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Laugh until you cry with Flight of The Conchords

Flight of The Conchords is an American musical-comedy series about the journey of two friends from New Zealand, who together formed a music band and gained fame and success in the city of New York. The show first telecasted on HBO on June 7, 2007. It has completed its two seasons, season 1 in the year 2007 and season 2 in the year 2009. However, the star cast and the producers have confirmed that there will not be a third season for the show. The show was created by James Bobin, Jemaine Clement, and Bret McKenzie. (Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie also played a fictionalized versions of themselves in the show). The other executive producers of the show are Stu Smiley and Troy Miller.

Flight of The Conchords’ Background

Rhys Darby is Murray Hewitt
Rhys Darby is Murray Hewitt

This is a story about two men, Jemaine and Bret, who turned into musicians from being shepherds. The show revolves around their routine lives, how they changed their lives and moved from their hometown in New Zealand to become a successful folk duo in New York. They live a passive life in the shattered downtown apartment they share. They do not have any money, contacts or even a bunch of friends. The only people they actually have any references too are Murray, who is officious deputy cultural attache at the New Zealand consulate and acts as manager to the boys, Mel, who is their only fan and stalker, and Dave Mohumbhai, who is a sole friend of them, working at a pawn shop.

Cast

The five characters form the focal point of the series, while their girlfriends and fellow Australians act as antagonists. The show stars real life duo of Jemaine Clement as Jemaine and Academy Award Winner Bret McKenzie as Bret, the band member of Conchords. Jemaine offers a rather serious personality who tends to overthink over anything and everything and is barely seen smiling. Jemaine plays bass in the band, whereas Bret is the guitar and Piano player, who is always seen wearing dated looking animal t-shirts.

Kristen Schaal is Mel
Kristen Schaal is Mel

Their manager, Murray Hewitt is played by Rhys Darby, an actor and comedian from New Zealand, who has also made appearances in the TV shows like Yes Man, and The Boat That Rocked. Murray has a day job as a Deputy Cultural Attache at the New Zealand Consulate. He seems to be very passionate about the band’s success, but his naivety and ignorance about the music world often comes in the way. He rather fails in each of his attempts at doing anything good for the band. For example, his comments, the likes of which include “you could be murdered, or even just ridiculed”, as he refuses to make bookings after dark, claiming that New York is dangerous, illustrates his incompetence in his job as a manager.

The Conchords Band has the fan following of just one person that is Mel, portrayed by the American actress, voice artist, writer and comedian Kristen Joy Schaal. Mel is obsessed with both Jemaine and Bret and stalks them with great passion, even though she is married to Doug. In one of the episodes, it has also been implied that she has, in fact, gone through legal trouble for stalking.

The Conchords have only one friend in New York – Dave Mohumbhai, who is portrayed by the Australian stand-up comedian Arj Barker. Dave, clearly overestimated by Bret and Jemaine, is often seen giving them love advice about the American women. He works at his family owned pawn shop and still lives with his parents, which he tries to hide claiming his parents to be his crazy roommates who likes to pretend to be his parents.
The other members of the cast include Greg (Frank Wood), Eugene (Eugene Mirman), Doug (David Costabile), Coco (Sutton Faster), Sally (Rachel Blanchard), John (Lenny Venito), Bryan (Brian Sergent) and an Australian ambassador (Alan Dale).

Development

Jemaine Clement is himself in the show
Jemaine Clement is himself in the show

Based on the successful radio series of the same name, premiered on BBC Radio 2, the show was created by Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie and James Bobin. The show was first broadcasted on HBO in 2007 and received a million views for the first season. The first season came out in June 2007, and the announcement for the second season was made in august 2007. The decided time for the premiere of the second season was 2008, which was later postponed to 2009. McKenzie claimed that the script writing for the second season took them a lot longer than the first, as they have used almost all their material while writing the first season.

The second season however, had only ten episodes. Where the first season was not given any such privilege, the second season was filmed in high definition. Sadly, McKenzie and Clement made the announcement of no third season in December 2009.

Performance

Bret McKenzie plays himself in the show
Bret McKenzie plays himself in the show

Flight of The Conchords has been rewarded with a positive critical acclaim where its comical style reminds us of the mock-documentary This Is Spinal Tap (1984). The audience too have enjoyed this hilarious show where humor falls in a deadpan exchange of inanities, companied by long and puzzled silences. When the show debuted in the year 2007, it registered a viewership of 100,000, whereas the second season gathered 250,000 in only the first ten days.
The show has been nominated for many awards over the time. The star cast pair was rewarded with the status of “2007, Wellingtonians of the year” in their home town. Other than this, the show was nominated under the category of “Best Television Series, Comedy Or Musical” in Satellite Awards, 2007. The show was also nominated many times in Emmy Awards, Televsion Critic Association, Writer Guild Of America and many more.

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