Monday, 18 May 2009

Taking writing risks is good - but you will sometimes fail

I have stopped watching the TV show Pushing Daisies because of a fundamental flaw in the concept.

The way the show is made, it's pretty well impossible to get any real identification with the central characters. The combination of the constant narration and the knowingly artificial behaviour and storylines provide a barrier that I just can't get through. I don't care about what happens to the Pie Man and friends.

In that sense, Pushing Daisies is a failure. But it's a magnificent failure, and I think it should be celebrated. The premise is clever, if frustrating. The approach taken is truly original and one of the best things to come out of the US networks in years.

As an ideas exercise, it's terrific. It's a fundamental tenet in creativity - if you take a creative step, you are taking a risk. You will sometimes fail. But if you don't take that step, if you play it safe, you will never produce anything great. So many congratulations to the series' creators - and to the network for giving it a second season. For me, it ultimately didn't work. But it was a magnificent try.

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