Flight of the Concords was a short-lived but much-loved HBO comedy series following the exploits of a hilariously unpopular folk music duo from New Zealand. Starring Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie as the hapless musicians along with Rhys Darby as their equally unsuccessful manager, Murray.
The show is laugh out loud funny thanks to its quick, dry wit and clueless characters. It also was an inventive and entertaining musical, with the band's ridiculous and hilarious songs becoming fantastical set pieces. And the music was actually really catchy. With only two seasons, the show left us wanting more, but not all the episodes were winners. Here are the best and worst episodes of Flight of the Concords.
10 Best: New Cup
Bret and Jemaine are often seen struggling with their lack of money. Being unsuccessful musicians doesn't seem to pay very well. So when Bret decides to buy a new cup so that the two don't have to share one, it sends their finances into a total mess.
Watching people struggle to pay their bills and rent should not be funny, but these characters do bring the humor out in the situation. From the pawning of their musical instruments to Murray's unwise investments, the episode is filled with great moments. The songs "Sugarlumps" and "You Don't Have to Be a Prostitute" are great fun too.
9 Worst: New Zealand Town
When the Prime Minister of New Zeland wants the Concords to play a concert for the opening of New Zealand Town in New York City, the duo wants to look cool for the event. After experimenting with hair gel and gaining some actual popularity, they run wild with their fashion choices.
The music is such a big part of what makes this show a success and this episode just doesn't hit the mark with its songs. Also, the subplot about the Prime Minister trying to woo a coworker eats up a lot of the time and seems like a bit of a waste.
8 Best: Bowie
After being called too small by Murray, Bret develops low self-esteem. In an attempt to feel better about his image, he is visited by a mystic vision of David Bowie who gives him advice on how to reinvent himself, which proves to make things worse.
The highlight of this episode is obviously the frequent pep talks between Bret and his guardian angel Bowie. Clement proves to do a hilarious Bowie impression of his various phases. The show also has two excellent musical numbers, the personal and inappropriate "Bret, You've Got it Going On" and the space adventure song "Bowie".
7 Worst: Love Is a Weapon of Choice
Bret and Jemaine both seem to have poor luck when it comes to women, but that doesn't stop them from fighting over the same girl on several occasions. In this episode, the two simultaneously fall for a girl they meet in the park (played by Kirsten Wiig).
It's fun seeing the two friends battle it out, especially since they are both so bad at romance in the first place. Oddly enough, it is Wiig that seems out of place in the episode. The show doesn't seem to know if they want her to play it straight or show her cooky comedic side. As a result, it feels like a bit of an unfocused episode.
6 Best: Yoko
In another instance of a woman coming between the two friends, Bret's new girlfriend Coco causes friction in the band. When Bret starts to put more focus on his relationship, than on the music, Jemaine and Murray worry she will break-up the band.
Jemaine plays a great jerk in the show and this episode lets him shine in that role. Despite Bret and Jemaine being pretty inseparable, it's very entertaining to see them at odds. Watching them argue and come close to ending their friendship makes for some great moments.
5 Worst: Murray Takes It to the Next Level
While the Flight of the Concords are technically just Bret and Jemaine, Murray is as important to the show as those two. In this episode, Murray realizes that his relationship with the guys has moved past professional and become a genuine friendship. As a result, he introduces them to his friend, Jim (played by Jim Gaffigan), who they immediate dislike.
Gaffigan is a hilarious comedian, but he doesn't fit into the world of this show. The show succeeds when other characters play it straight against the weirdness of the main cast. Jim is too big of a character to mesh with the feel of the show and it makes the whole episode feel off.
4 Best: Unnatural Love
The animosity between Australia and New Zealand is used for great comedic material in the show. So when Jemaine accidentally sleeps with an Australian girl, they are all horrified. However, when he begins to fall in love with the girl Bret and Murray try to put an end to the relationship.
The episode was directed by Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and his unique visual style can really be felt. The episode also has some hilarious moments with the uncivilized Australian girl and Bret's poor attempts to sabotage things.
3 Worst: Evicted
In the series finale of the show, Bret and Jemaine are evicted from their apartment. Facing deportation as a result of having no money, they decide to stage an elaborate stage show to raise money so they can stay in the country and continue to pursue their dreams.
It's a shame that the very last episode of the show is one of its most disappointing. The stage musical idea had potential but the show doesn't seem to want to do anything too crazy even for the final episode. While it's not the best way to end things, the final scene is strangely touching.
2 Best: Mugged
The streets of New York are just not safe for two naive and helpless people like Bret and Jemaine. Their friendship suffers a major blow after they are mugged and Bret leaves Jemaine behind. This leads to friction between the friends as Jemaine develops an unlikely friendship with one of the muggers.
This early episode showed how sharp and funny this show could be with its very unique humor. The tension between the two friends is hilarious as is Jemaine's interactions with his new mugger friend. It also features the very memorable song, "Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros".
1 Worst: The Third Conchord
The final episode of the show's first season finds Murray accidentally hiring a third member for the band. The new member, Todd, quickly takes over and begins taking the music in a new, very different direction. When it comes time to make necessary changes, Bret finds himself kicked out of the group.
The show excels with it is focused on its main misfits, and it misfires when it brings in new characters that appear to be more unusual than Bret and Jemaine. The character of Todd is not particularly funny and feels like he belongs in another show, but the leads are forced to take a backseat to his zany behavior.