25 Love Stories 18/25
Ned the Pie Maker and Charlotte “Chuck” Charles (Pushing Daisies)
Ask anyone what trope I hate the most and they’ll tell you it’s the love triangle, but what most people don’t know about me is that, I often have a difficult time caring for the childhood best friends to lovers storyline, which ultimately sucks because it’s an adorable trope, but the problem is, I don’t feel we ever hear the other side of it. It’s a huge risk to take and if anything happens, not everyone’s willing to carry on the friendship and to me, that’s tragic. However, Pushing Daisies played with the trope in a way that had me hooked from the very first moment they laid eyes on each other. Although to an extent, I’d say this is different because the two of them didn’t grow up together — there’re a lot more at risk when people actually grow up together. That said, Ned the Pie Maker and Charlotte “Chuck” Charles are the epitome of adorable. You must really love someone if you’re willing to go forever without ever touching, and in every way they could, they made it work.
Before we begin discussing their sweet love story can we just take a moment to acknowledge that of all the shows that have been cancelled too soon, Pushing Daisies is the one that hurt the most. I will never understand how this show wasn’t deeply loved.
Ned’s a damaged man, and he has been from a very young age, but when he remembers his childhood, he only sees wonder in his mother, Digby, and Chuck. The rest of his childhood is a screwed up little bubble where he wasn’t accepted and for a kid like that to reunite with one of the three people he ever cared for, anyone would understand his decision to keep Chuck alive. And from that moment, we were exposed to a love story that showcases the importance of inner longings. Physical contact is 100% important, but according to Pushing Daisies, love even works without it — just kiss each other with saran wrap.
Ned and Chuck took care of each other — two people who’ve known each other for so long with an unbreakable trust that fuels everything within them. And even after Ned told the truth about accidentally killing her father, they made it through the heartache like adults. She understood him. She forgave him. And with a little time, she was able to look at him the same way again because she knows deep down his intensions were to never harm anyone. Chuck took a broken man and gave him 101 reasons to constantly smile. She was warm and kind and it’s ultimately what matters most in this love story: kindness and gentleness — it’s the fire that ignites both of them at all times.
I always appreciated the little ways that made their relationship gorgeous — sometimes actions speak louder than words, but Ned and Chuck used their words to constantly show each other just how cherished they are. Kudos to both Lee Pace and Anna Friel for always using their expressions to tell a story their body couldn’t. There was never a time where sincere adoration wasn’t shining through from their eyes, and it’s what made this little show so entertaining. You wanted them to touch, but in some strange way, you were satisfied with the little ways they showed their love. Whether it was dancing on the roof in full on bee keepers outfit or holding their own hands to show they wanted to be there for their partner, it felt enough. It was torture, but you never once questioned whether they’d suddenly part ways. Chuck could’ve used her second chance to move somewhere and start over, but instead, she stayed with a man she could never physically treasure. And for Ned, she was always everything.
They wanted to cherish each other in every way they could and that’s the sign of a true, pure adoration. It’s what showcases that the heart is everything, and a relationship can work as long as two people are willing to constantly give their all no matter the setbacks in their road. Ned and Chuck did the most exquisite job of illuminating profound emotions simply in the way they’d look to each other — as the series went on, they got better and better at finding new ways to expose their longings. Not all pain is beautiful or poetic, but even though Ned and Chuck were always aching because of the barriers between them, somehow they were able to simultaneously heal. Their love is so strong, they’re able to lay their head on their pillows in peace. At they end of the day, they knew without a shadow of a doubt, they are loved.
Pushing Daisies is an odd little show — if you gave someone a summary of what it’s actually about, some people would probably look at you like you’ve lost a marble or two. How could a series about a man bringing back the dead to solve crimes while not being able to touch the woman he loves be anything but depressing? I would’ve steered clear from this series if trustworthy friends didn’t vouch for it, but the reality is, in a bizarre way, it’s anything but depressing. It’s hysterical. It’s tragic and dark, but it’s colorful and bright. There’s light in every corner. It’s beautifully captivating in indescribable ways — there’s nothing like that. It’s just one of those series you’d have to take a leap of faith with because you’re more than likely going to be pleased.
The love story that is established through Ned and Chuck is one for the books — years from now people will continue talking about the two souls that were so profoundly connected, it didn’t matter that their bodies weren’t completely familiar. The facts were these: the pie-maker and a girl named Chuck would sacrifice a lot more than a mere touch as long as they could be at each other’s side, for together is the only way they feel safe, warm, and loved.