|Flight of the Conchords|
Flight of the Conchords intertitle.
|Created by||James Bobin
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||22 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||James Bobin
|Location(s)||New York City|
|Camera setup||Single camera|
|Running time||approx. 26 min.|
|Original run||June 17, 2007 – March 22, 2009|
Flight of the Conchords was an American television comedy series that followed the adventures of the Flight of the Conchords, a two-man novelty band from New Zealand, as its members seek fame and success in New York City. The show starred the real-life duo, Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, who play fictionalized versions of themselves.
The show was created by Clement, McKenzie and James Bobin. Bobin serves as the show's main writer and director. The first episode of the series aired on HBO in 2007. Season 2 of Flight of the Conchords premiered on HBO and HBO Canada in 2009.
On December 11 2009, the duo announced that they will not be returning for a third season.
The series centers on the day-to-day lives and loves of two shepherds-turned-musicians, Jemaine and Bret (Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, playing fictionalised versions of themselves), who have uprooted themselves from their native New Zealand to try to make it big as a novelty folk duo in New York City. The two have frequent appointments with their band manager, Murray Hewitt (Rhys Darby), a Deputy Cultural Attaché at the New Zealand consulate, who is overly officious and ineffectual. Jemaine and Bret constantly fend off the amorous attentions of Mel (Kristen Schaal), a married woman who is their sole fan and stalker. Their friend Dave Mohumbhai (Arj Barker) works at a pawn shop and gives them advice on dealing with American women and culture. Other recurring characters include their landlord, Eugene (played by Eugene Mirman), Bret's short-term girlfriend Coco (Sutton Foster), Jemaine and Bret's ex-girlfriend Sally (Rachel Blanchard) and Murray's put-upon assistant Greg (Frank Wood).
Jemaine or Bret break into song periodically throughout each episode. The songs are built into the narrative structure of the show in several different ways. Some songs form part of the plot of the show. In these instances, Bret or Jemaine sing to another character. Other songs serve as the internal monologue of one of the two. Typically, at least once per show, a song is shot in the form of a music video. Some songs use a combination of the styles. For example, in the first episode, "Sally", the song "Most Beautiful Girl in the Room" is a mix of Jemaine's inner thoughts, which are inaudible to those around him, and his spoken invitations to Sally to get a kebab and to go back to his place, while the music video for "Business Time" (from "Sally Returns") depicts a daydream that Jemaine is having. As the series has evolved, other main characters have also had their own musical interludes that are depicted in a similar manner to Jemaine and Bret's own songs.
The enthusiastic manner in which the characters express themselves through song is in stark contrast to the very low-key, monotone manner in which the characters express themselves throughout the rest of the show. Thus, when the characters cannot verbalize their feelings, the songs serve as inner monologues and explain the thoughts and feelings they are unable to communicate to others.
|Jemaine Clemaine||Jemaine Clement||Band member; plays bass among other things. Bret's roommate. He rarely smiles or laughs and typically over thinks even the most mundane situations.|
|Bret McClegnie||Bret McKenzie||Band member; plays guitar and piano. Jemaine's roommate.|
|Murray Hewitt||Rhys Darby||Murray is the band's manager. His day job is Deputy Cultural Attaché at the New Zealand consulate. He has few friends and an on-and-off relationship with his never-seen wife, Shelley. While he is passionate about the band and aspires to be a successful manager, he is largely incompetent in his well-meaning attempts at promoting the Conchords.|
|Mel||Kristen Schaal||Mel is the Conchords' lone fan and stalks them obsessively in pursuit of a romantic liaison despite the fact that she is married to Doug, her former college professor. In the episode "Bowie" she claims that she is a Junior Professor of Psychology. In "New Fans" it is implied that she has been through legal trouble for stalking.|
|Devjeet "Dave" Mohumbhai||Arj Barker||A friend of Bret and Jemaine who works at his family's pawn shop "Mohumbhai & Son" and dispenses off-kilter advice about women and life in America. He still lives with his parents, though tries to cover it up by pretending they are his crazy roommates who just think they are his parents. Bret and Jemaine overestimate Dave's pseudo-womanizing personality and often go to him for relationship advice.|
A number of characters have appeared in more than one episode.
