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Flight Of The Conchords: "Unnatural Love"

Illustration for article titled iFlight Of The Conchords/i: Unnatural Love
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Ms. Big Important Person GK had something better to do tonight, so I’m filling in on FOTC duty. She’ll be back for next Sunday’s episode, which guest stars Saturday Night Live’s Kristen Wiig and features Bret and Jemaine in ridiculous, frilly cravats! What kinds of shenanigans will they get into next? Stay tuned.

As GK has written, FOTC has been a mixed bag this season. While the arid, deadpan comedy remains top-notch, the music has faltered. The old axiom dictates that you have your whole life to write your first record, but far less time to write its successor, and this season has found Bret and Jemaine struggling to recapture the magic.


Tonight they had no trouble, thanks to the direction of Michel Gondry (!), a couple solid jams, more Aussie-Kiwi pathos, and Arj Barker, who continues to steal his scenes. Forced into a night of “night-clubbing” by Murray—“Excuse me, sir. I’ve got a couple very cool-looking guys in the back of my car. I don’t know whether you’re keen to have them in your club.”—Bret and Jemaine find themselves dancing awkwardly with Dave (Barker), whose comment prompts the episode’s first song: “Hey guys, too many dicks! You guys are dorkin’ on my vibe. We need to spread the dicks out a little bit, create some lady space!”

Thus arrives FOTC’s first club banger of the season, “Too Many Dicks On The Dancefloor,” with its stomping beat, fat synthesizers, and perfectly played-out vocoder effect. The rapid-fire vocals recalled “Inner City Pressure”—one of my faves from last season—but continued this season’s tradition of giving supporting cast members a cameo, with Barker spitting a verse. Decking the guys out with disco-ball codpieces was inspired, as was the dick-and-balls disco ball hanging from the ceiling.

Although Bret and Jemaine are chronically ineffectual when comes to ladies, Bret has better luck than Big J: In season one he had a girlfriend; he dated Sally before Jemaine; and let’s face it, Mel clearly prefers him. So I was delighted when Jemaine hooked up with boorish Australian Keitha at the club.


But what of the bitter (and kind of one-sided) rivalry between the nationalities? In the noise of the club, Jemaine didn’t realize he would be sleeping with the enemy. Only when he tried to sneak out in the morning did he see the subtle clues in Keitha’s apartment: a poster of kangaroos, an empty can of Foster’s, a panoramic skyline shot of Sydney in the den, and an Australian flag on the wall. Unable to open the door, he calls Bret in a panic. “Hey man, where are you?” Bret says. “Did you run away?”

At a clinic an hour later—presumably to get Jemaine tested for an STI—the pair goes over the details of the night before. Did she make fun of his accent? How did her accent sound? “Like an evil version of our accent,” Jemaine says.


Although he faces being shunned by Murray and Bret—just for a couple days, Murray says—Jemaine finds himself giving into this love that dare not speak its name. Keitha lives in filth, is descended from rapists, and dresses Jemaine like Steve Irwin, but their love transcends the differences between “Austria and…some place no one’s even fucking heard of,” as Dave poignantly describes later. (Best line of the episode: “It’s like that movie Interracial Hole-Stretchers 2.”)

This newfound love inspires Jemaine to write a song, “Carol Brown,” which chronicles the reasons all his previous girlfriends left, and gathers the ladies into a chorus of disapproval. They had their reasons—one was a man, one pretended to be in a coma, and Carol Brown just took a bus out of town—but Jemaine hopes Keitha will stick around.


As anyone who gets all their knowledge of Kiwi-Aussie relations from FOTC knows, the Australians aren’t to be trusted. Even with all of these pronouncements of love, we know Jemaine will get his heart broken. As he waits to run away with Keitha by taking a carriage to Jersey—“New Jersey. I’d love to go there, but I got a lot of shit going on in the States right now,” says Dave. “Don’t drink the water!”—Keitha and her equally obnoxious flatmates rob Jemaine’s place and duct-tape Bret to the door. As GK would say, sad trombone.

So Bret and Jemaine remain unlucky in love, and FOTC is better for it: “Too Many Dicks” looks to be one of season two’s best jams, Interracial Hole Stretchers 2 will become our go-to porn reference for the next few months, and the cultural war between the Aussies and Kiwis continues unabated.


Grade: A-

Misc, etc.:

• With Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Be Kind Rewind, The Science Of Sleep) in the director’s chair, this episode could’ve gone off the rails into whimsy land. I think I’m a bit disappointed it didn’t.


• "Carol Brown" is available on iTunes this morning, but no "Too Many Dicks." C'mon!

• HBO has a helpful Aussie-to-Jemaine translator on its website today. For instance, "Let's off to a hotel for a tinny" means "Let's go rob some non-Aussie people and kill their dogs."


• Murray’s current New Zealand promo poster: NEW ZEALAND, TAKE YOUR MUM

• Jemaine’s “camera phone” makes me laugh every time I see it. It’s my favorite ongoing gag.


• Note to FOTC writers: Kristen Schaal should be in every episode, as should Arj Barker. If this really is the series’ final season, I demand a spin-off for them.

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