Did we like it?
It’s a little difficult to say this early; the leads are charming enough but the character-based comedy will take time to settle. Comedy songs, however, are never, ever funny.
What was good about it?
• The two main characters are utterly imperfect geeks, who from the days of Laurel & Hardy, have always made the best stooges for comedy. Jemaine resembles Moss from The IT Crowd in both looks and mannerisms, sharing the flat monotone rambling voice. He is, mystifyingly, more successful with the ladies.
• Despite being a struggling acoustic group, the Conchords have their obsessive fan/stalker Mel, who they regularly engage with in encounters of embarrassed adoration/repulsion. Walking out of their apartment, the duo meet Mel as she runs up from her hiding place outside the downstairs apartment in the block. Rather than risk her tagging along with them, they claim they were just on their way home and turn tail.
• The argument between why after Jemaine lured Sally back to the flat she suddenly wanted to leave after Bret turned the light on in his room and was introduced. Bret claimed it was because he and Sally had dated for six months, Jemaine, in denial, insisted it was because the light had been turned on.
• The Conchords’ manager Murray’s way of warping their obscurity into an impression they are on the verge of stardom through the delusional argot of the corporate music world. He states they have “a fanbase” because they have one fan – Mel.
What was bad about it?
• Legendary comedians and shows from the aforementioned Laurel & Hardy, through Monty Python, Red Dwarf and The Office have tried comedy songs, all failing to twist the sour derision of the viewer into one of happiness and joy. It’s not shock, therefore, to see that the Conchords also fail, their observational ditties falling into the same trap as their illustrious forbears in that they seem more an exercise in myopic indulgence than an effort to be funny.