Cleared for takeoff

Film
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars
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Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/HBO

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

What happens to a novelty act if the novelty wears off? Not to say that Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie are in the same category as, say, the Monkees (for the Flight of the Conchords, the songs begot the show). Still,the concept—clueless folk-rock duo from New Zealand tries to make it big in New York, with goofy song interludes!—runs the risk of losing its freshness the second time around.

Well, fear not, Kiwi fanatics: we’re happy to report that, despite a slow start (which ties up the saga of the Crazy Dogggz, a competing novelty band featuring alt-comedy faves Todd Barry and Demetri Martin), the second season retains the goofy charm and catchy tunes of the first, with some new twists. The guys are still trying to make it big, and fire haplessmanager Murray (Rhys Darby) in an attempt to get their career back on track. (One guess as to how that goes.) Prostitution is also proposed as a money-making scheme. (Again, one guess as to how that goes.) The duo remains remarkably good at aping musical styles to great comedic effect, from opera to Fergie-esque booty-shakin’ pop. Novelty act? Nah, these guys are the real thing.

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