|Greg||Frank Wood||Murray's assistant at the consulate. In the episode "The Actor", it was suggested that he is Murray's only friend besides Bret and Jemaine, though Murray has stated otherwise.||101, 102, 105, 106, 107, 111, 112, 201, 203, 207, 209, 210|
|Eugene||Eugene Mirman||Bret and Jemaine's landlord, who often interjects into conversations in which he is not welcome. He has appeared in several musical sequences, and appears to be proficient in several instruments including saxophone & steel drums. He is often seen involved in fixing the plumbing in the building and in Bret and Jemaine's apartment.||101, 102, 103, 105, 108, 111, 112, 202, 206, 209, 210|
|Doug||David Costabile||Mel's husband. When Doug appears in an episode it is usually because he is driving Mel to a band gig or stalking mission. In the episode "Bowie" it is revealed that he was previously the Senior Professor of Psychology at the university which Mel attended, but was fired and is now unemployed. It's implied in the episode "New Fans" that he and his family had a restraining order against Mel at one point before he married her, and he also had a problem with addiction at some point in the past. It is also implied in the same episode that Doug lost his job for starting a relationship with Mel, who at the time was one of his students.||101, 102, 106, 109, 110, 201, 203, 207, 209, 210|
|Coco||Sutton Foster||Bret's girlfriend for several episodes. Bret and Coco meet while working as part-time sign holders. They break up in the "Sally Returns" episode because it's clear that Bret still has feelings for Sally.||102, 104, 105|
|Sally||Rachel Blanchard||Bret's former girlfriend. She dates Jemaine briefly on two separate occasions, but eventually accepts a marriage proposal from a rich Australian in the episode "Sally Returns".||101, 105|
|John||Lenny Venito||A mugger who once mugged Bret and Jemaine but befriends Jemaine while they share a jail cell. It was later revealed that he once killed a monkey. He returned in the episode "Wingmen" when he and Jemaine mugged Bret in an attempt to make Bret look cool in front of a girl.||103, 209|
|Bryan||Brian Sergent||The laid back, uncouth Prime Minister of New Zealand. He is disengaged with the affairs of his country and prefers to occupy his time with pointless capers in the United States. He is fond of drinking and appears to be intellectually challenged. After watching the film Cars on his flight to the United States, he suggests that his country ought to have talking cars, like in the film.||207, 208|
|David Armstrong||John Hodgman||Manager of a greeting card company with which the Conchords sign a recording contract.||106|
|Sinjay||Aziz Ansari||A fruit vendor who discriminates against Bret and Jemaine because he mistakes them for Australians.||107|
|Ben||Will Forte||A semi-professional actor the band hires to speak with Murray about a record deal rejection.||111|
|Todd||Todd Barry||A bongo player who joins Bret and Jemaine as "The Third Conchord". Later he forms The Crazy Dogggz with Demetri.||112|
|Demetri||Demetri Martin||A keytar player who forms a new band with Bret. Later he forms The Crazy Dogggz with Todd.||112|
|Martin Clark||Greg Proops||President/CEO of an agency which hires Bret and Jemaine to write a jingle for a new, "women-only" toothpaste.||201|
|Jim||Jim Gaffigan||Murray's best friend.||204|
|Keitha||Sarah Wynter||An Australian with whom Jemaine falls in love and plans to elope, but tricks him and robs their apartment while he's waiting for her.||205|
|Brahbrah||Kristen Wiig||A woman with whom Jemaine and Bret both fall in love, she has a lazy eye and a missing epileptic dog called Charlie.||206|
|Karen||Mary Lynn Rajskub||An Art Garfunkel fanatic, she has a brief affair with Jemaine.||207|
|Elton John impersonator||Patton Oswalt||An Elton John impersonator who Bret and Jemaine meet while impersonating Simon & Garfunkel.||207|
|Paula||Lucy Lawless||A New Zealand tourism official and old friend of Bryan, the Prime Minister.||208|
Fleeting cameo appearances by famous people, especially singers and musicians, have been a feature of the show.
|Pawn Shop Patron||Judah Friedlander||A man that tries to pawn a cake to Dave.||101|
|Fruit Stand Patron||Kevin Allison||A man who is serviced before Jemaine and Bret, although he was behind them in line, at a fruit stand run by an anti-Australian man who mistakes the duo for Aussies.||107|
|Club Owner||Kate Pierson||A club owner that turns the band away from a scheduled gig due to their reputation for causing damage.||109|
|Club MC||Daryl Hall||The MC of the Tuesday World Music Jam at which the Conchords play. He introduces them as "Flute of the Commodores" and ushers them quickly off stage several bars into "Rock the Party".||110|
|Himself||John Turturro||In a scene that runs during the closing credits, Turturro plays himself playing a cop in a fictional Martin Scorsese movie, entitled “The Drycleaner”.||111|
|Australian Ambassador||Alan Dale||An ambassador from Australia who makes fun of Murray and Jemaine.||203|
|Bouncer||Randy Jones||A nightclub bouncer who leads an all-male conga line.||205|
|Himself||Art Garfunkel||Saves Jemaine from a woman (Mary Lynn Rajskub) who makes him dress up like Art Garfunkel and have sex with her (aka "Garfunkeling" by Jemaine).||207|
In the 2007 Satellite Awards the show was nominated for "Best Television Series, Comedy or Musical".
The pair were awarded with the status of "2007 Wellingtonians of the Year" in their home town after their international success blossomed that year.
