in Television

Character Appreciation: Olive Snook from “Pushing Daisies”


I just recently re-watched Pushing Daisies, after not seeing it since it was on air. Figuring it wouldn’t have aged well, I was surprised to find myself liking it even more the second time. around. I think my opinions of the main character changed as well.

The second time around, I found myself liking Olive Snook a lot more (not that I ever hated her during my first watch). Apparently, I liked her enough to warrant another character appreciation post, since that’s what I’m going to be offering up today.

Let’s begin.

O is for Orchestral

That’s right, I’m starting off with a reach. I understand that Olive by herself can’t be an orchestra, but let me explain. In her very first episode on the show, Olive reveals a propensity to burst into song, which she continues to do in several other moments throughout the series. Rather than actually discuss all the things she should do with the people around her, she bottles her feelings up and bursts into song at inopportune times (except for that one time where she sang in the middle of a meadow – totally great timing). As for using the word “orchestra,” well, she’s accompanied by one, right? Right.

L is for Love

At first, Olive is defined by her love of protagonist pie maker Ned. After a while this gets annoying (thankfully the series managed to put an end to that storyline before it was prematurely cancelled). However, it does a good job of illustrating the kinds of relationships her character will have. While her romances are screwed for most of the series’ run, she shows various other kinds of love in great ways. This mainly comes through in her friendly relationships with new best friend Chuck and sort-of mentor Emerson Cod. Then there are her surrogate dads, two convicts who accidentally kidnapped her years earlier and couldn’t say goodbye.

I is for Intense

I believe “love” goes hand in hand with “intense.” Olive tends to throw herself hard into whatever she’s doing, and that wouldn’t be possible without the give and take of love and intensity. Olive doesn’t do things half-assed. If she wants to spend a week being an actual private eye she goes all out, learning the terminology and taking on a “His Girl Friday” role to Emerson’s hard-boiled PI. Alternatively, she could be dominating a baking competition and taking out the competition like the rotten fruit it is.

V is for Vault

Unfortunately for Olive, the people around her have the bad habit of telling her all their secrets. Since they always involve things like faking a death, murder, and infidelity, she knows to keep them all to herself. She does a relatively good job of keeping them, however the pressure builds to the point that she literally has to go away to a convent to escape her various woes. And since no one can function without amateur confessional, they follow her and manage to solve a mystery while there.

E is for Eclectic

Olive’s taste’s vary wildly. As I said earlier, one week she’s a private-eye-in-training and the next she’s in a pie-making contest. However, that’s not even mentioning her past and future (yes, we do get a glimpse of her future, and it doesn’t involve a fortune teller). Back in the day, Olive wrangled horses as a jockey, which comes back to haunt her in the form of a case. She will one day own her own pig-shaped restaurant.

Does anyone feel like Pushing Daises’ existence was cut short? Come, cry with me. I will hold you and stroke your hair.