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Flight of the Conchords -- HBO Series Thread

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Flight of the Conchords -- HBO Series Thread

Old 05-21-07, 01:00 PM
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Flight of the Conchords -- HBO Series Thread



Flight of the Conchords follows the trials and tribulations of a two man, digi-folk band from New Zealand as they try to make a name for themselves in their adopted home of New York City. The band is made up of Bret McKenzie on guitar and vocals, and Jemaine Clement on guitar and vocals.

Bret and Jemaine have moved to New York in the hope of forging a successful music career. So far they've managed to find a manager (whose "other" job is at the New Zealand Consulate), one fan (a married obsessive) and one friend (who owns the local pawn shop) -- but not much else.


First episode is online now:

http://www.hbo.com/conchords/
Old 05-21-07, 01:19 PM
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Awesome! Will watch later this afternoon.
Old 05-21-07, 01:22 PM
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This is NOT a documentary type thing, right?
Old 05-21-07, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by aktick
This is NOT a documentary type thing, right?
No
Old 05-21-07, 01:28 PM
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I think I saw this the first time it was on HBO when it was called "Tenacious D".
Old 05-21-07, 02:25 PM
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I'll check it out...thanks.
Old 05-21-07, 02:41 PM
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Their HBO stand-up special was hilarious. I had never heard of them before, but based on that I'm really looking forward to this.
Old 05-21-07, 03:48 PM
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I'll check this out tonight after Heroes.
Old 05-21-07, 04:10 PM
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It's pretty good... but I don't think it has the staying power of shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm or Extras.
Old 05-21-07, 06:36 PM
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Isn't the guy with the glasses in an Outback steakhouse commercial?
Old 05-21-07, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by cungar
Isn't the guy with the glasses in an Outback steakhouse commercial?
Yes - & that's enough to make me avoid the show.
Old 05-29-07, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Josh
I think I saw this the first time it was on HBO when it was called "Tenacious D".
No, this one's funny.

(Well, the band is funny. The show is so-so so far).
Old 05-29-07, 10:14 PM
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It is mildly amusing. I agree that their music bits are the best.
Old 06-14-07, 10:23 PM
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Positive review in the ny times
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/15/ar....html?ref=arts

The New Zealand Invasion: Digi-Folk Now!

By ALESSANDRA STANLEY
Published: June 15, 2007

It sometimes seems as if there is only one joke, and it’s innocence. From Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton to Jerry Lewis, Will Ferrell and Steve Carell, a comedian is as funny as he is unknowing.

The humor can be physical or verbal, the character boorish or endearing, but the key is a childlike lack of self-awareness.

The heroes of “Flight of the Conchords,” a new series that begins on HBO on Sunday, are as witless as they come. Jemaine and Bret are young New Zealanders adrift in New York who hope to break into the music industry with their “digi-folk” two-man band, also named Flight of the Conchords.

They passively bumble through life and the shabby downtown apartment they share without money or contacts and with barely any friends. They have a fan club of one, Mel (Kristen Schaal), a female stalker; and a band manager, Murray (Rhys Darby), an officious deputy cultural attaché at the New Zealand consulate who promises to find them gigs but refuses to book anything after dark because New York is too dangerous.

“You could be murdered,” Murray warns. “Or even just ridiculed.”

“Flight of the Conchords” is funny in such an understated way that it is almost dangerous to make too much of it — it could collapse like a soufflé when the door slams. It’s much slighter than HBO’s big production comedies like “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Entourage.” It’s also a little sweeter, less a satire of show business than wry self-parody.

And that seems to be the way HBO comedy is headed in the post-“Sopranos” era. The network hasn’t found its next big thing and is instead trying out new material in modest bites. “Conchords” is a summer fling of a series, but it is funny, at times very funny.

As in “The Office,” or Ricky Gervais’s “Extras,” the humor lies in a deadpan exchange of inanities, punctuated by long, puzzled silences. It’s a comic style that’s been around a long time and served up many ways since the 1984 mock-documentary “This Is Spinal Tap.”

What distinguishes “The Conchords” from other, similarly dry, sardonic comedies is that at certain junctures the two heroes freeze the action and burst into song in subtle parodies of pop music videos that are almost plausible and deliciously absurd. The range is impressive, everything from David Bowie-style ’80s pop to rap and reggae.

Jemaine, smitten by a pretty girl he sees across the room at a party, croons:

You could be a part-time model

But you’d probably still have to keep your normal job

A part-time model

Spending part of your time modeling

And part of your time next to me

My place is usually a little tidier than this.

Jemaine is played by Jemaine Clement, the taller, bespectacled half of a real-life music and comedy duo from New Zealand with a cult following in the United States. Bret is Bret McKenzie, the duo’s shorter half. In interviews they have said their series was partly inspired by “Cop Rock,” an ill-fated 1990 show by Steven Bochco that was part crime series, part musical, though even this could be a joke.

Both men are mild and shaggy-haired and speak in flat New Zealand accents that American characters on the show find baffling.

Bret gets a job holding a hot dog sign near City Hall and befriends Coco, a fellow sign holder. When he gives his name, she thinks he has said “Brit.” He explains he is from New Zealand. “Oh, New Zealand,” she says brightly. “There’s Vikings there, right?” Bret politely agrees.

The two friends compete over girls in a subdued, clueless way and sometimes quarrel, but never raise their voices or demand explanations. Nothing seems to perturb their placid befuddlement, not even Murray, who demands a roll call at band meetings in his office, even though it’s just the three of them in the room.

Bret comes home one day with a grocery bag and hands Jemaine a thick sandwich, which he promptly begins eating. When Jemaine asks Bret how he paid for the food, Bret blithely explains that it was free, that he found the bag lying on the street. Jemaine rushes to the sink to spit out the hand-me-down meal, but stops himself.

“I was going to spit it out,” he says calmly. “But I think I’ll just eat it.”

After agreeing that they are quite poor, the duo break into a song, “Inner City Pressure,” in the style of a Pet Shop Boys video.

You know you’re not in high finance

Considering second-hand underpants

Check your mind

How did it get so bad

What happened to those other underpants you had.

The music parodies are clever, but part of the series’s appeal is the sheer novelty of New Zealanders as comic heroes. New Zealand as an obscure and backward country that no American can find on a map is a recurring joke. On the phone Bret assures his mum that no, he doesn’t need a gun, and that she would be amazed at how many television channels there are. He’s not sure how many, actually, but wows her with the assurance that it’s more than four.

“Flight of the Conchords” is cockeyed and a lot of fun. To say much more might ruin it.
Old 06-14-07, 11:26 PM
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I enjoyed it. I need something to watch after Entourage. I'll stick it out all season.
Old 06-14-07, 11:45 PM
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3 1/2 Stars out of 4 in the NY Post

FANTASTIC 'FLIGHT'
TWO BANDMATES TRY TO MAKE IT BIG IN NEW YORK

http://www.nypost.com/seven/06142007...am_buckman.htm

June 14, 2007 -- AND now for something completely different.

Impossible, you say?

Not impossible, I answer - just unlikely.

Nevertheless, here comes "Flight of the Conchords," a new HBO comedy series that is so unlike anything else I have ever seen before that I can hardly believe the concept got sold in the first place.

I always thought TV sales pitches had to be based on something else. Otherwise, TV execs wouldn't understand them.

You know the drill - " 'Two and a Half Men': It's 'The Odd Couple' with a kid!" or " 'Big Love': It's 'The Sopranos' with polygamy!"

But "Flight of the Conchords"? I don't know where this idea sprang from, other than from the minds of these two New Zealanders, Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, who created it and star in it. They're a musical duo billed as folk-music parodists whose band name is Flight of the Conchords.

And if their live act is anywhere near as funny as their new HBO show, then they must be a riot to see in person.

On the TV show, Bret and Jemaine play themselves - bandmates from New Zealand who have moved to New York to seek their fortunes.

Consequently, they wind up living a slacker-ish lifestyle in downtown Manhattan. In other words: They're jobless, starving and living in Chinatown.

While they await news on possible gigs arranged by their hapless "manager," Murray (Rhys Darby) - a paper-shuffling official of the New Zealand Consulate located in a homely Lower East Side storefront - Bret and Jemaine lead lives of clueless, deadpan desperation.

Their main activity is inactivity, except when their deluded fantasies bloom into full-fledged musical numbers whose presentation - from the lyrics to the visuals - is exhilarating to behold.

