Flight of the Conchords (2007–2009)
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The Third Conchord 

Season One Finale. Murray foists a new bongo-playing band member on Bret and Jemaine, triggering angry dances and mutant half-bands.



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Season One Finale. Murray foists a new bongo-playing band member on Bret and Jemaine, triggering angry dances and mutant half-bands.

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Comedy | Music | Musical






Release Date:

2 September 2007 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Bret's angry dance is a parody of Ren's (Kevin Bacon) angry warehouse dance from Footloose (1984). See more »


Bret: Todd's not cool.
Murray Hewitt: What do you mean? He's cooler than both of you put together. Look at him over there with all his friends. He's like the Pied Piper of cool. Pied Piper was cool wasn't he?
Bret: Pied Piper wasn't cool, he took all those kids into a cave.
Murray Hewitt: No, I mean before that phase; when it was just the rats.
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Written by Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie
Performed by Bret McKenzie and Demetri Martin
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Season 1: A gentle and consistent delight that is as clever as it is funny
12 December 2007 | by See all my reviews

Jemaine and Brett are friends and fellow members of musical duo "Flight of the Conchords". New Zealanders living in an one bedroom apartment, Jemaine and Brett have regular band meetings with part-time manager Murray. In between a lack of gigs and promotional activities, Jemaine and Brett try desperately to avoid the creepy attentions of fan Mel while also trying to negotiate their way through the pitfalls of sharing a flat, having girlfriends and just living in New York as New Zealanders not used to the big city lifestyle.

I first saw Flight of the Conchords on an HBO special "One Night Stand" that was made a year or so before this series was started. To prevent that sounding like me saying "yeah I knew the band before they were big" I will clarify that I only saw it because BBC4 showed it the week before they started showing the series proper. This special was just them performing songs but I found it hilarious and clever and as a result I was looking forward to the series, hoping for more of the same. The series understandably does not reproduce their stand-up show and is not as consistently funny. The demand on narrative and structure within each episode means that the songs were always going to have to be a small part of each episode and I wondered what would fill the rest.

This answer was an effective but slight style of "awkward misunderstanding" humour that saw even simple plots turned into delightful disasters. It is hard for me to describe, because it is not a cruel style of humour but rather one where the viewers are on the inside of the joke. It is a clever bit of positioning because although it is funny, we are never really mocking Jemaine or Brett because in a way it is so gently done that we actually prefer to be naïve with them. The script plays this perfectly and is refined to the point where the tone is consistent across the entire series – which is not that easy to do. While I didn't laugh as hard at any one episode as I did at the stand-up, it is an endless joy and this difference is worth noting. The series is not a "belly-laugh-a-minute" affair but is more of a steady delight. I tend to watch each episode feeling softly ticked and given a pleasant smattering of laughs across each episode. I don't mean to make it sound soft and shapeless (it certainly is not) but it is a very mellow and gentle comedy that fits around the characters of Bret and Jemaine.

It was important to make the base of the series strong because even with it the songs do tend to dominate. Conchords were doing these for years before entering sitcom world so it is understandable that these would be where they produce their strongest moments. Some aren't great but they are the exceptions and mostly the musical numbers are wonderfully imaginative and clever no matter what style they are done in. "Part Time Model" for example is sweet in tone but lyrically perfectly placed while "Business Time" stands out to me just because of what an accurate and funny summary of the sex lives of working couples it was. Some of the songs benefit from being acted out (these two do for example) but some seem better when they have an audience – their hip hop spoof was fantastic in front of an audience but seemed low in energy in the series. Mostly though the songs are strong and enjoyable whether they are drug-trips, Bowie homages, sombre reflections on society or declarations of love to women. Both Clement and McKenzie are very talented. I remember thinking how strong they were as singers but also how clever they were as writers. Seeming their subtle and likable performances here just made me all the more jealous as it seems they can do it all. Jemaine is my favourite but it helps that he is "funnier looking" than Bret and mostly gets the funnier material. Of course it would be unfair to overlook the equally good turn from Darby as Murray – a great character well delivered. Barker, Schaal and others all provide solid support as well.

Overall then this is a wonderfully mellow and gentle comedy that drew me in with its slightness and effortlessly won me over with the intelligence and wit across each episode. The sitcom material is clever and gentle but it are the songs that provide the many high points as they are not only catchy, clever in terms of the musical references but also very funny. You need to give it some time to let it draw you into the mood of the show but once you get into it, Flight of the Conchords is a consistent delight.

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