There are plenty of inside jokes in the series. Although people will pick up on the rivalry between Australia and New Zealand, there are numerous references to New Zealand’s tall poppy syndrome as well as the disdain for New Zealand Telecom and New Zealand Television, and the incessant play on the Kiwi accent. In one particular episode, “Racism,” the boys become entangled with a racist Asian fruit vendor who mistakes them for Australians. There are a lot of inside references for Kiwis (and Aussies) to chew on, but plenty other things for our northern cousins to digest and still enjoy.
There is something very compelling about the two Kiwi boys from New Zealand. At first glance it is a fish out of water story — two budding musicians whose riffs on music genres to create their own view of life’s struggle is intensely engaging. But it is even more than that. Jemaine and Bret have a certain innocence about them. Their attempt to see the best in everyone (except Australians) is not uniquely Kiwi, but it is a compelling part of the culture. They are the hobbits against the reign of the Dark Lords of the New York streets. It is this quality, that they see the best in everyone despite what New York throws at them, that makes the boys so lovable. It is the blind optimism and wholeness of character that makes us wish perhaps there was a little bit of Bret and Jemaine in all of us. We can only hope.
Season two of The Flight of the Conchords is on HBO, Sundays at 10pm.