Sunday, July 8, 2007
FLIGHT of the CONCHORDS debuted a few weeks ago after the final episode of The Sopranos on HBO. It is currently paired with the hilarious ENTOURAGE, a spot-on half hour comedy that follows the show biz shenanigans of a youthful "frat-pack" in Hollywood. The FLIGHT is also about a couple of lads who want to get into the business, but that is where the similarity to THE ENTOURAGE ends. In this case, the boys are New Zealand folk musicians, who exist on the most thread bare fringes of New York City existence. While the boys of Entourage flaunt their designer clothes poolside in Malibu, the boys of Conchord shuffle around the not good neighborhoods of Manhattan dressed in plaid lumberjack coats and corduroy pants. Bret (the shy, easygoing bearded one) and Jermaine (the Mick Jagger lipped, glasses wearing "funny" one), are unknown, unloved and unsung. But that doesn't stop them from breaking into their own songs from time to time, which are strange, yet oddly catchy alt-folk ditties about the stress of life in the big city. Some of these songs can be downloaded off of MySpace (check it out!) and the HBO web site. Be sure to listen to Hip-Hopopotomus, which is as funny, geeky and white-boy sounding as hip-hop is ever going to get.
Bret and Jermaine are joined by other oddball regulars including their worthless and inept agent Murray (reminiscent of the loser agent on The Extras), and the somewhat disturbing Mel, who is the plain Jane, self professed "#1 fan" of the Conchords. Mel spends her days stalking Bret and Jermaine, cornering them on the street while they squirm like a couple of flies in a spider web.
FLIGHT of the CONCHORDS is part "Monkees", part "Cop Rock" with a dash of HBO quirky and three tablespoons of some flavor you've never had before mixed in. It can get a little slow at times, but for my money the program always perks up whenever Jermaine is the focus of the scene. He is fascinating in a sexy/not-sexy kind of way and very hard to ignore. The official HBO site actually describes him as looking like "an ogre who works in a library". If that doesn't make you want to tune in, I don't know what would!