Thursday, November 20, 2008

"'Pushing Daisies"' Beautiful Corpse

(Written at Noon on 11/20)

“Did you hear ‘Pushing Daisies’ isn’t doing so hot in the ratings?”

“Boy, I hear that ‘Pushing Daisies’ is close to cancellation.”

“Hot dang, that there colorful show ‘bout the pie guy ain’t long for this world, do it?”

Yes, I know, everyone. I know. STOP TELLING ME, I KNOW!

And yet, oddly, I’m not too horrified.

I love “Pushing Daisies” unreasonably. It makes me laugh at puns. The more absurd it gets, the more gushily sweet it gets, the more it makes me smile. But if it doesn’t get picked up after its 13th second-season episode is complete, I won’t be mad. I’ll be bummed, and upset, but not mad.

I was mad when “Firefly” got cancelled, because it seemed to get shafted from the start. It never had a chance to be anything other than a cult hit.

I was mad when “Arrested Development” was cancelled because…well, looking back, I feel like it was part of a broader “red state, blue state” argument: “Nobody will watch ‘Arrested Development,’ but ‘According to Jim’ is still on the air?! THIS is why the country’s in the shitter!”

But if “Pushing Daisies” goes this year, I’ll understand why. It wasn’t for a lot of tastes. It’s not ABC’s fault – they promoted it heavily, they actually kept it on the same night, the same time, for two seasons. They made sure the season 1 DVD set was available before premiering season 2. They did everything right.

Usually when a show gets cancelled prematurely, it bugs me because like most fans, I get attached to the actors. For instance, I feel bad for 90% of the casts of “Buffy” and “Angel.” It’s just a fact of the acting profession that in most cases, the cast goes on to crap guest-starring roles or featured roles on inferior shows.

But most of the “Pushing Daisies” cast come from well-regarded Broadway careers, and that’s where they’ll go back. They’ll be okay.

The other sticking point with early-death on shows like this is there will almost certainly be unresolved storythreads. I’m not sure if they can take care of both the Ned’s Father and Emerson’s Daughter stories in the next seven episodes.

But even there, I’m covered. Bryan Fuller has said he’ll finish the story as a comic series if he can’t wrap it up on the show. And with the right publisher and artist (I’m thinking Oni Press), it’ll be a delightful package.

Frankly, if it goes now, the only bummer is we won’t get a full musical episode, and given the talents of the cast, that will be a real shame.

So if “Pushing Daisies” is a goner after 26 episodes, I’ll mourn it. But it’ll join “Arrested Development,” “Wonderfalls,” and “SportsNight” on my DVD shelf as another Beautiful Corpse series – killed long before it could decline in quality.

Which is not a bad way for a TV show to be remembered. Particularly one about a guy who can bring dead things back to bold, technicolor life.

(UPDATE, 8:55 PM: Well, damn it. Good thing I spent time writing this at work, huh? Anyway, I stand by it. I'm bummed, but not mad. If they don't bother airing the last seven episodes...THEN I'll be mad.

Okay, maybe I'm a little mad now. Just a little. I mean, really, ABC. You're cutting this one, but keeping "According to Jim," "Private Practice," and actually RENEWING "Scrubs"? What the HELL does Jim Belushi have on your executives, that he's proved so invincible?!)


thechicgeek said...

You have got to be joking! SCRUBS? For fuck's sake! That show stopping being anything but sad about three years ago. Two years before that it stopped being funny!

And how is "According to Jim" still on? I liked his brother, but that's no reason to keep a series going.

Whatever. I'm just gonna go bang my head against the wall until a brilliant show idea oozes out of my bludgeoned face.

Threat Quality Press said...

Here, I got your brilliant idea for you: stupid fat guy has a hot wife and annoying kids. There's a neighbor who is weird. Hijinks.

It will be on TV for a hundred years.

Now give me a million dollars.

ISTV Global Stronghold said...

Whoa, whoa, slow down!

This stupid fat guy idea of the stupid fat guy also "blue-collar"?

Because if he's not "blue-collar," that might be a dealbreaker.

Lisa said...