The Complete Second Season
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All photos © HBO
Reviewed by Jim Washington
kay, “Flight of the Conchords” review meeting. I’ll just call the roll. Reviewer, (present), readers (sound off one by one, please). On the agenda, the second season of HBO’s comedy “Flight of the Conchords.” Items include a feminine toothpaste commercial, getting Murray back as manager, Bret forming a gang, Jemaine dating an Australian, and Bret and Jemaine both falling for a girl with an epileptic dog, among others.
“Flight of the Conchords” follows the exploits of New Zealand’s fourth most popular folk parody duo, made up of Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, still trying to make it in Manhattan. At their side, as always, is manager Murray Hewitt (Rhys Darby), who also works at the New Zealand consulate; their lone fan Mel (Kristen Schaal), who really, really likes the guys; and Dave (Arj Barker), a guy who owns a pawn shop and usually doesn’t remember their names. Working against them is the fact that they don’t have work visas and, truthfully, they’re not very smart. But they are extremely funny, and that’s what matters, right?
What made the first season so gaspingly funny was the unexpectedness and surrealism – who are these guys, and are they for real? With a season under their belts, the show’s creators, including McKenzie and Clement, now must walk a fine line between maintaining what we know and love about these Kiwis, as well as keeping things fresh. In the second season, that includes expanded roles for supporting characters (Dave raps! Mel sings! Murray goes operatic!) and a slew of guest stars.
That means an episode directed by Michael Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,”) in which Jemaine dates an Australian girl, much to the dismay of Murray and Bret. Kristen Wiig of “Saturday Night Live” shows up as a woman with an epileptic dog who both the boys fall in love with, and Mary Lynn Rajskub plays a rabid Simon & Garfunkel fan who will only sleep with Jemaine when he’s dressed up as Art Garfunkel (which leads to another wonderful guest spot.) Jim Gaffigan also stops by as Murray’s other friend, Jim, who the guys have never met. Jemaine considers him a dick, which leads to the guys falling off Murray’s friend axis and one of the best lines of the season (“Maybe you’re the dick, Jemaine. There’s some of your own dick medicine for you.”)
The show’s strength is still the charm of the lead actors, the drop-dead comedic timing of Darby as Murray (the show’s secret weapon), and the writing. Here’s a lovely bit from the first show of the season, as the guys try to pinpoint things women like:
Bret: “Women‘s rights?”
Jemaine: “Nah, that‘s more of a man‘s thing.”
Bret: “Um, no, definitely a woman’s thing.”
Jemaine: “Nah, my father’s a woman’s rights activist.”
Bret: “Your Dad? Not your Mom?”
Jemaine: “Mom? No, Dad would never allow that.”
Also, you can’t go wrong with a song called “Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor.” It’s funny because it’s true. That’s it. End of meeting.
Special Features: The set's extras include an amusing behind-the-scenes documentary about the duo and their rise from the comedy circuit to TV stardom, plus some personal tidbits (Jemaine likes to sleep and has a funny laugh). Other extras are some hit-and-miss deleted scenes, outtakes and more Murray, which is always welcome.