A bumpy take-off...
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."
“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."
"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.”
"Pretty much a snooze until the music starts, at which point the show kicks up into something quite weird and occasionally wonderful."
"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."
"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."
“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
Published: 19 Jun 2007