Lee Pace, known among MCU fans as Ronan the Accuser, a radical Kree warlord, starred in a number of films and television series—and in one of them, a series called Pushing Daisies, his character has the worst possible power–bringing people back from the dead. Though it sounds like a horror series with zombies all around, Pushing Daisies is actually a comedy-drama currently available on Max.
Well, the dead brought back by Ned, Pace’s Pushing Daisies character, don’t suffer from typical issues associated with being deceased like bloating, decomposition, the smell, etc. In fact, those brought back by Ned look, feel, and smell exactly the same way they did moments before they died.
The acclaimed dramedy Pushing Daisies, starring Lee Pace, is streaming on Max.
But, and there’s always a “but,” there’s a downside. Once Ned touches the people he resurrects, they immediately die again, and for good this time. So, what is such a superpower good for?
Well, as it turns out, the protagonist of Pushing Daisies, who discovered his powers as a kid, is aided by the private investigator Emerson Cod (Chi McBride). Together they fight crime, with Ned resurrecting the dead just long enough to pick the pieces of information he needs to solve their murders and any other related mysteries.
For the fans of the forensic procedurals like CSI, this might be a pass.
One of those victims is Chuck (Anna Friel), Ned’s childhood sweetheart, whom he brings back but doesn’t put back to rest. Instead, the two fall in love. The thing that prevents them from being happily ever after is the caveat associated with Ned’s power.
If he touches her, Chuck will die once again, and this time, he won’t be able to bring her back. Thus, the lovers are condemned to moon over each other, sleep in separate beds, and kiss through plastic wrap, never being able to feel each other’s touch.
All of this makes for an intriguing premise, as Pushing Daisies makes off-handed commentary about religion and the afterlife without involving particular deities. In fact, apart from reading Psalm 23 at one point in the series, the whole idea of a traditional view of God, or any other deity, is completely absent from the story.
But that doesn’t make this series any less thought-provoking, and in all the right ways one could think of.
For example, if Ned touches someone the second time, and they die, does that make him the killer? Can the previously deceased be considered murdered for a second time? And why doesn’t anyone in the show actually ask what it’s like beyond the grave?
For the fans of the forensic procedurals like CSI, this might be a pass. Sure, there are murder mysteries to solve, and corpses abound in Pushing Daisies, but the whole show is actually a mixture of melodrama, horror, and romcom. We understand the skepticism, but these elements are actually pretty well-mixed.
The show’s sudden halt has been attributed to the disruptions brought about by the 2007-2008 Hollywood writer’s strike.
Pushing Daisies was a massive success, and it received critical acclaim, with critics praising the cast, direction, writing, tone, and set design—which is beautiful, by the way. The series received 17 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, with seven wins, including Outstanding Supporting Actress in Comedy Series and Outstanding Directing for Comedy Series.
These nominations and awards were received during the first and second seasons of the show, with the third season never seeing the light of day. The show was canceled before the third season even began production.
The show’s sudden halt has been attributed to the disruptions brought about by the 2007-2008 Hollywood writer’s strike. Thus, Pushing Daisies wasn’t continued, and its starry-eyed romantic but bittersweet story of grief, longing, and betrayal never received a proper conclusion—something fans have been clamoring for ever since the series cancelation was announced.
This is but a testament to the fact that history likes repeating itself, considering just how many releases were canceled and delayed due to ongoing SAG-AFTRA and WAS strikes, such as Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
Pushing Daisies is currently available for streaming on Max.