Synopsis by Hal Erickson
This rollicking HBO offering chronicled the misadventures of Flight of the Conchords, a two-man "digi-folk" band from New Zealand. It could do nothing less -- starring in the half-hour series was Flight of the Conchords, a genuine two-man digi-folk band from New Zealand consisting of comedians Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, who created the property in concert (no pun intended) with James Bobin. The two protagonists, cleverly named Jemaine and Bret, had come all the way from their mother country to hit it big in New York City. There were only two things keeping them from skyrocketing to stardom: they never seemed to get any decent bookings, and they were bloody awful. Doing rather less than his best to make household names out of Jemaine (the one with the glasses) and Bret (the one with the beard) was their agent-manager Murray (Rhys Darby), whose day job as a cultural attaché at the New Zealand Consulate's tourism division gave him plenty of free time -- if not plenty of money -- to arrange such gigs as a retro rock video in which the boys were dressed in ill-fitting cardboard robot suits, and an outdoor concert in Central Park (the wrong Central Park in the wrong city, worse luck). Evidently, Murray was one of only three people in Manhattan who even acknowledged the existence of Flight of the Conchords. The other two were the president -- and only member -- of the band's fan club, an overaged groupie named Mel (Kristen Schaal), who obsessively and lustfully dogged the boys' path, usually chauffeured by her unbelievably unflappable husband; and Dave (Arj Barker), who owned the pawnshop where Jemaine and Bret's instruments were habitually in hock. The series' semi-improvised dialogue and surrealistic storylines were counterpointed by fantasy musical sequences, which gaudily spoofed the music-video clichés of the past three decades; these vignettes were invariably better than Flight of the Conchords' actual performances, though not by much. Though probably best appreciated by "insiders" in the music business, Flight of the Conchords was broad enough in appeal to tickle the fancy of any comedy fan, while retaining just enough deadpan subtlety to induce quiet chuckles along with the belly laughs. The series debuted June 17, 2007.