Monday, September 06, 2010

Labor Day Blog DVD Review: Flight of the Conchords - The Complete Collection

Happy Labor Day everyone! We hope you enjoy the day off and are enjoying the TV marathons we listed yesterday.Today we will have a special blog review of HBO Home Video's Flight of the Conchords - The Complete Collection. Flight of the Conchords is the Emmy nominated comedy starring Bret McKenzie and Jermaine Clement as a folk singing duet from New Zealand making their way across a couple of continents and into New York City. See Seth Thrasher's Blog DVD Review of Flight of the Conchords - The Complete Collection:

Flight of the Conchords - The Complete Collection (HBO, $49.98) is now on DVD, and we have a problem. I don't get the show. I'll crack at a bit now and then, but time and time through each episode, I just sit there scratching my head wondering why I'm still watching this. I know, there are quite a few fans of this show sitting at your computers right now reading this, expecting me to be able to talk about the show, which episodes I liked best, etc...but I just didn't like it. I've spent most of the weekend watching the show and trying to get into it...I just can't do it. Normally, here at Sitcoms Online, we attempt to match up DVD reviews with reviewers who like the show in question. Due to scheduling conflicts, that was impossible in this case. It's a shame, too, as in the hands of someone who loves, or even likes, this show - this could have been a great review indeed. Instead, you get me for the next five minutes.

Since I'm remarkably unqualified to tell you which episodes are my preference, let's skip ahead a bit. Guest stars over the course of the series include Judah Friedlander (30 Rock), John Hodgman ("PC" in the long-running Mac vs. PC ad campaign), Kate Pierson of The B-52s, Will Forte (MacGruber, Saturday Night Live), actor John Turturro, Kristen Wiig (MacGruber, Saturday Night Live), musician Art Garfunkel, actress Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe on 24), and Lucy Lawless (Xena, Battlestar Galactica). Quite the lineup for a series that only ran two years on HBO. Episodes run in the neighborhood of 27 minutes and don't appear to be edited in any way, shape, or form. See runtimes:

Flight of the Conchords: One Night Stand: 29:54

Sally: 27:40
Bret Gives Up the Dream: 27:43
Mugged: 27:18
Yoko: 25:20
Sally Returns: 27:25
Bowie: 27:19

Drive By 25:46
Girlfriends: 28:05
What Goes On Tour: 25:26
New Fans: 26:35
The Actor: 28:27
The Third Conchord: 27:06

A Good Opportunity: 26:22
The New Cup: 26:55
The Tough Brets: 27:36
Murray Takes It to the Next Level: 27:24
Unnatural Love: 26:07
Love is the Weapon of Choice: 27:17

Prime Minister: 27:52
NewZealandTown: 24:59
Wingmen: 26:57
Evicted: 27:46

Packaging is...well-layered. First is the outer box. If you've bought any sort of DVD in the last several years, you're likely familiar with them. They're made of a paper-like cardboard and often feature images and/or words on them that have some association with the set itself. The back side of this "box" has many words indeed – and even a few pictures. The front cover features the show's scruffy-haired protagonists walking with enlarged heads in front of a NYC skyline drawn like a scratchy cartoon.

But wait! When you buy this set, you also get smaller cases inside the box--three of them. Two are those mean little thick plastic cases that I've complained about 431 times now. One is a slim case. Package I like + Packages I don't like = Confusion. I mean, the thick cases ARE awful, so I should probably waste 75 characters complaining about that. Yet, I face a conundrum, for the Conchords 2005 HBO special is included in a slim case, and I'm supposed to waste 75 characters talking about how I love said cases. Let's compromise – I'll waste 200 characters and not talk about anything at all. Also, the two season cases feature plastic sleeves with portions of the artwork on them. That's different and unique. Discs are largely in a similar style as their respective packages. Menus are well-done and feature a style similar to that of the packaging. I genuinely do appreciate a well-done menu since it takes a whole lot of time and effort on the part of the creative personnel involved.

Video quality is quite good, but then again if you screw up the video quality on a set from three years ago, you're patently incompetent. Seriously, what am I going to say, that the video was converted to black and white for your annoyance and that because of compression issues, the video is upside-down? Yeah, older sets occasionally have issues, but they ARE older and video in an analog medium does degrade over time. Audio is also fine – again, expected, given the age of the show. There are chapter stops at the end of each act within the episode. Not scene, act. If the difference escapes you, look up the definitions for each. The season sets are straight prints of the previous season sets, so all details from those sets still apply. I'm not going to waste time writing about the special features from the second season set given that another reviewer did a much better job writing about them in the review of that set.

