Flight of the Conchords: The Complete Collection

Flight of the Conchords: The Complete Collection
New Zealand's "fourth most popular guitar-based, digi-bongo, a cappella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo" are masters of their domain, but they're also masters of keeping their fans appeased while they decide what to do next. Flight of the Conchords' remarkable rise from obscure pair of quirky, guitar-toting Kiwis to hit HBO series is on full display with this Complete Collection. The show's first season was the entry point into the duo's work for many. Playing fictionalized versions of themselves, Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement are a couple of transplants trying to make it with their music in the Big Apple, with help from their contact at the New Zealand consulate, the hapless Murray (Rhys Darby), their only fan, Mel (Kristen Schaal), and pawn shop manager Dave (Arj Barker). With their brand of self-deprecating, fish-out-of-water humour, Bret and Jemaine's strength is in turning everyday occurrences into metaphorical flashes of genius. As shrewd and inventive as the jokes and story arcs are, it's the Conchords' songs, like the blue-eyed soul of "The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room)" and the yuk-yuk gangsta rap of "Mutha'uckas," that make them such an anomaly. The second season sees a slight dip in quality, more so in the songs than scripts. Still, it's amazing to see how these guys can turn simple things, like an addiction to hair gel or dating the enemy (in this case, an Australian), into such delicious comic fodder. Of course, the first two seasons were previously available separately, but the DVD release of their One Night Stand special is included here as well. Taped in 2005, a year before they landed the HBO series, this 30-minute concert makes a nice addendum to the duo's body of work. It's a mix of their Grammy-winning songs, as well as their trademark back-and-forth conversations. Discussions about Bret's imaginary family, AIDS as a "fun, monkey disease" and how they invented rap in New Zealand are peppered throughout familiar ditties like "Hiphopapotamus vs. Rhymenoceros," "Think About It" and fan favourite "Business Time." Whether they return to television or not remains to be seen, but this box set is a must-have for anyone in need of a little more Bret and Jemaine in their lives. (Warner)