A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this musical comedy about a faux folk duo is pretty mild for HBO. The language is uncensored, but it's nowhere near the levels of shows like Deadwood and Six Feet Under. And while some scenes show social drinking and touch on drug use, and storylines typically revolve around dating attempts (most of which fail), there's probably nothing here that mature teens haven't seen or heard before. Song lyrics occasionally insult women, but they're more intended to poke fun at traditional pop music than to reveal any inherent misogyny.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
New Zealand music/comedy duo Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement play themselves: Two hapless Kiwi musicians who've just moved to New York City hoping to make a name for their band. They fumble about, planning their big break with their moronic manager, Murray (Rhys Darby) -- whose day job is the New Zealand Cultural Attaché -- and try to avoid the attentions of their obsessive (and perhaps, only) fan, Mel (Kristen Schaal). As the guys go about their indie boy life -- attending parties, meeting with Murray, tuning their guitars -- they frequently break into clever songs. Sometimes they relate to the action on the screen, such as when Clement sees a girl at a party and sings a Prince-like love song about her ("you could be a part-time model") as viewers watch the two meet, flirt, date, and wind up back at his apartment. Other songs pop up when Bret and Jemaine are actually practicing their music or filming (sort of) a music video.
Is it any good?
McKenzie and Clement garnered a cult following thanks to their hilarious performances at comedy and music festivals around the world; they turned their traveling act into this hipster musical series. FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS is kind of like a hip Dumb and Dumber, following two rather brainless-but-quite-charming guys as they navigate single-guy life while remaining committed friends and partners.
With its clever writing, appealing characters, and unique approach to comedy, the show attracted a loyal niche following during its two seasons on HBO. Teens may well dig the show's wit, and despite its attention to romance and relationships and unbleeped profanity, most parents should feel OK about letting mature kids watch.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the series' take on pop and folk music. Which aspects of each genre are being made fun of? What makes them good targets for comedy? Do the guys on the show remind you of any real bands?
How does the fact that the stars are from New Zealand affect the show's humor? Do you think it would be as funny if it were about Americans?