The first season of HBO’s dry comedy series, Flight of the Conchords wrapped up early last month. The show follows “New Zealand’s fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo” of the same name – comprised of native Kiwis Bret McKenzie (famous for such things as not talking in the first Lord of the Rings movie) and Jemaine Clement – as it tries to catch a break in New York City.
In reality, McKenzie and Clement are a comedy duo known for their onstage banter and music parodies. In the fictional series, they play the characters they’ve created for their onstage antics. I watched all 12 episodes during a few obsessive stints of HBO On Demand last weekend. It’s funny.
After messing around online, nebulously searching for some interesting info on the show, I stumbled across this little gem of online entertainment that’s sure to get a smile from anyone who’s a fan of leggy blondes and racist dragons. ###
Mel, the frantic and one-and-only fan of Flight of the Conchords, has her own video blog.
While the main show was in season, Mel delivered an accompanying, weekly “free flowing diary of whatever I might be thinking at the moment.” This basically involved her ruminating on her favorite band while eating, playing with her puppies, getting haircuts, and contemplating tattoos.
It’s funny, but it’s not for everyone. Only if you’re already familiar with her awkwardly possessive, amorous inclinations towards Bret and Jemaine will you be able to get through the first 30 seconds or so. But that’s okay. This is just meant for fans, not mass appeal. It’s another point of contact, a way for HBO to promote further audience interaction, as well as the show’s brand.
NewTeeVee’s Chris Albrecht recently outlined a number of tools that networks should employ to “get people wrapped up in your programs.” Though Mel’s video blog doesn’t have wikis, fan films, or uploads, it’s a great start, and also possibly one of the best representations of network television characters finding lives of their own on the web. In an article from last month, Slate’s Torie Bosch takes a look at some of TV land’s best fictional bloggers, but none of them are doing video.
Why every single big budget show produced by a network doesn’t have an offshoot video component like this is beyond me. Yes, some have off-season webisodes and Heroes has that cool online comic, but it’s not the same. Some great internet entertainment, including Break a Leg (Tilzy.TV page) and Invisible Engine (Tilzy.TV page) was born simply out of having swanky film equipment and a competent cast and crew just lying around.
While in production, network shows have incredible access to top resources and talent. Why not put that to good use? For relatively little additional cost and marginally more time, there could be online, video companions for all of television’s Prime Time shows.
If fans really like a program, they’re going to create some amazingly intense applications to accompany it. Just imagine what they could do if they had some well-conceived, official material to work with.