Folk You

Kristen Schaal as ‘Mel’ in “Flight of the Conchords”The other major find I found while scrounging around the charity shops last week was the first season of Flight of the Conchords for just three pounds! Bonza!

Having already given the lie to the notion that the second season saw a drastic drop in quality/hilarity, I now realise that this initial impression was simply a result of the novelty having worn off a little between the two seasons. That said, this batch does contain my favourite episode of all time… largely because it contains the highest concentrated dose of ‘Mel’ (Kristen Schaal) acting crazy!

Kristen Schaal as ‘Mel’ in “Flight of the Conchords”In ep. #1.10 the eponymous musical duo play a quickly curtailed set at a “World Music Jam”, and somehow manage to attract the attention of two new fans, named ‘Summer’ (Sarah Burns) and ‘Rain’ (Heather Lawless). Naturally the fact that they’re unmarried and relatively sane immediately gives them the edge over Mel, when it comes to competing for the band’s affections… especially when they play the ole “lipstick lesbian” card, by kissing in front of the boys and talking about threesomes. I couldn’t help feeling sorry for Mel when these horny interlopers horned in on the private dinner she’d won with the band… even after the rather disturbing revelation of how she and long-suffering hubby ‘Doug’ (David Costabile) first hooked up. Still, it was hilarious seeing her being so hostile towards her more eligible rivals… and the way she interrupts Bret in the downstairs toilet, then lovingly clings to the door as she reluctantly withdraws, is pure comedy genius. This episode also features Bret taking an inadvertent acid trip, soundtracked by a pitch-perfect Donovan pastiche called “Prince of the Parties”… which appeals to both the comedy fan and the hippie in me. Meanwhile, my second favourite Mel moment of this season would have to be the scene in ep #1.11 where she helps the boys film a Lord of the Rings tribute video, by dressing up as ‘Arwen’ in a long curly wig and velvety dress. Hotcha!

Sutton Foster as ‘Coco’ in “Flight of the Conchords”Besides Burns and Lawless, there were plenty other notable actresses putting in cameos as potential Conchord love interests: The pilot episode introduces us to ‘Sally’ (aka “The Prettiest Girl in the Room”), played by Rachel Blanchard… whose return in ep #1.5 prompts Jemaine to sing possibly the greatest “sexy” love song ever written, “Business Time”. Ep #1.2 sets Bret up with the most genuinely sympathetic and straight-up adorable female character in the show, ‘Coco’, played by Sutton Foster… bless her. In a later episode Bret and Jemaine serenade her with a song titled “If You’re Into It”, which I was very disappointed to find wasn’t included on the soundtrack CD. Fun fact: Foster is a two-time Tony Award winner with a gorgeous voice, so it’s a shame she didn’t get to sing any solo numbers during her three-episode arc. In ep #1.8, Jemaine drags Bret along to be his “wingman” while he flirts with a couple of croissant shop cuties, played by Eliza Coupe and June Diane Raphael. It’s fun to watch Coupe playing the caddish sexual aggressor who cajoles a reticent Bret into giving her some “sugar”… while Raphael happily calls Jemaine’s bluff when he attempts to play as “hard to get” as his bandmate. The two femmes also get to participate in a very funny musical number, “Foux du Fafa”, where they lip-synch along to nonsensical phrase-book French. Fun!

Oh, and Kate Pierson (of The B-52s fame) has a very brief cameo as a disgusted ‘Club Owner’ who slams a door in the band’s collective face, during their ill-fated warm-up tour, in ep #1.09.

About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action. He/him.
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5 Responses to Folk You

  1. gingersister says:

    One of my favorite all time series’. FotC is just brilliant. My favorite episode is in season 2 when Bret forms a gang. I laugh so hard in that episode. Every time! Especially in the end when Dave falls off the window sill. I’m giggling now thinking about it. My co-worker just asked what was so funny :) I got to see Bret and Jemain live in Detroit a few years ago. One of the best live shows ever.

    • deecrowseer says:

      I know it’s not quite the same, but I’ve just realised they had a live album out long before they got a TV show, so I’ll have to give that a listen sometime… if only to hear the bus driver song that everyone was talking about when it didn’t appear in the relevant S02 episode!

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  3. RE Gandy says:

    Well where has this blog been my whole life. I was sailing through the www looking up Flight of the Conchords and I know it’s completely ridiculous that I’ve not even heard of it until recently, but I found you and this blog. So since I’m here how’s it going and what other awesomeness have I failed to find

    • Dee CrowSeer says:

      Uh, well, I’m not exactly at the cutting edge of awesomeness, but a couple underrated sitcoms that I think deserve more love are Don’t Trust the B**** from Apt. 23, Burning Love, and Another Period… and imho The Katering Show is the funniest thing on the internet, and possibly the whole entire Earth.

      Movie-wise, the Conchords-related horror-comedy What We Do in the Shadows is also supposed to be very good, but I still haven’t gotten around to watching that myself (despite loving both FotC and vampires), so I’m really not in any position to judge others for being “late to a party”!

      Anyhoo, thanks for reading and commenting. :)

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