"Big J, you couldn't get more Australian than me." -KeithaAfter spending the early weeks of season two debating whether the show's comedy had far outstripped its music, "Unnatural Love" gives us both aspects of Conchords World functioning at peak level.
The comedy was a delight as usual, with Jemaine's new girlfriend Keitha serving as a hilarious amalgamation of Aussie stereotypes (ancestors were a rapist and a prostitute, aggressive and slovenly, makes Jemaine start dressing like Steve Irwin, given to crude sayings like going to the bathroom to "murder a brown snake") and her presence bringing out an unexpected judgmental side in Bret. I knew Murray would be horrified by Jemaine dating one of those hated Australians, but seeing Bret reduced to leaving fake break-up messages on the answering machine? Not a side I was prepared for, but a very funny one.
(And I loved that, in that scene, they continued the running gag about Bret's weird, unnecessary fashion inventions, in which he follows up the bike helmet that looks like his own hairdo with a pair of gloves that look like his own hands.)
But the strength of the songs -- and the videos accompanying them -- were what really elevated "Unnatural Love" above the other episodes of season two, and reminded me just how important the music is to making this show special.
In case you missed the credits, this one was directed by Michel Gondry. He's best known these days for eccentric movies like "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "Be Kind Rewind," but before that, he was a prolific, revolutionary music video director (here's his video for Bjork's "Army of Me"), and his vibe fit wonderfully with the Conchords. "Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor" would be a highlight many weeks, but the "Carol Brown" video was perfection, from the digital projections to Bret and Jemaine using mixing boards tricked out as guitars, to Bret's pointless funky dancing. It's not as up-tempo and joyous as some of the other Conchords songs I love, but the marriage of the music and visuals felt so right that I imagine I won't be deleting this one from the DVR anytime soon.
What did everybody else think?