In the waning days of August when the heat feels apocalyptic, and you spend almost every waking moment covered in sweat, fall feels like a beautiful dream. But the season of crunchy leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, and cool breezes really is right around the corner, and there's nothing like TV to get you in the mood for sweater weather. Really, no other show represents the season quite as well as Pushing Daisies. Thanks to its pies and warm color palette, the town of Coeur d'Coeurs seems to be locked in a perpetual state of autumn. Still, there's one episode of Pushing Daisies that will put you in the mood for fall faster than any other: Season 2's "Circus, Circus."
Nothing says fall quite like a traveling circus. When the weather begins to cool down, carnivals, fall festivals, and circuses pop up everywhere. But it's only in the world of Pushing Daisies that they bring at least 15 dead clowns with them.
The plot of "Circus, Circus" is wonderfully absurd, as the Pie Hole gang (minus Olive, who's away at the nunnery) searches for a missing girl who ran away to join the Circus of Fun. Along the way, the encounter a dead mime whose commitment to his job follows him into the afterlife, an irascible ringmaster, and a host of other colorful characters. The setting alone isn't what makes this Pushing Daisies episode such a great way to dive into the fall season. Its real beauty is in the way all of the characters are embarking on new beginnings. Maybe it's a hold-over from your school days, or simply a natural response to watching nature shed the previous year, but fall is a time for fresh starts.
In "Circus, Circus," all of the characters are struggling with what it means to start over. Chuck is no longer sharing a room with Ned, which makes the change-adverse pie maker nervous about the future. The Aunts take steps to process their grief over losing Chuck, and Olive struggles to make peace with all of the secrets that led to her joining a convent. Even the main plot involves a young woman who just wanted to make a change in her life by pursuing a life as a clown. Watching Ned, Olive, Chuck, and Emerson tackle turning points in their lives, against the backdrop of a circus soap opera, is the perfect way to prepare for your own fall adventure.
The episode's theme combines perfectly with the natural fall-ness of Pushing Daisies to create an hour of television that will leave you feeling festive and ready to buy a new autumn wardrobe. Now is the time to visit the Pie Hole if you're ready to say farewell to summer, and "Circus, Circus" should be at the top of your menu.