Hiphopapotamus? Rhymenocerous? Do these names ring a bell?
I'm just wondering if I'm the only one who's hooked on HBO's newest surreal comedy masterpiece, The Flight of the Conchords. I'm a little surprised that no one seems to be talking about this quirky, compelling, and hysterical series that, like Lost, rewards repeat viewing again and again. Okay, so there aren't any smoke monsters or cursed numbers or anything, but there are hilarious musical numbers that you might miss because you're laughing so damn hard.
This week's installment of Flight of the Conchords ("Mugged") was no exception as I found myself choking on my laughter (not an easy feat, mind you). Worried that Bret and Jemaine will get lost or injured during their tenure in Manhattan, band manager/New Zealand consul Murray gives the boys some tools to help them navigate their way -- reflective belts, fold-out maps, I Heart NYC gear -- and, er, blend in. Sure enough, the guys are mugged in an alley and the thugs take Jemaine's homemade camera phone (courtesy of Bret) and their bikes. The Conchords run, the thugs in pursuit, only Jemaine gets his corduroy sleeve caught on the fence they're climbing over... and Bret leaves him there ("I'm too scared!") to fend for himself.
What follows is a hysterical meditation on trust and betrayal as Bret finally tells Murray (two days later) what happened to Jemaine, who is in fact stewing in a jail cell alongside his mugger (who was also left behind by his partner). Some rewind moments: Dave pouring out some of his forty for the possibly-dead Jemaine; the "Hiphopapotamus" rap number (see below), which includes lyrics like "There ain't no party like my Nana's tea party"; the awful impression of Jemaine that the policewoman gives (before Dave asks if she's bringing up the body); and, of course, Mel's description of what she'd do to Jemaine if she was a convict.
What other series would have Jemaine bond with his attacker in a jail cell, only to learn that the mugger hasn't actually killed anyone? Well, other than a monkey, that is. A monkey that once belonged to his best friend and fellow mugging accomplice. (I told you this series is surreal.)
If it's subtle and wicked humor you're after, look no further than Flight of the Conchords, which over the last three episodes has managed to make me laugh more this summer than any other television series. Lastly, if that's not incentive enough for you to tune in to this utterly unique and uproarious series, I'll be even more blunt: if you're looking for a comedy replacement until 30 Rock returns this fall, it would be this series.
You'll thank me -- and Hiphopapotamus -- in the morning.
Next time on Flight of the Conchords ("Yoko"): Murray is upset when Bret cancels a band tour of building rotundas to instead be with new girlfriend Coco. But when Jemaine starts tagging along on Bret and Coco's dates, everything falls apart.
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Jace is an LA-based television development and acquisitions exec who watches way too much television for his own good and would love a TiVo for every room in the house. (He’s halfway there.) His blog, Televisionary, can be found at televisionaryblog.com.