Archive for June 18th, 2009

Pushing Daisies and Kings: What’s Wrong with People?

I woke up on Sunday with a start. I ran to my TV and immediately checked my TiFaux. I sighed with relief—everything had recorded as I intended.

I was worried, because I didn’t realize until that morning that, for the first time, Pushing Daisies and Kings were actually airing on the same night. I was afraid that they were even in the exact same time slot—and that one would bump the other off the record schedule—but Kings is on at 8 pm, and Pushing Daisies wasn’t on until 10.

Sadly, this will never happen again. Pushing Daisies is officially over. Kings still has a few episodes to go—if NBC will forgive its dismal-even-for-Saturday ratings—and then it joins Pushing Daisies in the category of “Shows I Like, Canceled.”

Which brings me to my question: What’s wrong with people? Why didn’t these shows catch on?

Kings I can almost understand. If you don’t love it the way I do, it would be unbearable. You can’t just dip into an episode and half-pay-attention and expect to follow what’s going on. Still, I’m surprised that it didn’t develop a nerdfollowing niche, the way Dollhouse—which is a lesser show on almost every level—has. When I watch Kings, I actually feel refreshed. I love that it gives me something that no other TV series possibly can. I really enjoy the crazy world, the weird pretentious way the characters speak, the alternate history (I’d love to see an episode that took place before Silas was king and everything was chaos), the fact that God is actually a character, and, most of all, the king in the basement. I especially love that I can tell the creators’ vision of the show is so complete, but I have absolutely no idea where it’s going. It’s not like House, where you wince every time they go to the MRI machine because you know that the patient is going to freak out inside of it. So, I really want to know: Why wasn’t anyone else as taken in as I was? Was it the difficult language? The melodrama? The heavy history?

Pushing Daisies at least was critically beloved, but I don’t understand why it wasn’t a huge hit. It was pretty, the stars were adorable—and, for TV, recognizable—and it really didn’t challenge its audience too much. I could see people of any age really getting into it. Sure, the mysteries were a little thin. But I didn’t watch it for that, I just wanted to hear the quick banter and melt with the love stories. (For people who love will-they-or-won’t-they romances, at least this show had a good excuse for why their stars never kiss.) I also love the colorful world of Coeur d’Coeurs, with all those luscious pies. So, what was wrong with it? Did the mysteries not involve enough forensic evidence? Were you turned off by the quirkiness? Did they speak too fast? Was it too cute? Do you hate love, and things that are lovely?

Really, if you hated one of these shows, I want to hear from you, because I don’t understand you. Tell me: What’s wrong with you?

To me, both of these shows were precious because they were unlike anything else on television. I really hope that wasn’t their undoing in the end. I’m not sure I want to be on the TV beat when every single show is about investigators, hospital employees (new show ideas: Physician’s Assistant Josie! Courier Bob!), and over-privileged teenagers.

7 comments June 18th, 2009


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