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Finding a Balance: Comedy, Tragedy, and TV With My Sister

Ever since the second semester of school began, my college-age sister and I have been struggling to find something we can watch together. When it comes to TV, she’s a huge crime-drama-murder fan while I go hard for cartoons and sitcoms, so we were stuck in between a 2D rock and a gritty, crime-infested hard place for weeks on end. That is, until we decided to try to find shows that we could both appreciate from different perspectives, and made the downright delightful discovery that the comedy-murder-cartoon genre is actually a lot more accessible than we had ever imagined. So, if you are also struggling to find a show to watch with your totally opposite sibling, significant other or whoever else is in your life, here are two TV show recommendations that have the Duvall sisters’ stamp of approval:  

Gravity Falls

This instant-classic cartoon about a pair of twins uncovering the mysteries of a strange town called Gravity Falls aired on Disney XD between 2012 and 2016. If you were my age back then, you probably caught a few episodes of this show, but never really kept watching past season one. You might have even been a little thrown off by the kiddy tone of the cartoon and moved on to other more ‘adult’ teen dramas like Pretty Little Liars, or — in my case — became obsessed with reruns of Doctor Who. No matter where you were back when this show was airing, I would encourage you to give Gravity Falls a chance. 

My sister and I started watching it after we realized that it combined our two passions: her love of mysteries and my love of animation. It quickly became one of our favorite shows of all time! The story is really compelling and well thought-through, the central characters Mabel and Dipper are a really honest and sweet depiction of siblings, and the central mystery running through the town only gets more and more complicated with each new reveal. My sister and I were both blown away by this two-season series, and I have a feeling that we’ll be revisiting Gravity Falls again soon.

Pushing Daisies

If you haven’t seen this two-season series from 2007, I hate to say it, but you’re not alone. Pushing Daisies was a comedy that didn’t make very big splashes when it was originally released, and was cancelled pretty early in its run. But over the years, the show has developed a cult audience — and now that the entire thing is available on HBO Max, I am officially recommending that everyone give this sugary-sweet crime show a shot.

Not convinced? Well, let me fill you in on the details: Pushing Daisies is a sitcom about a necromancing pie maker named Ned who uses his abilities to help his partner Emerson Cobb solve murders by waking the dead and asking them for clues about their killers. (I know it sounds jarring. Let me finish.) Ned, despite his supernatural power, is actually a very sweet and chill dude who just wants to be left out of the entire operation — that is, until his childhood sweetheart, Chuck Charles, is murdered, and he has the chance to bring her back to life again for good. Their resulting love story, the secrets surrounding Chuck’s mysterious return from the dead and Ned’s power, and their new careers as private detectives lead Ned and the gang to uncover old secrets and help other people get justice, all while they bake pies and learn to love their newly found family. 

If it wasn’t obvious from my description, Pushing Daisies is the perfect combo of my sister’s love of crime and murder, and my own passion for sickly-sweet sitcoms. We binged the first season in a matter of days, and have been holding off on completing the second because we don’t want it to end. If you’re looking for something to fill your lighthearted, crime-thriller loving soul, then Pushing Daisies may be the ice-cream topping for your TV-berry pie.

Madeline Duvall

Pepperdine '21

Hey all! My name is Madeline Duvall, and I'm an English major and Art minor from Pepperdine University! I'm originally from Longview, Texas. I love to write, draw for my school's newspaper, listen to movie soundtracks and pretend I’m the main character, read, and watch animated movies! My art instagram is @latefordoodles and my real instagram is @lateforcakes.
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