Season 2: Some weak episodes near the end but still consistently amusing and clever
The continued adventures of two wide-eyed New Zealanders living in New York plying their trade as musicians under the direction of band manager and employee of the New Zealand consulate Murray. The old problems of small gigs and lack of success remain, along with the same difficulties in regards matters of the heart, but Jemaine and Brett also have issues surrounding their image, politics, "beef" with rappers and earning cash on the cold city streets.
It has been a while since season 1 of Conchords came around and won over a lot of viewers by way of its very slight gentle humour, buoyed up by the invention and wit shown in the writing. Like many people I came to season 2 quite looking forward to it but I did keep in my head the knowledge that the show is not 30 Rock (which I had just watched two seasons of ahead of starting Conchords). I say this because I have picked up that many people who are disappointed with season 2 seem to discuss it while gushing about how hilarious and perfect season 1 was. While this is a matter of opinion, I cannot help feel that the fresh success of Conchords has perhaps affected people's memory so that it is remembered as being something different than it actually was perhaps something where belly-laughs were coming every other minute and the whole thing was a hoot. Although this happens, it is not the vibe of the show and the fact that season 2 doesn't deliver that is not a "failing" so much as "business as usual".
This is not to say that season 2 is as good as season 1 was because it isn't, although it is close. Most of the episodes are cleverly done with a general sense of awkward amusement that drew me into the show in the first place. As before the comedy is done so that we do not mock the characters in a cruel way but rather enjoy them for their ways and naivety. The songs do not have the highs of season 1 but they are more consistent, with only one or two weaker ones. I think this comes from them being written into the show whereas in S1 it occasionally felt like an existing song had been forced into the show whether it worked or not. The season does have one or two weaker episodes as well but generally the standard is high, with the same qualities as season 1. Of course this means that those who don't get the light comedy will continue to wonder what all the fuss is about.
The cast continue to be great because everyone "gets" the style of comedy. Clemt and McKenzie are great again, both in regards songs and other material. Good to see Darby get more use this time because his "supporting" character is very funny, as is his delivery. Similarly Schall, Barker and Costabile remain a delight on the sidelines. The guest stars are not massive and don't feel like a cry for attention even if Garfunkel and Rajskub do work well in their episode.
Some have laid into season 2 for being disappointing but generally it is good it is only the final three or so episodes that really tail off. These are weak episodes with weaker songs but mostly it is a continuation of the charmingly light comedy of season 1 with the same wit and invention in the writing. It rarely has me rolling on the floor laughing but it nails the consistent amusement and sense of joy that keeps me coming back for more. I'm not sure if there will be a season 3 or not but, if there is, hopefully the new setting of New Zealand will bring with it a fresh feel and improved material.
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