Pushing Daisies – “Bitches”

I’m not a huge fan of sexist slurs, but I did really enjoy the show Pushing Daisies.
Pushing Daisies, a dark humor series, follows the adventures of Ned, who can resurrect dead things temporarily or permanently, with rules; Private Investigator Emerson Cod, who uses Ned’s ability to solve murders; and Chuck, Ned’s once-dead girlfriend whom he cannot touch. Season 1, episode 6, “Bitches” (2007). investigates the murder of Harold by one of his four wives.

BELOW BE SPOILERS, Y’ARRR

“Bitches” pulls upon one of our Evil Poly Tropes: in polygynous marraiges, first wives are secretly-not-so-secretly screwed over. First wife Hilary killed her Harold because of her dissatisfaction with her husband’s additional “one-and-onlys.” The final straw occurred when Harold decided to market Hilary’s perfect dog Bubblegum. Unwilling to share Bubblegum, she murders her husband, “refusing to subject her baby to the same torture as her shared existence had been cursed to live.”

Like the Ally McBeal Episode described here, this Monster of the Week allows the main characters to reflect on polyamory in their own lives. In Pushing Daisies, Ned cannot touch his once-dead girlfriend without killing her, and their desire to express physical affection is a recurring theme of the show. As such, Emerson cannot help but point out to Ned that he has potential as a polygynist. Because Ned brought his girlfriend back to life, he cannot touch her or she will die. However, his coworker Olive is very interested in touching him. Despite Ned’s protests, Emerson advocates Chuck and Olive as “one woman to have, one woman to hold.” Ned and Chuck consider the possibility throughout the episode, but Ned ultimately chooses only one woman to love, that he does not need to touch anyone to be happy. The protagonists consider their own relationship compared to their object of investigation, but conclude that monogamy is best, the proper expression of love. Sad times.

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