My favorite: A rap performed in Episode 3 (HBO provided four for preview) in which Bret adopts the rap name Rhyme-noceros and Jemaine becomes Hip-hop-opotamus and raps, "They call me the Hip-hop-opotamus 'cause I glow like phosphorous, poppin' off the top of this esophagus, rockin' this metropolis . . .

"I'm not a water-dwelling mammal! Where did you get that preposterous hypothesis?"

OK, maybe it's not as effective on the printed page and maybe you had to be there, but that's the point.

You should be there on Sunday night to see the premiere of something new and hilarious, and completely different.
Old 06-15-07, 01:09 AM
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Really liked it.. Looking forward to more of it..
Old 06-15-07, 10:23 AM
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I've seen the previews on HBO for some time now, and not one of them even made me smile. I'll still give it a chance though.
Old 06-15-07, 11:12 AM
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I have to say, I really liked it. Liked the style of humor, the songs, and the general cluelessness of the two guys.
Old 06-15-07, 08:56 PM
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Positive review on slate.com
http://www.slate.com/id/2168002/

Flight of the ConchordsA new HBO comedy channels the spirit of Ricky Gervais and Christopher Guest.

By Troy Patterson

The handsomely shaggy-haired new comedy series Flight of the Conchords (HBO, Sundays at 10:30 p.m. ET) succeeds by flopping around in the shameless sweet spot where paying tribute to one's influences, mocking them, and ripping them fully off become inseparable propositions. We've been prepared for its premise—a dim pair of musicians rattle and hum through absurd rock songs—by the only-half-ironic bombast of Tenacious D. The New Zealand-born stars, Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, play incompetent Kiwis named Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, and as this bottom-rung folk duo blunders through New York City, the show's rhythms follow the awkward pauses and instant reversals of Ricky Gervais' office drones and Christopher Guest's obsessives.

Flight of the Conchords samples all these beats to make hipsters hop on lazy Sunday, and the patron saint of the endeavor is the singer Beck—specifically, the Beck who strutted and preened through 1999's Midnite Vultures, a too-ironic-by-half compilation of blue-eyed funk. Indeed, when the Conchords break into the first of the series' many musical numbers, their song initially seems like nothing more than a clever imitation of that album's last track. Bret, moved to lift his voice by the sight of a delicate blonde at an apartment party, lets leak a ludicrous slow jam ("Let's get in a cab/ I'll buy you a kebab") that's the spitting image of "Debra" ("I said, "Lady,/ Step inside my Hyundai").

The placement of this song may leave those viewers already inclined to player-hate the show—its advance publicity has rung obnoxiously loud—with the impression that these jokers have no ideas of their own, but as the first four episodes unfold, it becomes delightfully clear that McKenzie and Clement are upping the ante. They create cute little comic ditties that stand on their own to tease both the delusions of sensitive young men and the pretensions of pop songs. They've got a fair bit of range. Funk songs, dancehall anthems, and power ballads alike come in for parodic treatment. While a robot-themed bit of slagging on Radiohead doesn't really click until its reprise, which features a "binary solo"—"zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero one"—a synth-pop sprechsingen modeled on the Pet Shop Boys' "West End Girls" emerges as a very fine take on starving-artist poverty:

You want to sit down
But you've sold the chair
So, you just stand there

You just stand there

McKenzie, with his glasses and his cleft chin and his inch-wide sideburns, resembles a hybrid of David Cross and someone very handsome. His shtick is self-delusional buffoonery. Clement has a face like a knife and eyes to make all the girls swoon. Coincidentally, his shtick is delusional buffoonery. Please welcome them to these shores with open arms, as in that Journey song, which they really could do something great with. Seriously.
Old 06-17-07, 11:52 PM
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The songs are great..

"I'll buy you a kebab, and I can't believe I'm sharing a kebab with such a beautiful girl."
Old 06-18-07, 03:53 AM
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I can't really explain why, but this played much better tonight than when I watched it online a while back.

das
Old 06-18-07, 08:29 AM
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I thought the show was hilarious. I loved the songs. Especially the robot one and the "I'm not crying".
Old 06-18-07, 09:07 AM
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I enjoyed it. Different, but I was laughing quite a bit.
Old 06-18-07, 09:33 AM
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Loved it, will be sticking around for year. Loved the Eugene Mirman cameo(s) as well.

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