It is time to officially mourn Brian Fuller's Pushing Daisies. This gloriously magical little show about a pie-maker named Ned (played by the wonderful Lee Pace) who can bring people back to life with one touch, has been cancelled by ABC. Considering it originally aired during last season's devestating but necessary writer's strike (which could be the subject of another post, I felt so passionately about it), it's chances of survival were drastically reduced. Apparently, "ratings" are the only thing that matters when it comes to keeping shows on the air. It has nothing to do with the quality, with the whimsy, or, least of all, that lovely warm feeling I got every time I watched an episode and was swept away by Jim Dale's magical narration and the no-touch passion between Ned and once-dead girlfriend Charlotte, AKA "Chuck". Not to mention the hilarious interactions of Emerson Cod, the caustic private investigator who loves to knit, and Olive Snook, who is nursing an unrequited love with the pie-maker... I could go on...
Pushing Daisies will be allowed to finish out its existing episodes, apparently ending on a cliffhanger. Plans are cooking to either finish out the story lines in comic book form and/or make a feature film. All of these things still make me want to cry... initially. As a writer, I have to mourn the fact that a wonderful show is now forced into secondary means. And I am still getting used to the rage I feel that ABC thinks continuing this show isn't worth it. It all comes down to money and the shows that truck it in... shows of lesser quality and imagination. I could name off a whole list of those loathed "stories" but I will refrain. I'm sure you, reader, could name several yourself!!
But the idea that Pushing Daisies is a story powerful enough to survive outside of television, actually made me feel better after a time, sparks a certain hope in the power of stories rather than the greed-driven "power" of the television networks. Apparently, that's what happened with Buffy the Vampire Slayer... and its final seasons continued on in comic books. Pushing Daisies, with its quirks and its colorful characters and zany murder-mysteries, would actually be perfect for that sort of genre.
I'd hope for that same kind of strength for my stories... to be able to defy the "authority" of the world and be utterly unique on their own. Hope! Hope that stories like this one can still appeal to an audience, even if they seeming have failed to keep it airing. One thing will never go away: Pushing Daisies' power to show me the value of magic in a seemingly ordinary world... and to embrace what it can do to change that world!