Robert Blackman. From the A-line dresses and 1960s inspired head scarves that Chuck wears, all the way to every kooky uniform worn by the many fake companies in the show. The set portrays the wackiness of the whole show, making it feel like an alternate universe of our own world that is portrayed in the pages of a storybook. Ned’s diner, the aptly named “The Pie Hole” is in the shape of a giant pie – flaky crust and all. Even the morgue that the gang visits to speak to the dead is all minty green pastels.
Only lasting two seasons, the series embodies the fleetingness of spring. The moment you get to fully enjoy the pleasant weather, summer bodies its way in with unbearable heat and heady thunderstorms. In a way, the two short seasons we get of “Pushing Daisies” cause our love for the show to grow, not weaken. There’s no denying the fun you have while watching it, with no storyline overstaying their welcome or characters that we grow to hate. You can also just hop into an episode, with each one centralized around a new murder they have to solve.
The overall delight of the show is truly why I watch this show every spring. The characters are endearing, the episodic murder cases wacky, and the premise is completely unique. “Pushing Daisies” is whimsical without being unrealistic. There’s heartbreak and melancholy, yet the writers don’t go overboard with the drama for the sake of making their show be more ‘interesting.’ I know this phrase can be overused, but you can feel yourself being transported to the world in “Pushing Daisies.” Watching it’s two seasons feels like being stuck in the perpetual sweetness of spring, with no winter in sight.