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Flight Of The Conchords season one episode reviews


Episode 1. "Sally" Very funny. We meet two guys from New Zealand (Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie) who have a band, a really bad manager (Rhys Darby) and a crazy fan (Kristen Schaal). This first story shows us what happens when one of the guys starts to date the ex-girlfriend of the other guy. There are several musical numbers, done as fantasy sequences, and there are a lot of laughs. Good show.

Episode 2. "Bret Gives Up The Dream" Not quite as funny as the first one, but this is still a very enjoyable episode. The fantasy musical numbers are superb and the idea that one of the guys might be forced out of the band and replaced by a casette tape is inspired, but a bit slight when used to sustain an entire episode.

Episode 3. "Mugged" Very funny outing in which the two guys get mugged and... one of the guys runs away! Throwing his friend to the wolves, so to speak. Great musical numbers and laugh-out-loud comedy.

Episode 4. "Yoko" Much goodness in this one. Sutton Foster returns as Coko. Who is now Bret's girlfriend, which leads to disharmony in the band. Foster makes Coko utterly sweet and patient, which perfectly contrasts with the lunacy of the band members fighting over her. She seems like a normal person who just happens to be caught up in the chaos, so the audience feels sympathy for her as she suffers.

Episode 5. "Sally Returns" When I started watching this show I assumed the episodes would be more self-contained. Wrong! It's almost a serial, really. A very funny serial, mind you. Bret's ongoing relationship continues to cause friction. Things only get worse when Jemaine starts dating the girl from Episode 1 again. Bret's ex. The ex he is still madly in love with. Of course, this leads the boys to start competing for her affections. Much to the annoyance of Bret's current girlfriend (the wonderful Sutton Foster). Amid the comedy there's some superb musical numbers, including the sublime Business Time (about making love every Wednesday).

Episode 6. "Bowie" My favourite episode so far. With Coco and Sally out of the picture, the boys are single again and we get a completely self-contained episode. The band gets a shot at making some serious money, but Bret is having some body image issues (Murray, the manager, remarks that he's too small). There are several truly hilarious sequences. My favourite is the band meeting to discuss a new photo for band promotion where they discuss the pros and cons of using a photo that doesn't actually include the band but is still a nice photo of people having fun at a party. Murray has mistakenly circled two people in the photo because he thought they were, in fact, Bret and Jemaine. While not as good as last week's Business Time, the show has a great musical number called Bret, You Got It Going On. And a fake David Bowie appears several times (walking on the walls in one dream sequence).

Episode 7. "Drive By" highlights an ugly world. The world of rampant discrimination against New Zealanders. Yes. I said "rampant discrimination against New Zealanders". I mean, who knew? But, there you go. It's very real. Apparently. They can't buy fruit from stands on the street and they are forced to sit at the back of the bus. And on it goes. Ugly, indeed.

This may be the most insane episode yet of Flight of the Conchords. And I say that while fully conscious of the fact that "David Bowie" was walking on the walls in the previous episode. However, in that instance, we were still in the real world. Or, at least, close to it. With this episode, FotC dives full tilt into Crazy World. And it's a blast. The episode, sadly, has no cool songs up to the standard of previous outings, but it has some truly sublime gags.

Episode 8. "Girlfriends" Once again, the show delivers it's best-ever episode. Bret and Jemaine enter the dating scene at the same time, with predicably un-predicable results (and two great new songs). It's hard to pick out a comedy highlight. Eliza Coupe (soon to star on Scrubs) is hilarious as Bret's sex-mad girlfriend. Bret, like most men, is reticent to enter into sexual relations. Understandable. But there's just no stopping her. She uses him, abuses him and then lies to him to ditch him (she says she's shipping out to the war as a sniper!!). June Raphael is just as awesome as Jemaine's lady. Jemaine envies the active sex life that Bret is leading but is somewhat inept when it comes to starting one for himself and his girlfriend. His best attempt is surely his "I don't want to have sex with you" line. Raphael is priceless in this scene. Bewildered and annoyed and impatient in equal measure.

Murray, meanwhile, meets the brother of Quincy Jones and does some major band business: He buys a stereo system.

Every scene is superb. Worthy of instant rewatching. And the songs are fantastic, too. One is entirely made up of random, but popular, French phrases. Genius.

Episode 9. "What Goes On Tour" I think Murray (the band manager) is my favourite character. He gets to appear in every scene here, as he takes the band on tour. He funds the (ill-fated) tour himself, which leads to a series to hilarious phone conversations with his nagging wife. Murray's ineptitude and rose-tinted vision of what the guys are doing is simply hilarious. So are the series of random disasters that befall the guys on their (not at all) epic journey through some tiny, empty venues.

Episode 10. The band acquire some "New Fans" in this episode. Murray remarks that they have tripled the fan base and - as a consequence - will need to buy two more t-shirts. It's another wonderful episode. Mel, the existing fan, gets a lot of screen-time in this episode and her background is fleshed out somewhat. The songs are cool and it's hard to pick a comedy highlight, although the part where they boys are offered a threesome with one fan is especially hilarious. They debate what to do for ages, before trying to flee her appartment by climbing out the bathroom window. Unfortunately it's an interior window and it leads back to her living room!

Episode 11. "The Actor" is such a funny episode I had aches and pains (from laughing) when it was all over. Murray is depressed because he is such a bad manager and cannot get the boys a recording contract. The boys, meanwhile, meet an actor and ask him to phone Murray, pretend to be a record company executive and tell him to keep on trying, cos he's sure to land a contract eventually. They figure this will cheer their friend up. Lovely sentiments. Unfortunately, the actor gets carried away and convinces Murray that the band have just been signed to a 2 million dollar contract with Sony. Helpless to stop it, the boys meekly carry on with the lie as Murray digs them deeper and deeper into debt, in a effort to fit into the rock and roll lifestyle.

It's one of the funniest things I have ever seen.

Episode 12. "The Third Conchord" Brilliant ending to a brilliant first season. The real genius of this show is the way it managed to wring so much comedy from two basic plots: Someone leaves the band, or someone has a girlfriend. These two elements are at the core of nearly every story from this first season, which makes sense given the characters' general ennui. These guys kinda amble through life, not really trying very hard about anything. (Except, of course, in the majestic musical sequences where they come alive.) In this wonderful outing, there is more band disharmony (but this time for a novel new reason) and several stand-out i-want-to-rewind-and-watch-that-again scenes.

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