Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Flight of the Conchords (TV Series) (2007– 2009)


Creators: James Bobin, Jermaine Clement, Bret McKenzie
Cast:       Jermaine Clement, Bret McKenzie, Rhys Darby, Kristen Schaal, Arj Barker


Bret and Jermaine are the Flight of the Conchords, a folk-rock band from New Zealand living in New-York in search of stardom. To quote themselves, Jermaine is the moppy one while Bret the naive one. They have got a New Zealand consulate guy as the manager of the band and all of them are clueless in a good way.

Peep Show, one of my favorite comedy shows of all time, also had two 'losers' living in an apartment even though their personalities differ very much. Their manager, Murray Hewitt, is anti Ari Gold in terms of how he operates but is similar in the sense that he is the star of the show. The show works as a musical comedy with each episode containing two songs with interesting lyrics. My favorite songs in it would be 'Binary Solo' and 'Too many dicks on the dance floor'. Many of the jokes involve the relative obscurity of their country, New Zealand, the intensity of which should be higher if you are in a place like USA whose population is generally considered as geographically challenged. I guess we from cricket following countries cannot grasp how obscure New Zealand would be for Americas who also don't follow rugby along with cricket. Following sports can really help your geography knowledge and I can name many cities in Europe just because I follow Liverpool. 

Coming back to the show, it has got a very cheap look which goes well with the overall theme. Some of the jokes involve taking things too literally and other sort of word plays. Watching with subtitles on is recommended, especially for the song lyrics. It should be good on re watch as well. The show ran on HBO lasting two series with twenty two episodes in total. They had also done a BBC radio show prior to this. They won a Grammy for Best Comedy Album and was surprised to see Bret McKenzie listed as an academy award winner in the wiki page. It was for a song in the Muppets movie.

Overall it is a great watch with a very different format. Jermaine Clement was the director of 'What We Do In The Shadows', which was one of the funniest film from last year. Taika Waititi, his co-director for that, was also involved with some of the episodes of the Conchords. Clement had speculated on the possibility of a film based on FoC in 2011 but HBO clarified later that it is not in their plans. I don't think it will work well as a film because the main attraction of the story, as referenced in the last episode, is that they start at the bottom-'works hard' while remaining at the bottom- and end the show still at the bottom. If you have any doubts, Murray will explain it for you with a graph having time on X-axis and their social status on Y.

Rating: 4/5