Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pushing Daisies, How I Love and Hate Thee

Like many other people this season I have fallen in love with the show, Pushing Daisies. After all, what isn't too love? Cute pie maker that brings people back from the dead? Chi McBride as a selfish detective using the pie maker to solve mysteries? Quirky females both in love with the truly adorable and delicious pie maker? How can you not love this show? (One of the better lines, "Our saliva isn't compatible." How can you not laugh?!)
But there's something bugging me to no end here. THE MORMON REFERENCES HAVE GOT TO GO! For those not watching the show, let me explain. In one episode the bad guys' names were Lemuel and Wilfrid Woodruff. For non-Mormons reading along, I shall explain. Lemuel is a name right out of the Book of Mormon. WilfOrd Woodruff was a prophet in our church. And then tonight the episode was about a polygamist. The actual show never said Mormon, but there was one wife who didn't drink coffee. But an online description of tonight's episode did say Mormon polygamist.
I have heard from a few sources that the show's creator is Bryan Fuller. Mr. Fuller is one of the few truly open gay creator/producers (according to Wiki). He's also been a part of other openly anti-Mormon episodes, comments, etc.
Well, I'm tired of it. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to see Mormons being included in mainstream media (i.e. House, MD). But I'm tired of us only being portrayed negatively. Or so campy or stupid. I'm thrilled that House, MD at least has a smart character.
Anyone else noticing the continuing negative slant? If Jews, or Catholics, or Baptists were so openly mocked without any other positive references out there, it would never last. Yes, other religions are mocked, but for every mockery, there are plenty of other accurate representations. So where is the accurate Mormon representation? I'm waiting for it!!


  1. I can imagine how frustrating that is. (Catholic here)

    I have a handful of Mormon friends... one couple in particular through whose blogs I found yours... and a whole host of Mormon bloggers that I find myself checking regularly.
    I feel like I've learned a lot about the faith through all of you... and another real life friend who converted to Mormonism and back again...
    but I think I've always been open to understand other faiths.
    Every time I hear a Mormon stereotype - particularly a polygamy related one - I cringe.

    It's so unfair to label an entire faith by the actions of a few misguided people (actions that the he people of the faith don't support, engage in or indulge)

    I have the same problem with Catholic Priests/ little boys jokes.

    People make those cracks - but rarely listen to the story I can share about my family and my parish who tried to get rid of such a priest... to do the right thing... to report to the bishop and then learn that he was just reassigned and never dealt with properly.
    And people don't realize that it's a problem the Pope and other higher ups knew nothing about... the coverups were on the local (diosceane) level.
    And if we'd known that more than the one priest we reported went through the same shuffling cover-up... we might have been able to take more action...
    So frustrating. And it's not a joke!

  2. I noticed it, too.

    I saw an interview on Good Things Utah awhile ago featuring the guy who did all of the special effects on... wait, what is that movie called? Zarahemla? Anyway, he was talking about how he does all of the special effects on Pushing Daisies as well. So I thought maybe THAT was the Mormon connection, because the coincidences are hard to ignore. I didn't know about Bryan Fuller, though. Interesting...

    Oh, and I haaaate the things that House says when he's ribbing the LDS doctor. Makes me wanna puke.

  3. I don't have a problem with the references at all. I think they are pretty funny, and well written. I don't think there's any malice in naming a villain Lemuel or another Wilfred Woodruf per se, and it was written well.

    Here's another view:

  4. Like I said, I love Pushing Daisies, I think it is cute and clever. But the references they choose to make are annoying to me. Lemuel? You have to have an actual knowledge of Mormons to be pulling that one out. Same with Wilford Woodruff. You can't just pull those out of your butt. It isn't so much what they have said. It's the fact that to be using some obscure references they obviously know more, and that worries me about where it might go.
    Other details spotted last night- the wives all appeared to get married with a Temple behind them, and (a bit of a stretch) one wife's house looked oddly like the inside of a Temple. All things I would overlook if it weren't for references like Lemuel.
    No harm done so far, but it leaves me all very comfortable.

  5. Erin, just because Pushing Daisies is using semi-obscure references doesn't mean that the show creators have an anti-mormon agenda. Its too early in the game for me to pull out my Mormon Persecution Flag anyway.

    The Lemuel and Wilfred Woodruff names as villains was funny. I remember laughing out loud when I heard both.

  6. Anonymous1:55 PM

    I think you are silly to find all the references negative... they are not overt, and yes there are good references. Did you ever notice the beehives? Super old school like the ones on our State flag! I enjoy the subtle hints at Mormonism/Utah.

    I know this is an old topic, but I just started watching these episodes as they just came out on DVD. Thought I'd look up what others thought about the references.

  7. Anonymous1:23 AM

    I just picked up on these references when I rented the Pushing Daisies Series DVD and watched the shows in order. There is also a villian in the first episode named Joseph Smith. Wilford Woodruff is the villian in the third episode. I'll have to rewatch the second one because I wonder if Brigham Young is bugs me. It's one way to really mess up a good series...hope these references stop.

  8. Anonymous1:10 AM

    I don't mind the references too much, they are a little annoying but as they haven't really been insulting yet i don't mind them. also in gilmore girls they are insulting. :(


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