The third set is more interesting to me, and for some reason I actually found it slightly more appealing – it's the Conchords' 2005 HBO special. They joke, they sing, they do all sorts of crazy things. And since they're not trying to make a half-hour television episode, their shtick is slightly more appealing. They're still not my cup of tea there, but for someone who didn't like the show they just spent 750 words reviewing; it's a somewhat nicer change of pace. Simple menu. Video quality is a step down since it's older and filmed in good old fashioned standard definition, but it's still quite good.

So, should you buy this complete collection? Well, number one, why are you taking the advice of a man who has admitted on no fewer than three occasions that I don't like this show. Still, in an attempt to provide a useful service for those of you who've made it to the end:

* If you have the money, like the show, and don't have the individual sets: Buy this.
* If you have the money, like the show, and have the individual sets: Don't
* If you have the money, and don't like the show: Why are you even reading this.
* If you don't have the money: Well, then, I guess it's a moot point right now. When you do, consult above guide.

I didn't like the show, but you may very well. For those who do, this set is RECOMMENDED.

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher
(4.5/5 stars)

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Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Flight of the Conchords TV.com Page


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, September 24

The Big Bang Theory - "The Conjugal Configuration" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Sheldon and Amy’s honeymoon runs aground in New York, while Penny and Leonard discover they are uncomfortably similar to Amy’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fowler (Teller and Kathy Bates). Also, Koothrappali insults physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and starts a Twitter war.

Young Sheldon - "A High-Pitched Buzz and Training Wheels" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After Sheldon dismantles the refrigerator to stop an annoying hum, he gets a paper route to pay for the repairs.

In The Cut - "The Big Day" (Bounce TV, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jay and Cheryl try to overcome the obstacle of their wedding venue being double-booked; Mabel is offered a lot of money to sell her restaurant.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 24)

Monday, September 24

  • John David Washington (Ballers) - Watch John on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He also talks about Monsters and Men on the BUILD Series at 3pm.
  • Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement (The Flight of the Conchords) - The Flight of the Conchords give a musical performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Ron Livingston (Loudermilk) - Ron stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Tiffany Haddish (The Last O.G./The Carmichael Show) - Tiffany visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jay Hernandez (Hang Time) - Jay is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS. He will also be on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Janet Montgomery (Entourage) - Janet appears on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Bradley Cooper (Kitchen Confidential) - Bradley drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Valerie Bertinelli (Hot in Cleveland/CafĂ© Americain/Sydney/One Day at a Time) - Valerie guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Yara Shahidi (black-ish/grown-ish) - Yara is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Lonnie Chavis (White Famous) - Lonnie appears on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • J. R. Ramirez (Tyler Perry's House of Payne) - J. R. talks about Manifest on Access Live, so check your local listings. He will also be on the BUILD Series at 1pm and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Martha Plimpton (The Real O'Neals/Raising Hope) - Martha will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Ricky talks about Child Support on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Stark Raving Mad/Doogie Howser, M.D.) - Neil talks about The Magic Misfits: The Second Story on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Bill Engvall (The Bill Engvall Show) - Bill will be on The Doctors, so check your local listings.
  • Jason George (Eve) - Jason appears on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York sometime between 7-10am.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (August/September)

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Eleventh Season The Middle - The Complete Ninth Season Modern Family - The Complete Ninth Season Step by Step - The Complete Second Season Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fifth Season

08/07 - Happy Endings - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
08/15 - A.P. Bio - Season One
08/28 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Five
08/28 - Man Seeking Woman - The Complete Third Season
09/04 - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - The Complete Season 12
09/04 - Mom - The Complete Fifth Season
09/04 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Fifth Season
09/04 - Superstore - Season Three
09/04 - Young Sheldon - The Complete First Season
09/11 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Eleventh Season (Blu-ray)
09/11 - The Middle - The Complete Ninth Season
09/11 - Modern Family - The Complete Ninth Season
09/11 - People of Earth - The Complete Second Season
09/18 - Community - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
09/18 - Step by Step - The Complete Second Season
09/18 - You're the Worst - The Complete Fourth Season
09/25 - Blondie - The Complete 1957 Television Series
09/25 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fifth Season
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