Monday, June 25, 2007

Conchords take off

I'm a little weary of HBO's run of showbiz comedies, but the Kiwi-accented Flight of the Conchords, which airs following channel retainer Entourage, is distinctive enough to earn a recommendation after two episodes. The "folk comedy" duo Flight of the Conchords are New Zealanders Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, who, with no following whatsoever Stateside, are in New York hoping to make it big, if they can just summon the required wherewithal and motivation. The comedy is deadpan, Jim Jarmusch-meets-Extras noodling, not entirely fresh but put over well enough by the likably geeky pair. Where the show sings is in their dead-on song parodies; a fake video for a Styx-ian robots-themed number was the highlight of the first episode, followed by McKenzie's raucous rap love theme addressed to Tony-winning guest star Sutton Foster in the second. Two other reasons that I added Conchords to our DVR: The New York talent, and the freewheeling use of locations throughout the boroughs. Flight may prove to be the Williamsburg hipster-era equivalent of The Monkees.

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