You know a show is worthwhile if it’s given the axe after one or two or three seasons. You know, the Arrested Development, Party Down, Freaks & Geeks, Golden Palace types (obviously, I had to include the Golden Girls spinoff, have you forgotten who I am?), and whatever else caught on late, or never caught on, or later became a cult phenomenon, or was just completely forgotten. Which, of course, leaves us with shows that should have been killed after their first years, shows that have become repetitive, cranky and worthless. You know, the Grey’s Anatomys and the Heroes, and frankly, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia because last season was terribly underwhelming.
I type all of these run-on sentences to say, essentially, that good television isn’t meant to last. Which is why I spend the same amount of time cruising on Netflix instant watch as a cougar spends cruising in bars and clubs where they don’t card their underage drinkers with poor taste in alcohol (Vladi? Malibu? Come on, at least act like an adult).
My favorite show of all time for this week is the defunct Pushing Daisies, which is unexpectedly hilarious, witty, and at times inappropriate; and yet! The show and a few of its characters still have the saccharine sweet tint of romance: childhood sweethearts, life threatening secrets, eye patches, and a sweet restaurant called the Pie Hole, “As in shut your.” And mystery murders and magic! I do love some good magic.
Though I am distracted by the falsified roundness of Kristen Chenoweth’s breasts several times throughout each episode (which is to say, I cringe variously), everyone is so got damn adorable or charmingly insane that I can’t help but like the show. The premise is what kept me away from the show for so long: The Pie Maker, owner of the Pie Hole, is magical in that he can bring the dead back to life with a touch of his hand. If he keeps the person or thing alive for more than one minute, something else of equal value dies. If he touches the dead thing again, they die forever ever! That’s some lame Harry Potter type shit if I ever heard it— but somehow, someway, it works. Maybe it’s Kristen Chenoweth singing in an open grassy field in a nun outfit, ala Sound of Music; maybe it’s The Pie Maker’s general adorableness, melting my heart of stone. Maybe it’s the black man who, against the norms of modern television, says things that even overtly intelligent black people (read: Barack Obama) say, like “Aw, hell naw” and expresses a distaste for hanging around the dead bodies laying around in the morgue, or having small talk with said dead bodies. He also says things like “No, bitch!” so that’s pretty accurate.
Besides the appropriate amounts of black sass in Pushing Daisies, the show gets by with minimal detective plots, and minimal romantic comedy plots, but is heavy with good dialogue and general hilariousness (and thorough back stories, and parent abandonment, man I tell you). And I mean, one of the characters wears an eye patch because she got dirty kitty litter in her eye, and The Pie Maker, whose real name is Ned, says something about his “primal sweet spot” in an early episode. If that’s not enough, if the magic is not enough, then you should just revel in poor television and your Netflix membership should be revoked.
You obviously don’t spend enough time laying in bed for hours on end with instant watch, ass.