Here’s the first episode of “Flight of the Conchords”—which focuses on “New Zealand’s fourth most popular folk-parody duo” of Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie and their attempts to break into the New York music and dating scene. The show features a lot of cameos from downtown talents like Eugene Mirman, Arj Barker and Kristen Schaal as a fan who loves the band in ways that make the duo less than comfortable. I was pretty much sold from Clement’s backhanded compliment serenade to Sally (Rachel Blanchard of the brilliant British sitcom “Peep Show” - watch for the homage late in the episode). Songs that are meant to be laughed at are hard to do and even harder to do when you stick them inside the plot of a show. A bad one stops it cold. But this was solid all the way through.
HBO has kind of a soft spot for funny folk rock as they were home for the Tenacious D TV show. As I remember, they never gave that much of a push so it’s nice to see a show which appeals to a similar audience getting promoted. (Jonathan Coulton, HBO will be asking you for a script to “Code Monkey” any day now.)
“Flight of the Conchords” premieres on HBO June 17 at 10:30.