Death, Life, and Pushing Daises

Pushing Daises was a tragically short lived television series that delivered beautiful visuals, exceptional character development, and clever dialogue with its own unique flair. Watching the show is like celebrating Easter Sunday; it’s funny, it’s lovely—and it’s all about the resurrection of the dead.

The resurrection presented in this show, however, is quite different from the sort that Christians hope for. Ned, the show’s protagonist, is a pie maker who can raise the dead, but his gift operates under a set of simple rules: Any dead thing he touches, whether it is rotten fruit or a person’s corpse, will come back to life and remain alive unless he touches it a second time. If Ned resurrects a life for longer than one minute, then a nearby life of equal value will die. No explanation is ever given for why Ned has this gift, but he uses it to solve murder mysteries along with Emerson Cod, a private detective, and Chuck, his childhood sweetheart whom he brought back to life.

     It is clear that Ned can’t stop death; he merely negotiates with it. However, the show uses this premise to examine not just death but also the beauty of life and the privilege of being able to live again. If we fully engage with the questions that are raised by Pushing Daisies, then we will find ourselves facing serious topics that we too often push to the back of our mind. Christian viewers of the show have much to gain by comparing Ned’s limited resurrection of the dead to Christ’s ultimate triumph over death.  After all, if this television show celebrates life so wonderfully in the face of death, then how much more do we who hold hope in eternal life have to rejoice over?

 

–Emily D.

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