On December 10, 2009, to the disappointment of their fans, the New Zealand musical-comedy duo of Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, known as Flight of the Conchords, announced on their website their Emmy-nominated HBO series, also known as Flight of the Conchords, was not coming back for a third season. As Sean Connery and Francis Ford Coppola can attest, people should never say “never,” but as it currently stands at the time of this review’s publication, Flight of the Conchords: The Complete Collection is technically accurate in terms of their work on HBO. Presented in a slipcase are the previous DVD releases of the first and second season along with a DVD their HBO One Night Stand comedy special.
From 2005, One Night Stand features the duo for 30 minutes performing six of their funny songs. “Jenny” is about a guy not remembering a gal he dated. “Think About It” draws attention to the plight of the world. “Business Time” is a sexy number about getting down to business. “Albi” tells the story of a racist dragon. They bring da gangster/folk with “Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymnoceros”. Bret goes electric with a keytar that mimics a number of instruments for the closing “Boom”. Except for “Jenny”, they reappear during the series, specifically the first season.
The TV series, similar to HBO’s Tenacious D, chronicles two New Zealanders, Bret McClegnie and Jemaine Clemaine (Bret and Jemaine), who have moved to New York to break into the music business. Over the course of 22 episodes (12 in the first season, 10 in the second), viewers witness their very funny exploits as they struggle with their careers and love lives. Guest stars include John Hodgman, Aziz Ansar, Will Forte, John Turturro, Todd Barry, and Demetri Martin in the first season. Greg Proops, Jim Gaffigan, Kristen Wiig, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Patton Oswalt, Lucy Lawless and Seymour Cassel in the second season.
Two highlights of the series are Murray (Rhys Darby), the Deputy Cultural Attaché at the New Zealand consulate and their agent, and the band’s only fan/stalker Mel (Kristen Schaal). Murray does his best, but causes equal amounts of harm to their career because he’s not very bright. In “Sally,” when talking about the turmoil that can be caused by dating someone a bandmate has already been with, he points to Fleetwood Mac until he remembers they “did make some of their best music back then.” When Bret offers Rumours as an example, Murray deadpans “No, that’s all true.” Mel’s obsession leads her to frequently show up at gigs, outside their home, and on their dates, which eventually begins to wear on her husband Doug (David Costabile).
It’s unfortunate that Flight of the Conchords: The Complete Collection is already available, but many comedy series make the wise decision to stop while the fans still want more because the work is so good rather than running a franchise into the ground. This set provides hours of laughs and is well worth owning.