Just read the news about the potential PUSHING DAISIES Broadway musical.
As a huge Pushing Daisies fan, with many many friends who are as well, I think I may be the only one I know to say: I’m actually against this.
While on paper a Pushing Daisies musical seems like a great idea, IMO it is too drastic an alteration of the ideal format for the story it was telling and existed in, which is television or film. The show was born in that medium and did amazing things in it while it lasted. It also incorporated many elements of Broadway musicals along the way, which were used to make this little TV show about a bittersweet relationship between a piemaker and the reanimated dead girl that he loves, into something magical and unlike anything I’ve ever seen on TV. ON T.V.
Could a stage version of the show exist? Sure.
Could it be amazing? Sure.
Would I want to see it? Sure.
Should I shut up and trust that you and your fellow creators know what you’re doing and have a master plan in place? Quite possibly. But I cannot do so without respectfully appealing to you to reconsider this Broadway plan in the short term.
I maintain that the stage will not be the ideal place for a fitting conclusion to your story–a conclusion or continuation that we the fans have wanted so badly since it went off the air. A translation to the stage, while gaining all the elements that make Broadway musicals so special on their own, will lose much of the visual and special effects elements that helped make that show beloved. Television acting and stage acting are different creatures. It’s closeup magic versus stage magic; David Blaine versus David Copperfield. Both are impressive, but for very different reasons.
As great as a PD musical could be, I will miss the twinkle in Ned’s eye, Chuck’s knowing smile, Emerson Cod’s world-weary sneer, Olive’s subtle longing, the conflicted expressions of Aunt Vivian, and the one-eyed steeliness of Aunt Lily. (And what about Digby?!)
Furthermore, an ending to Ned and Chuck’s (and Emerson and Olive, and Lily and Vivian’s) story needs to exist in a format that can be shelved alongside the TV box sets we’ve watched and rewatched and forced so many others to watch over the years. Give us something which can be enjoyed by the mass audience worldwide that fell in love with the show! Requiring that it be seen on Broadway, where it will have a limited run, for a limited amount of people–or, if successful, will start trading out cast members when they decide to move on to other roles, assuming all of the original cast will even commit to it–is FAR from the same thing as a final curtain TV movie. And, frankly, it isn’t fair to the thousands of fans who have kept the fires burning.
This is not to say that I believe a Pushing Daisies Broadway musical couldn’t be pretty damn astounding on its own merits. It certainly could. And I would actually be 100 percent behind it had the show been given a proper ending on television. By all means, do an adaptation then and give us a Broadway show. But please, Bryan Fuller, don’t give it to us in place of the ideal ending to your story just because it could be cool. Kickstarter this thing like Veronica Mars. Let the fans fund a movie, or Netflix or Amazon mini-series, (assuming rights could be secured). Bring back the cast. (Okay, you can recast the kids, or just pick up young Ned and Chuck’s story further along with the same actors, somehow.) Bring back Barry Sonnenfeld to direct it. Bring back Jim Dale to narrate it. Give us the ending that I know exists in your head. And do so in the same format in which it began: film.