Mrs B and I first discovered Flight of the Conchords in late 2009 when my wife received a box set for Christmas. Entering 2010 we immediately indulged ourselves with the adventures of the New Zealand folk duo, Jemaine (Jemaine Clement) and Bret (Bret McKenzie), who are in New York trying to win an American audience after limited success back home i.e. the second most popular folk group in New Zealand. It took about two episodes but we were soon hooked and looking back now just over a year later it seemed an appropriate time to share our ten favourite Flight of the Conchords songs. If you’ve never seen the show you are in for a treat my friends.
Cheer Up Murray (Series 1 – Episode 11: The Actor)
Jemaine (Jemaine Clement) and Bret (Bret McKenzie) fall foul of an actor Ben (Will Forte) in this episode who expresses a wish to work with them after seeing one of their shows and mistaking them for a comedy act. With Murray (Rhys Darby) feeling down about his lack of success promoting the band, Jemaine and Bret ask Ben to pose as a record company executive and make a call to Murray letting him down but encouraging his efforts. Ben gets carried away with his performance and Murray is soon negotiating a record deal for Jemaine and Bret! Only when Murray has spent a fortune is the truth revealed and he is understandably angry. In an attempt to make Murray feel better Jemaine and Bret sing “Cheer Up, Murray.”
We all need friends when we’re a bit low and in this instance Jemaine and Bret come through for Murray. The song plays out in the form of a photo album as we see Jemaine and Bret singing and Murray listening intently as they describe aspects of his life that should make him happy. For every plus point though there is a negative like Murray’s birthday celebrations where three people turn up and he is given a cake with 43 on it! References to Murray’s wife that comes and goes with her lover on the Internet and how people regard Murray as “ginger balls” leave Murray scowling at times but he is still able to thank Jemaine and Bret for their efforts at the end.
Mrs B says:
Poor Murray: constantly risking his embassy position to act as manager for Bret and Jemaine, he longs for friendship, love and, above all, appreciation. Sadly, he never seems to get it. “Cheer Up Murray” is a rare moment where Bret and Jemaine focus on Murray for once and try and make him the centre of attention. All the same, “Cheer Up Murray” is merely a reminder of what is lacking in Murray’s life, such as “all his friends” (i.e. 3) attending his birthday party and buying him a cake saying 43 instead of 34. Bret and Jemaine’s efforts to highlight the good points in Murray’s life (such as having a car, a dog and a job) almost do the trick until they remind him of the wife who ‘comes and goes’ and those people who call him ‘ginger balls’ but you can (just about) appreciate the message they’re trying to get across. I can only hope Bret and Jemaine never try and cheer me up when I’m having a bad day!
Top Ten so far:-
7) Cheer Up, Murray
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