The show received four Emmy Award nominations in 2008. "Sally Returns" was nominated for "Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series", "Yoko" was nominated for "Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series" and two songs, "Most Beautiful Girl In The Room" and "Inner City Pressure", were nominated for "Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics".
Also in 2008, the Writers Guild of America nominated the show for three awards: "Comedy Series", "Episodic Comedy" (for "Sally Returns") and for "New Series". The Television Critics Association nominated them for "Outstanding Achievement in Comedy" and "Outstanding New Program of the Year".
In 2009, the show was nominated for six Emmy Awards. It was nominated in the categories of Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series (for the episode 'The Tough Brets'), Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Jemaine Clement), Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics (for the song 'Carol Brown'), Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half Hour) and Animation, and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (for the episode 'Prime Minister').
The show has received a generally positive reaction from critics. Season 1 has a 68/100 rating based on 15 reviews on metacritic.com, while season 2 has an 80/100 rating, based on 10 reviews. The best reviews were from the Detroit Free Press, whose critic described it as "TV's most original and irresistible new comic concoction" and the San Francisco Chronicle, whose reviewer stated that it "may well be the funniest thing you've seen in ages." At the opposite end, the Miami Herald reviewer wrote that it "feels less like a sitcom than a Saturday Night Live sketch stretched out to about six times its shelf-life." On IMDb Flight of the Conchords receives a rating of 9.0/10.
On August 17, 2007, HBO announced a second season for Flight of the Conchords, originally set to premiere in 2008, but which was postponed to January 2009. Prior to the announcement, Jemaine Clement stated in an interview with The New Zealand Herald, "[HBO] is interested in doing another series but we have to think about it. It's not a definite offer but they have talked about us starting writing but we've got other things we want to do as well". McKenzie stated that the second season took longer to produce because the band had used most of their material in the first season. In an interview with The Star Ledger, he said "We'd need some time to develop new material. It's like the second album syndrome. It might take a lot longer". Shortly after the renewal announcement, Clement stated in an interview that the second season would likely consist of fewer than twelve episodes "so they could concentrate on 'quality not quantity'".
McKenzie and Clement returned to their home town of Wellington to write for the second season, although the writing process was delayed by the 2007–2008 Writers Strike. Filming for the 10 episode second series began in September 2008. That same month, McKenzie and Clement were quoted in a Q interview that the second season would most likely be the last.
The second season of the show premiered on January 18, 2009 on HBO. Unlike the first season, the second season was filmed and broadcast in High Definition. The first episode of the season has been made available for streaming at http://www.hbo.com/conchords.
In Australia, the second season of the show first aired on June 8, 2009 on SBS. SBS also made the episodes available for streaming (from within Australia only). The DVD of the second season was released in Australia on July 29, 2009 .
On December 11, 2009, McKenzie and Clement announced that the show will not return for a third season. Clement had previously stated that writing the show took up a great deal of time.
Filming for the series took place at a variety of locations and landmarks around New York City. Flight of the Conchords has, however, been consistent with its geography with respect to their neighbourhood. Some of the primary locations are listed below. Information on locations specific to particular episodes may be found on the page for that episode. Transition shots and out-of-studio location shoots have been in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan. Most street scenes were filmed in Lower Manhattan or the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn.
|Bret and Jemaine's apartment||28 Henry Street, Chinatown|
|New Zealand consulate||232 East Broadway|
|Dave's pawn shop||Around the corner from the 'Consulate'. 10 Montgomery Street|
|Steiner Studios||15 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn. Indoor stages for season one filming.|
|Broadway Stages||Indoor stages for season two filming.|
Flight of the Conchords is aired on the following stations around the world:
|Country||TV Network(s)||Series Premiere|
|Australia||Network Ten & Channel [V] & SBS - (series two)||May 11, 2008|
|Canada||MC/TMN/ The Comedy Network (series one) & HBO Canada (series two)||June 17, 2007|
|China||China Central Television-HBO||May 10, 2009|
|France||TPS Star||March 22, 2008|
|Hungary||HBO||March 1, 2008|
|Mexico||HBO||September 3, 2008|
|New Zealand||Prime, The BOX||September 17, 2007|
|Philippines||HBO||September 3, 2008|
|Saudi Arabia||America Plus (Middle East and North Africa)||2009|
|Spain||TNT||November 19, 2008|
|Sweden||SVT||June 20, 2008|
|United Kingdom||BBC Four||September 25, 2007|
|United States||HBO||June 17, 2007|
Flight of the Conchords (17 June 2007—22 March 2009) follows the lives of two New Zealanders, living in New York, who are trying to break into the American music industry with their comedy singles.
"Jemaine" "[as David Bowie]": Wear the eye patch Bret, wear the funky, funky eye patch.
(Bret and Murray leave the pawn shop, still looking for Jemaine)
Bret: Send a cheque in a letter to make a Setter feel better.
Jemaine: Come on, make a donation to save a shaky Dalmatian.