Flight of the Conchords—Season 1

flight of the conchords season 1 poster review episode guide
9.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 10/10

Great songs, fun show

Nothing

flight of the conchords season 1 title card review episode guide list

The Conchords Take Flight!

Flight of the Conchords (Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie) are a hot, up & coming folk band from New Zealand (the fourth most popular one there!).  Jemaine and Bret (like most famous musicians) have girls all over them and tour dates spanning the city, but this type of fame isn’t all that it is cracked up to be.  Sure they aren’t quite there yet, they only have one fan named Mel (Kristen Schaal) and their manager Murray (Rhys Darby) has to split his time between managing and his job at the New Zealand consulate, but with Bret and Jemaine’s spirit, they are sure to make it.

Flight of the Conchords—Season 1 is a musical comedy.  The first season ran from June 17, 2007 to September 2, 2007 on HBO and received Primetime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series (“Sally’s Return”), Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics (“In the Room” and “Inner-City Pressure”), and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (“Yoko”).

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Flight of the Conchords…a bit of New Zealand for everyone!

I loved Flight of the Conchords.  I first saw it just as Flight of the Conchords—Season 2 was starting and fell in love with the humor and songs.  With a great cast with perfect comic timing (and even some fun guest stars), Flight of the Conchords is a winner.

The series is entirely surreal, but the logic presented in Flight of the Conchords makes some bizarre sense in the world Bret and Jemaine inhabit.  They are never going to make it, and despite having truly catchy songs, the band is a non-band.  The series plays with this idea of manufactured fame and success, and each episode is a joy to unwrap.

Jemaine, Bret, and the entire regular supporting cast do a great job in the quirky show.  While Jemaine is the self-deprecating character, Bret is the quiet and reserved character.  The two play off each other and feel like real friends…who are in a way bitter rivals at the same time.  Rhys Darby in the painfully honest worst manager in the world.  While the lack of success could be pinned on Bret and Jemaine’s behavior, Murray does enough to sabotage the band as well.  In my opinion, the undersold scene stealer is the fangirl Mel played by Kristen Schaal.  Schaal’s obsession and love for the band knows no boundaries (which is even sadder when you learn she is married with a husband).

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Mel’s fantasy

What really sells it though is the music.  Each song generally takes a popular style or even specific bands and turns them into parodies that are really their own song.  It isn’t like Weird Al Yankovic, but the smart adaptations have the same clever spin.  Songs like “Inner City Pressure” in “Bret Gives Up the Dream” are almost identical to Pet Shop Boys’ “West End Girls” with a style of music video to match.  It is both a parody and an homage.

This highly stylized shooting combined with the repetition of episodes really gets viewers into the flow after one or multiple viewings.  Flight of the Conchords is one of those series you can watch multiple times and see different things in the actors’ presentation and performance and have a better understanding for the characters if you go back to the earlier episodes after watching the later episodes.  If you skipped Flight of the Conchords when it was on and you are a fan of music, check it out.  With only 12 half hour episodes a season and two seasons, it isn’t that much of a commitment.  Let the Conchords fly!

Flight of the Conchords—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

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“Sally”

1.1              Sally Airdate:  06/17/07

Jermaine (Jemaine Clement) finds himself in conflict with his bandmate Bret (Bret McKenzie) when he starts seeing Bret’s old girlfriend Sally (Rachel Blanchard).  As Murray (Rhys Darby) tries to increase the Conchord’s fan base beyond Mel (Kristen Schaal), he decides to make a music video.  Features the songs “The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room),” “Not Crying,” and “The Humans Are Dead”

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“Bret Gives Up the Dream”

1.2              Bret Gives Up the Dream Airdate:  06/24/07

Bret and Jemaine find they have no money and decide to get jobs.  When Bret gets a job as a sign spinner, he meets a coworker named Koko (Sutton Foster) who he finds could be a potential love interest.  When Murray gets the Conchords a job, Bet has to choose between the band and his budding career.  Features the songs “Inner City Pressure,” “Boom,” and “Rock the Party”

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Mugged

1.3              Mugged Airdate:  07/01/07

When Bret and Jemaine are the victims of street crime, Bret abandons Jemaine to the muggers.  Bret, Murray, and Dave (Arj Baker) have to find Jermaine when he is missing after the attack.  Features the songs “Hiphopapotamus vs. Rhymenoceros” and “Think About It”

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Yoko

1.4              Yoko Airdate:  07/08/07

When Bret starts seeing Koko, Jemaine gets in the way.  Bret decides to move in with Koko, and Murray realizes that Koko is just another Yoko.  Features the songs “If You’re Into It/Coco’s Song” and “Pencils in the Wind/Sellotape”

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Sally Returns

1.5              Sally Returns Airdate:  07/15/07

Bret and Koko’s relationship is developing and Jemaine finds himself meeting up with Sally again.  When Jemaine moves out, Bret realizes that Sally is more interesting than Koko.  Features the songs “Business Time” and “Song for Sally”

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Bowie

1.6              Bowie Airdate:  07/22/07

Bret is feeling inadequate and having nightly pick-me-up visits from David Bowie.  When Jemaine tries to get Mel to cheer Bret up, Jemaine finds he has a low self-esteem.  With both Conchords having problems, will Murray’s attempt to sign a greeting card deal fall through?  Features the songs “Bret, You’ve Got It Going On” and “Bowie/Bowie’s in Space”

 

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Drive By

1.7              Drive By Airdate:  07/29/07

Bret and Jemaine find a fruit vendor (Aziz Ansari) is discriminating against them because they are from New Zealand.  Plus Murray discovers love for the office’s new tech consultant.  Features the songs “Albi the Racist Dragon,” “Mutha’uckas,” and “Leggy Blonde”

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Girlfriends

1.8              Girlfriends Airdate:  08/05/07

When Jemaine asks Bret to be his wingman, Bret ends up getting the girl.  Plus, Murray finds he might have found a music-in for the group with a man claiming to be Quincy Jones’ brother.  Features the songs “Foux Du Fa Fa” and “K.I.S.S.I.N.G./A Kiss Is Not a Contract”

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What Goes on Tour?

1.9              What Goes on Tour? Airdate:  08/12/07

Murray arranges a tour with a grand finale in Central Park…when Murray, Bret, and Jemaine hit the road, who knows what could happen.  Features the songs “Mermaid” and “Rock the Party”

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New Fans

1.10          New Fans Airdate:  08/19/07

Bret and Jemaine play a world music night and get two new fans.  The new fans have plans for Bret and Jemaine, and the acid they provide them, could make for an interesting evening.  Features the songs “Ladies of the World/Something Special for the Ladies,” “The Prince of Parties,” and “Rock the Party”

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The Actor

1.11          The Actor Airdate:  08/26/07

The Conchords meet an actor named Ben (Will Forte) and hire him to cheer Murray up by offering a fake record deal.  When Ben’s character Stefan gets too into his role, Bret and Jemaine end up having to make a Lord of the Rings music video while trying to tell Murray the truth.  Features the songs “Cheer Up, Murray” and “Frodo (Don’t Wear the Ring)”

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The Third Conchord

1.12          The Third Conchord Airdate:  09/02/07

Murray hires a third Conchord for the band without asking Bret or Jemaine, and Todd (Todd Barry) and his bongs begin taking over.  When Todd wants to form Crazy Dogggz, Bret could be out of a job or find a new partner in Demetri (Demetri Martin).  Features the songs “Bret’s Angry Dance” and “Doggy Bounce”.

Related Links:

Flight of the Conchords—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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