So I'm finally caught up on "Pushing Daisies" and can pre-empt all the "No 'Pushing Daisies' review?" questions at least until next week, which could well be the final episode to air. (Cue the sighs.) Spoilers for the last two episodes coming up just as soon as I shut the a cappella up...
Because it took me so long to finish watching "Comfort Food" (this is a show my wife and I like to watch together, so we have to coordinate), I was able to essentially watch it and "The Legend of Merle McQuoddy" as a double-feature, and it proved enlightening. Both episodes split our four main characters up, the first time pairing Chuck with Emerson and Ned with Olive, the second time giving our lovebirds one story and the sidekicks the other, and I found that the "Comfort Food" recipe of providing equal parts sweet and salty to each story worked much better.
Lee Pace and Anna Friel are beyond adorable together (witness their various kisses through plastic last night), and in some ways Chi McBride and Kristin Chenoweth are even funnier together than separate ("Oh, hell no!" in stereo), but I really preferred the balance of the previous show.
That said, there were a lot of strong elements to both hours.
"Comfort Food" offered up the most confident and proactive Ned we've had in a while (keeping him away from Chuck probably played a role in that), actually used a great guest star (Beth Grant) instead of keeping her on the margins (see Dave Koechner last night for a more typical example), and was one of the best showcases Chenoweth has had to date (and I felt that even before she turned out to be a fan of The Bangles).
"The Legend of Merle McQuoddy," meanwhile, had Ned and Chuck's dad in the awesome broom vs. mop fight (reminiscent of the spork-off from the second-ever episode of "Chuck"), Emerson giving a whole new meaning to the phrase "Tap that!" (a runner-up to "Trip over the ottoman! Dick Van Dyke that ass!" for best line of the episode), and did a good job of using Chuck's dad to point out how many ways both Ned and Chuck would be better off apart.
(Does someone who knows anything about embalming techniques -- or who just watched a lot of "Six Feet Under" -- want to offer their opinion on whether Chuck's dad would be this relatively well-preserved after all this time? Shouldn't he just be a skeleton in a decaying suit?)
Ah, whatever the flaws, I'm going to badly miss this show when it's gone, and Disney had better rush out that season two DVD set so we can see whatever episodes ABC declines to show.
What did everybody else think?