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A bumpy take-off...

US critics review Flight Of The Concords

Flight of the Conchords have received mixed reviews for their debut American TV show this weekend.

The first in the 12-part series, starring Perrier-nominated New Zealand comedians Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, aired on HBO at 10.30pm on Sunday night.

In New York, where the series about the two low-key folk musicians is set, the Times hailed the show a "funny in an understated and clever way" while the Post called it “something new and hilarious, and completely different".

But for many other critics, the quirky, low-energy humour failed to strike a cord. Variety, for instance, said it was ‘pretty much a snooze until the music starts’.

Here’s what the reviewers said:

The New York Times:
"Conchords is a summer fling of a series, but it is funny, at times very funny. "

New York Post:
"A fantastic flight. Something new and hilarious, and completely different. Unlike anything else I have ever seen before."

Reuters:
“It has its moments of wiggy charm but lacks an essential ingredient: star charisma.”

NY Daily News:
"It may not be to everyone's liking - but the duo itself should be. Flight of the Conchords is a fish-out-of-water, musicians-out-of-money comedy featuring some funny, dry lines of dialogue and even funnier, drier songs. As a series, it could be a lot better, but there's no denying the appeal of the two musicians."

Boston Globe:
"Flight of the Conchords is not the kind of show that demands weekly viewing … the rudderlessness of Bret and Jemaine's lives threatens to make the episodes feel redundant. But I am nonetheless eager to see if the story gains momentum in the course of its 12-episode run, and grows from a sweet nothing into a sweet something about nothing.”

Variety:
"Pretty much a snooze until the music starts, at which point the show kicks up into something quite weird and occasionally wonderful."

Chicago Tribune:
"The charms of this series are subtle, but only grow over the course of the first few episodes. Clement and McKenzie are well suited to understated, self-deprecating comedy, and their fertile imaginations are usually up to the task entertaining the short attention span of the YouTube generation."

Los Angeles Times:
"The art of the deadpan has been tuned to an exquisitely fine degree in HBO's new and consistently funny Flight of the Conchords."

USA Today:
"Some of it is mildly amusing, but there are few performers who can make this kind of slice-of-life comedy play (think Ricky Gervais), and none seem to be working on Conchords."

Washington Post:
“The whole show is winningly offbeat, really - especially in how it never grovels, begs or exploits unpleasant bodily functions to get laughs. Flight of the Conchords might not have you slapping a knee in hysterics, but it may well cause contented chortling inside -- the kind of laughter that's probably good for the soul, good for the digestion and, in this case, good TV.’

Click here to watch the episode

Posted: 19 Jun 2007

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