Monday, September 03, 2007

Flight of the Conchords: Gotta cut loose

Just got back from a Labor Day weekend full of water, both salty (final summer trip to the beach) and chlorine-y (final day for the year of the town pool). Tomorrow's my daughter's fourth birthday, and I'm in such a good mood thinking about our plans for it that I don't think I'll be able to bring myself to watch "Entourage" for a few more days. (UPDATE: The comments have digressed into an "Entourage" discussion; feel free to keep that going, and if I ever bring myself to watch it, I'll weigh in here.)

In the meantime, spoilers for the "Flight of the Conchords" finale coming up just as soon as I get my key-tar out of hock...

What an odd, silly little ending to this odd, silly little show's first season. Not a single Conchords song (save a few snippets during the dueling concerts), but the entire "Doggy Bounce" video plus two different Bret angry dance montages, the first a hilarious welding of "Flashdance" and "Footloose" (get it? welding? because... sorry, I'm old), the latter a perfect coda to the season. (And not, thankfully, the series, though I imagine the guys had non-renewal in the back of their heads when they wrote/choreographed it.)

Murray has been rather clueless about his responsibilities and powers as the band manager throughout the season, so why shouldn't he decide he has the authority to impose a third member -- a short, bald, dopey leather jacket-wearing, mother-flippin' bongo player, of all things -- on Bret and Jemaine without their permission? The arrival of Todd led to all sorts of genius: the various private band meetings (all interrupting Greg's actual consulate work) Mel finally getting a return on her advances, Bret being oblivious to Jemaine and Todd's ridiculous slap flight, Todd convincing Jemaine during the aforementioned fight to fire Bret instead of him, Jemaine being miserable with Todd's strict-ness, Bret pathetically trying to get back into the band and, especially, the notion that Bret and Jemaine would be far more popular working apart than they ever were together. (Or maybe, as implied by the stadium tour success of the Crazy Dogggz, it's just that Todd and Demetri were so damn cool that they overrode whatever audience-repelling properties Jemaine and Bret possess.)

So here's what I'm wondering: when the show returns next summer (thank God), do they even acknowledge Murray's newfound success, or is a reset button hit? The Crazy Dogggz have crash-and-burn written all over them, and Murray's historically bad with money, so I suppose they could do a reset while still acknowledging what came before. But a part of me almost wants them to ignore it. "Conchords" takes place in a world that's slightly askew to our own, and rules of season-to-season continuity almost seem too mundane to impose upon it.

What did everybody else think?

24 comments:

Kari said...

I loved it -- thanks for cluing me in to the weird, simple, outright joy of this show, Alan. Perfect low-key ending to a great summer run: of course bongos, a keytar, and arfing by a Conchord-less duo would be the keys to Murray's enormous instant success. I look forward to its return.

Word of advice, though: skip "Entourage." Worse than you could possibly imagine.

Matt said...

I'm not sure if I agree with you on Entourage, Kari. Yes, there's a lot of repetitiveness, and we've already had too much Billy this season, but the conclusion, where things don't so much work out for Vince and company (except Drama, arguably), is a nice reversal. Of course, Harvey, with his magical recutting powers, will wind up saving the day.

And can we make Constance Zimmer a regular next season?

Anonymous said...

When did Entourage stop being funny? I haven't laughed in weeks.

Chris Littmann said...

I suppose I'm in the minority in saying that I thought Entourage was decent, although I've got no idea where it's headed. Harvey is doing the Pablo flick, and crazy Billy is in charge of Silo still...

My ultimate fear is the abrupt dropping of yet another plotline. Think about everyone's significant relationships at the end of last season. Essentially dropped without explanation.

I, for one, would love to see a rift develop at the beginning of next season, literally picking up on the way home. E and Vince pissed at one other because E knew the movie blew. Johnny staying with his new lady for a while -- and Turtle going back to the U.S., so we wouldn't be subjected to the stupid adventures of Drama and Turtle.

Donlee said...

I guess the last really great episode of "Entourage" that I can remember is "Manic Monday," the one that Piven submitted to the Emmys this year.

You may remember it as the one where he starts crying when he sees Vince's picture and finally gets his mojo back enough by the end of the episode to fire the guy who just got laser eye surgery.

Every season, there's at least 1 or 2 great episodes, great enough to get it the Emmy attention, This season, if they existed, I didn't see 'em.

Dark Tyler said...

Seriously, is there one person that doesn't already know how Entourage's cliffhanger will be resolved? And with that, I'm out.

curious george said...

Alan, here you go. On Choncords, it doesn't get any better than that.

Tom said...

Excellent assessment of FOC, Alan. If I were them, I'd hit the reset button next year, with perhaps a visual clue of the Crazy Dogs' crash and burn -- a set of the floppy ears from the music video displayed on Murray's desk, or something like that.

The biggest laugh of the episode was unintentional. The show ended, and HBO cut to a promo for Justin Timberlake's special, and everyone in the room said ,"Ohmigod! He's doing the Doggy Bounce!"

