Drive By (Flight of the Conchords)

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"Drive By"
Flight of the Conchords episode
Conchords 107 Drive By.png
The fruit vendor insults Bret and Jemaine
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 7
Directed by Taika Waititi
Written by Taika Waititi
Production code 107
Original air date July 29, 2007
Guest actors

Aziz Ansari (Sinjay)
Kevin Allison (Customer)
Joan Hess (Jessica)
Jon Budinoff (Boy on bus)
Sylvia Kauders (Lady on bus)
Frank Wood (Greg)

Episode chronology
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"Bowie"
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"Girlfriends"

"Drive By" is the seventh episode of the HBO comedy series Flight of the Conchords. This episode first aired in the United States on Sunday, July 29, 2007.

Plot synopsis[edit]

Bret and Jemaine are shocked by the prejudiced actions of a fruit vendor who won't sell to them because they are New Zealanders. Dave recommends a strong response and teaches them how to "flip the bird". Murray is smitten with the new tech support lady at the consulate.

Plot[edit]

A fruit vendor at a sidewalk stand refuses Bret and Jemaine service due to the fact that they are New Zealanders. He disinfects any fruit they touch and they must leave empty handed.

They visit the consulate for a band meeting where Bret is clearly upset about the incident. There they meet the pretty blonde tech support lady that is updating the consulate's aging Commodore VIC-20 computers with newer P.C.s. After she leaves, Murray tells the band that he is in love with her. Bret asks about his wife and Murray reminds them that he is separated. Bret receives a package from home — his favorite cardboard box — and Murray lends them a tape of New Zealand TV shows that he received from his mother.

At home the pair discuss the incident while they watch some of the recorded shows on Murray's tape. One of the shows is an episode of "Albi The Racist Dragon". Bret, who is still upset about the vendor's attitude, watches from the comfort of his cardboard box.

Bret and Jemaine go to see Dave to ask him about the racism they experienced. Dave tells them that there is a lot of "prejudism" against the English in America. Disregarding their pleas that they are not English, Dave admits that even he hates them sometimes. A montage of scenes follow in which we see Jemaine and Bret being jostled on the street, being denied entry to a nightclub, getting cheated by a hot dog vendor (only getting the bun with some ketchup and mustard) and being forced to ride at the back of a bus.

They try once more to buy fruit from the vendor but are chased off again. The frustrated pair ride off on their bicycles singing "Mutha Uckas".

At another band meeting, Murray fakes a computer problem in order to see Jessica, the tech support lady, again. He asks the band to help him with a love song he is writing for her. (His first attempt contains one word - "Hi." - which Jemaine thinks is better than he expected.)

Back at their place, Bret, Jemaine and Dave try to come up with ideas for dealing with the vendor. Dave suggests they frame him for murder by poisoning his fruit, but settles for the lesser option of teaching them how to "flip the bird".

After the vendor escalates the conflict by nailing a kiwi fruit to their door, the boys head over to his fruit stand to have a showdown with him. They furiously flip him the bird and chastise him for his racism. However they soon realize that he has New Zealanders and Australians mixed up and it is actually Australians that he hates. Realizing his mistake, the vendor apologizes and gives them some free fruit.

Back at the consulate, Murray learns from Greg that Jessica (the tech-support girl) is gone; her duties are complete. An upset Murray sings "Leggy Blonde" to his lost love.

Over the end credits, we see shots of Bret, Jemaine and Sinjay the fruit vendor flipping the bird to the guard at the Australian consulate.

Notes[edit]

  • We learn that Murray is separated from his wife, which explains the wedding ring that he has been wearing in the preceding episodes.
  • We discover that Dave is of Indian descent, as is Arj Barker, the actor who plays him.
  • This is the only episode of the series in which Kristen Schaal (Mel) does not appear.

Songs[edit]

Titles of fictitious program Albi.

The following songs are featured in this episode:

"Albi the Racist Dragon"[edit]

"Albi the Racist Dragon" (a.k.a. Albie[1]), sung by Jemaine, concerns the eponymous character's persecution by an angry mob and subsequent redemption, through the companionship of one of his victims, a "badly burned Albanian boy." It is mostly spoken word set to an animated sequence in a children's TV style. The animated sequence was directed by Oliver Dear, a storyboard artist and illustrator, who has previously worked with Executive Producer Troy Miller on the opening sequence for the 76th Academy Awards in 2004. The plot parodies the simplistic and ridiculous resolutions that occur in plots of children's TV shows.

"Mutha'uckas"[edit]

"Mutha'uckas"[1] features Jemaine and Bret singing about their frustration with the racist vendor and other annoyances of daily life. The self censoring ("Mutha Uckas") is intentional — the band has always sung it that way in concerts.[2]

"Leggy Blonde"[edit]

"Leggy Blonde"[3] (sometimes listed as "Leggie Blonde"[1]) is a love song sung by Murray about the tech support lady. Bret and Jemaine sing backup and other consulate staff provide percussion using office supplies. The visuals for this song were inspired by the music video for the song "War Over Water" by Samuel Flynn Scott.[4] Scott, as part of The Phoenix Foundation, contributed to the soundtrack of the movie Eagle vs Shark which was also directed by Taika Waititi and starred Jemaine Clement.

Cultural references[edit]

The first TV show we see them watch on Murray's video tape is A Dog's Show. This is a real New Zealand television show from the 1980s that broadcast sheepdog trial competitions.

After this, we hear an ad for What Have You Done to My House?, another TV show. This show is fictional, but references a number of shows with the same premise.

In the advertisement for the New Zealand's Library telephone service, the man asks to reserve the new Gipsy Kings album; the Gipsy Kings are a French band.

The writer and director of this episode, Taika Waititi, makes a small cameo in this episode. He plays a character in the "Learning to Use the Phone" advertisement on the tape they watch. He also directs Jemaine Clement in the 2007 film Eagle vs Shark.

The cinematography in the scene where Bret and Jemaine approach the fruit vendor in order to flip him the bird has many similarities to early John Woo action films.[citation needed]

Dave makes reference to the film Escape from Alcatraz.

Filming locations[edit]

  • The scenes during the song "Mutha Uckers" with Bret and Jemaine on bicycles were filmed on Ludlow Street, between Canal Street and Hester Street in Manhattan. The bicycle-bouncing shots were filmed nearby at the Worth St end of Columbus Park.
  • Bret and Jemaine confront Sinjay with their "offensive hand gestures" on the corner of Mosco Street and Mulberry Street in front of Columbus Park.

References[edit]