Similar to Tenacious D, Flight of the Conchords (Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie) are a musical-comedy duo whose lack of success is chronicled in an HBO series. The second season is ten episodes, two less than the first, and has been nominated by the Emmy Awards for Best Comedy.
Jemaine and Bret play Jemaine and Bret, former shepherds from New Zealand trying to make it as a folk duo in New York. Their manager Murray (Rhys Darby), a Deputy Cultural Attaché at the New Zealand consulate, is rather inept and has trouble finding the boys work. Devjeet “Dave” Mohumbhai (Arj Barker) works at his parent’s pawnshop, although he denies he still lives with them, and offers advice to help the boys understand America and women. One woman that is easy for them to figure out is their lone fan/stalker Mel (Kristen Schaal) and her tolerant husband, Doug (David Costabile). However, they separate when Jemaine and Bret move in with them after being “Evicted.”
Flight of the Conchords is very funny and deals with unusual circumstances as the fellows struggle for success and love. When Brent buys “The New Cup” because they only have one to share, it throws them into serious debt. This leads them to consider prostitution, and the episode closes with a reggae-influenced song that brings to mind early Police and their hit “Roxanne”. There is also a hysterical pop/dance music video parody called “Sugar Lumps,” playing off Black Eyed Peas’ “My Humps.” In “Prime Minister” Jemaine begins dating a woman who is into him because he performs and dresses like Art Garfunkel.
Apparently Kiwis have issues with Australians and this plays out in the second season. Members of the Australian consulate harass Murray in “The Tough Brets.” Jemaine unknowingly sleeps with an Australian and is horrified, but continues to date her to the consternation of Brett and Murray in, what they would think was the appropriately titled, “Unnatural Love.”
There is a lot of talent involved with the series. Consulting producer and writer of “Love Is The Weapon of Choice,” Paul Simms, wrote for Late Night with David Letterman, The Larry Sanders Show, and created of NewsRadio. Michel Gondry directed “Unnatural Love,” and Taika Waititi, writer/director of Eagle vs. Shark, wrote and directed “Newzealandtown” and directed “Evicted.” Guest appearances included Greg Proops, Jim Gaffigan, Kristen Wiig, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Patton Oswalt. Lucy Lawless, and Seymour Cassel.
Special Features include “Flight of the Conchords: On Air” which covers the creation of the series, although some of the material is related to the first season. The three “Dave’s Pawn Shop Commercials” are funny, as are the “New Zealand Consulate Meetings with Murray & Greg.” There are also 25 minutes of deleted scenes and outtakes.
Fans will be happy to know HBO executives announced at the July 2009 Television Critics Association press tour that there’s an open offer to Clement and McKenzie for a third season of Flight of the Conchords.