By Damien Monaco and Jeremy Grand
The Flight of the Conchords, which recently finished its first season on HBO, is a musical comedy following the life of two New Zealanders looking for success in New York City.
The Flight of the Conchords originally began as a comedy duo comprised of Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement in their homeland of New Zealand. The Conchords' music can be described as pop and digi-folk. The pair began working together in 1998 when they met at Victoria University of Wellington where they studied film and drama. After doing stand-up for a while, the group received recognition of their achievements by being nominated for the Perrier Comedy Award at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2003, being named Best Alternative Comedy Act at the 2005 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival and Best Newcomer at the Melbourne Comedy Festival.
In 2004, The Flight of the Conchords was regularly featured on Stand Up! on Australia's ABC TV. In 2005, the pair had their own radio series on BBC Radio 2. By making other random appearances on various TV shows and commercials, Bret and Jemaine worked their way to getting their own series on HBO. The first season consists of 12 episodes and the next season has been confirmed to air in 2008.
The Conchords are signed to Sub Pop records and released an EP in August 2007 entitled The Distant Future, consisting of a combination of studio and live songs featured in their HBO series. Their full-length self-titled album was released April 22, featuring 15 tracks, all from their HBO show. The album includes the best and brightest from the series, including the fake French "Foux du Fafa," the almost profane "Mutha'uckas," the futuristic "Robots," and the oddly erotic "Business Time."
The show itself follows the dry-witted misadventures of the New Zealand duo in their never ending quests for fame, girlfriends, and awkward acclamation into American culture. They have one fan, a curly topped groupie named Mel, who follows them around wherever they go, stalking them outside their apartment, and often making blatant sexual gestures towards them (often in front of her fiancée). The Conchords' tour manager, Murray, works and holds meetings out of the wood paneled New Zealand consulate office, trying to get them gigs at aquariums and apartment parties. The show works somewhat like a musical, with numbers for every ridiculous situation, like when Jemaine's girlfriend breaks up with him ("I'm Not Crying") or when the boys make a low budget music video (the hilarious "Robots").
The Flight of the Conchords are something of a kiwi phenomenon, catering to hipsters, foreigners lost in America, and anyone who can appreciate smart, fresh and dry humor, that is, if you're into it.
Published May 13, 2008
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