Anonymous said...

Alan, I finally came around to your point of view on Entourage. I also couldn't stand Vince's complete backing of the one-note Billy Walsh while constantly ignoring Eric's advice. I thought you might be happy when it looked like Medellin was such a failure at Cannes, but the show somehow even tried to spin that into a positive.

Anonymous said...

Entourage is still on the air?

TuckPendleton said...

I don't know about FOTC...what is left in the bag? As has been noted by Alan, the show is only 12 eps old and already they are recycling plot lines. Not that plot is main concern of this show, but with only three main characters, how much variety can there be? My thought with the end was that each season would perhaps feature a new manager for the band...though I'd hate to see Murray go.

Andrew said...

This episode of Entourage was less bad than most of the rest of the season.

It wasn't good, but it didn't make me want to hurl heavy objects through my TV while watching like the last few episodes have.

Is there any projected return date for Conchords? Will this be a later season Sopranos length of hiatus? Because if they don't have time to write new songs and come up with some ideas, I fear for series two.

I love that Conchords is using NYC comics like Todd Barry and Demetri Martin (in this episode), Eugene Mirman and Aziz Ansari as the guest stars.

Dennis said...

When did Entourage stop being funny? I haven't laughed in weeks.

Entourage has never been that kind of a show. It's light-hearted fantasy wish fulfillment, like watching somebody win the lottery every week. It's closer in spirit to an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous than a conventional comedy.

I've almost never laughed, but I never thought that was really the point.

Andrew said...

Dennis,

That is a gross oversimplification. I used to laugh out loud at a lot of things on the show, especially the interplay between the four guys and just about anything that came out of Ari's mouth. It was a show about a bunch of guys I wanted to hang out with, and I like hanging out with funny people. It wasn't acclaimed and well loved the first two/three seasons because it was just "wish-fulfillment." They were good, strong characters that have, in the last two seasons, devolved into caricatures of themselves, becoming identifiable by the simplest traits (That 70's Show did the same thing as time passed, where every character became a one word descriptor).

As for this episode, I liked it from a story point of view, in part because I am glad to see Vince with his career in trouble. I actually find myself wondering how it will be next season with Vince and the gang more or less taking orders from Harvey and no longer being seen as the golden boys. From a comedy perspective, it tanked. As Alan has said, funny forgives a lot, and nothing here was funny.

Think Drama will bring his girl home with him? That seemd like a lot of talk about love for it just to end right away (although one can't forget Turtle's daliance with Sneaker Girl ending without mention). I'd like to see Drama get into a committed relationship and find himself as the more successful brother.

Anonymous said...

How about an "Entourage"/"Conchords" crossover where the new weasel-y Murray (slicked back hair, fancy new ride) takes a meeting with Ari...?

Seriously, they need to do an "Entourage" spinoff with Ari, Mrs. Ari and Lloyd, because the other four guys are already too boring for words.

Edward Copeland said...

I've never been able to get into Entourage. I stopped watching after its first few episodes of its initial season.

dez said...

I loved the Flashdance/Footloose crossover, and I loved seeing Murray all snazzy with a bitchin' sports car. All of which will go away shortly since he's hitched his ride to a one-hit wonder.

So "Doggy Bounce" is not a Conchords song? Who wrote it?

Alan Sepinwall said...

So "Doggy Bounce" is not a Conchords song? Who wrote it?

Oh, I'm sure Bret and Jemaine did. My point was just that it wasn't a song by the Conchords, and not in any of the styles they've displayed before.

Elroy said...

To me Ari and Mrs. Ari are like Jack & Karen (from Will & Grace). They are good in small doses but tend to get on your nerves when they get too much screen time.

SJ said...

This was probably the best Entourage episode of the season (loved the silence which greeted Medellin), but still, that's not saying much.

Anonymous said...

I freaking *loved* Bret's Flashloose/Footdance hybrid. That was brilliant physical comedy.

And then there's Entourage. Sigh. I'd be done with it if I didn't know somebody who writes for the show. She didn't write any of this season's episodes, though -- she's credited as a story editor. She wrote two of last season's funniest eps, "Three's Company" and "I Wanna Be Sedated," and it's unfortunate she didn't write any this year, because I suspect they would've been a lot funnier if she had. I thought Sunday's ep was awful.

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Anonymous said...

This is what I would like to see happen.
They retain murray, and crazydogs crash and burn.

Murray then comes up with an idea for them to do a cover of someone else's song.

Something like the internet animation 'star-wars special edition gangsta rap. Murry thinks its great and forces them to do it - which of course they hate.

It is however immensely popular and they spend the rest of the season living in its shadow and trying to distance themselves from it.

Murray having lost his confidence manages to make absolutely no money from it and ends up in a legal battle with the creators of the song.

The Concords then slowly throughout the season have more successful songs and then it ends on a positive note with a small but successful gig. But then their visas expire and they have to return to New Zealand.

NZder in Edinburgh

Anonymous said...

What is the song that Bret does his angry dance to? Its really good I want to know where I can get it!