Flight of the Conchords is an American television comedy series that was first shown on HBO on June 17, 2007. The show follows the adventures of Flight of the Conchords, a two-man band from New Zealand, as its members seek fame and success in New York City. The show stars the real-life duo, Jemaine Clement and the Academy Award winner Bret McKenzie, who play fictionalized versions of themselves. A second season was announced on August 17, 2007, and shown from January 18 2009. On December 11, 2009, the duo confirmed that the series would not return for a third season.
Throughout its run, Flight of the Conchords received positive critical reception, with its second season scoring 80/100 on Metacritic. The show has received 10 Emmy Award nominations, including “Outstanding Comedy Series” and “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series” for Jemaine Clement, both in 2009.
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 fictionalized versions of themselves), who have uprooted themselves from their native New Zealand to try to make it big as a folk duo in New York City. The two have frequent appointments with their officious and ineffectual band manager, Murray Hewitt (Rhys Darby), a Deputy Cultural Attaché at the New Zealand Consulate. 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 (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).
Most episodes center on the five main cast members. The antagonists outside of this small group are usually either their girlfriends or Australians (see “Bret Gives Up the Dream”, “Sally Returns”).
Jemaine or Bret break into song in 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 thoughts and his spoken invitations to Sally to get a kebab and to go back to his place. 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, depicted in a similar manner to Jemaine and Bret’s own songs.
The enthusiastic manner in which the characters express themselves through song contrasts with the otherwise low-key tone of the show. Thus, when the characters cannot speak about their feelings, the songs serve as inner monologues.
Learn more about the concepts, principles and symbolism behind the subliminals found in this television series: