As I don’t have HBO I never saw “Conchords” on a regular basis—just stray episodes or clips here and there—but I was aware of the duo from their stand up work on Comedy Central and the like. I knew Bret and Jermaine were funny and talented comedians/ musicians, but watching the series as a whole what’s more impressive is the consistency in which they deliver. Funny, creative material is hard to come by, but putting that in musical format is even more difficult. No song in the series is phoned in; the duo riff on various topics, artists and genres with precision and hilarity. (Standouts (IMHO) are "Hiphopapotamus vs. Rhymenoceros," “If You’re Into It,” “Business Time” and “Hurt Feelings.” And who wasn’t moved by “Epileptic Dogs.”) Even just musically, “Flight of the Conchords” is impressive—much in same way as Tenacious D, I would listen to these songs even if they weren’t funny. Even the music video segments are always creative and entertaining. The fact that they did this week in and week out is even more impressive (and illustrates why it was probably smart to quit while they were ahead).
As characters, Bret and Jermaine are relatable, watchable and balance each other out on the comedic scale. Their often pathetic struggles with girls, the music industry and American life are fairly standard, but executed so well and with enough genuine heart that you won’t care that you’re seeing their third love triangle story. (And New Zealand humor is always funny.) You’ve heard a lot about Jermaine Clement with recent roles in DINNER WITH SCHMUCKS and the upcoming MEN IN BLACK 3, and with his unique look, deep bravado and great timing, it's not hard to see why he's going to be a big star. But Bret McKenzie also brings a much needed quieter and straightforward humor to the mix. However, the real all-star of the series for me is Rhys Darby, playing their sad sack of a manager Murray. The self-deprecating humor surprisingly never gets old for any of them, but Darby especially turns it in to something special. If he is the actor chosen to replace Steve Carrell on “The Office” I won’t complain.
There’s also a great cast of supporting actors and cameos to back up the main ingredients of talented stars, great music and smart writing. Kristen Schaal does the stalker shtick so well and in such a fun way, that her intrusive segments are always welcome. There’s also great appearances from Aziz Ansari, Jim Gaffigan, Will Forte, Patton Oswalt, Demetri Martin and other comedians to spice up each episode and put their support behind a one of a kind show.
Flight of the Conchords: On The Air: A nice retrospective look at the formation of the band in NZ, the concept and execution of the show and their rise in popularity. Definitely something fans will enjoy.
Deleted Scenes: About a half hour worth of mostly worthwhile stuff, and thankfully more Doug, who I find to be sad and hilarious.
Outtakes: Your standard goofs and flubs, although it’s nice to see everyone out of character.
Some Promos and Ads round out the second disc.
One Night Stand: This third “bonus” disc (the only new material with this collection) is a half hour FOTC stand up special that aired on HBO before the show. The pair looks a lot younger, but they’re still on their game and the audience eats it up. You’ll find a lot of the same songs that ended up on the show, including “Hiphopapotamus,” but I think fans will enjoy seeing how the group started and how far they’ve come.
If you already have one of the previous season DVDs, you don’t need to upgrade to this collection (the bonus half hour special is nice but not worth re-buying the seasons.) If you haven’t been introduced to the Conchords yet, this is a great starting (and ending) point.
Extra Tidbit: Jermaine may have MEN IN BLACK 3, but Bret will always have Figwit from LORD OF THE RINGS. (Seriously, click that link.)