The Incredibles came out around the same time as Half-Life 2, and I remember feeling relieved – amongst much else – to see that there are people in other media cramming as much genius, expertise and love into every square inch of their work. If anything The Orange Box’s diversity makes its brilliance a more dazzling achievement than Half-Life 2, and Pushing Daisies is right here to give off that same reassuring glow: it’s okay, people outside of Valve can be this clever too.
The second episode really does cement it as a masterpiece of that order. I absorb high-bandwidth, info-dense, fast-talking stuff like The West Wing with relish, but the hurtling pace and sheer concentration of brilliant ideas, stylistic flourishes and exquisite jokes in Daisies leaves me reeling. It truly is just joyous, and insane, and sickly and dark all at once.