Friday, March 21, 2008

Two Favorites Get a Nod at Royal Television Society Awards

Huzzahs are in order for HBO's charming comedy series -- and Flaming Nose favorite -- Flight of the Conchords, which just won the International Award at the prestigious Royal Television Society Programme Awards in London. FotC, which airs on BBC 4 in Britain, was up against Ugly Betty and Heroes. Flight of the Conchords is, the RTS said, “…warm, fabulous, and one of the most surprising, fresh and original TV comedies to arrive in a long time.” We couldn't agree more.

It's sort of interesting because just this week, as HBO Entertainment prez Carolyn Strauss stepped down from her post, presumably because of lackluster ratings for HBO series post-Sopranos, Flight of the Conchords was mentioned in the litany of not-quite-spectacular performers for the network. Don't lose this gem, HBO. If the Brits think it's great, trust definitely is. (FoTC is still airing here and there around the various HBO channels and OnDemand, of course.)

Also coming away with a big prize was probably the most amazing comedy show you've never watched, The Mighty Boosh, which I posted about here a while ago. The Boosh just finished up its third season across the pond, and won in the Situation Comedy and Comedy Drama category. As the RTS said about this completely unique show -- “…beautifully constructed and layered… and oozes originality on so many levels. It is a fresh and invigorating piece of high-concept comedy that has captured the imagination of its target [audience].” Indeed.

Of course, you won't find the brilliant Boosh airing on U.S. TV anywhere. It's obviously much more crucial for BBC America to run replays of the very American Dancing with the Stars show and endless reality programs. I guess we should be grateful that they stuck to their mandate closely enough to bring Torchwood over here.

I don't know how you're going to see much of Boosh around these parts, since the available DVDs are non-US format (which isn't an insurmountable problem, of course) and the usual reliable slightly off-the-radar sources seem to be dropping like flies lately. However, YouTube still has a few things up, including (and you better pounce on this one fast) my very favorite episode of the show entitled Tundra. Part one is here, and part two can be found here, and part three here. Watch it while you can -- I wouldn't expect this will be up there long! (You might also be able to find some material from their live stage show which toured last year and is also out on DVD. Can you imagine any U.S. sitcom troupe touring? Gotta love those brilliant Brits!) Of course, if we were in Britain now, tomorrow night March 22nd we'd be watching a whole night of Boosh on BBC 3 with The Mighty Boosh - A Journey Through Time and Space, where they're running a new documentary, six of the favorite episodes of creators/stars Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding (including Tundra), plus a live Boosh party with the stars of the show. Oh, to be in England....

I'm embedding here the terrific "Tundra Rap" song from the episode, which captures some of the energy and charisma of this tremendous show.

Again, congratulations to two shows which make me so happy to be in love with television!

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