I usually make a point not to watch episodes of anything after i've learnt that it received an Emmy nomination as I will be so busy judging the merit of their nomination that my critical focus will be dimmed. Thankfully my Flight of the Conchords DVD does not specify the name of the episodes so i was free to watch what can only be described as the wittiest episode of the series in a state of blissful ignorance. "Prime Minister" features the boys having to sink even lower in order to obtain a gig; impersonating Simon and Garfunkel. As well as obtaining a hefty paycheck of $50 they also befriend fellow impersonators and Jemaine gets into a relationship with a Simon and Garfunkel fanatic that makes Mel look normal. Meanwhile Murray chaperones the uncouth New Zealand Prime Minister in New York and tries to arrange a meeting with the President without breaking it to the PM that no-one really cares about New Zealand at all. The real highlight of the episode is Brian, the inept and immature Prime Minister who acts as the strongest indicator that the show has no respect for New Zealand(ers). Whether he's solving the environmental catastrophe by asking his government to "clean it up a bit" or inquiring at the consulate about how the movie CARS ends, he is hilarious and steals every scene from under the nose of Jemaine, Bret and suprisingly Murray. Another nice touch are the many quite credible impersanators who not only act as quick visual gags but proves a handy plot device for the hilarious conclusion with an impersanator that i won't reveal to preserve the punchline. While every microsecond of the "Prime Minister" plot is immensely amusing and enjoyable, Jemaine's quirky sub-plot takes a while to get off the ground but ends brilliantly with a celebrity cameo that i also won't reveal. While the befuddled Prime Minister sees the show adopt more conventional humor for the most part, familiar elements of the show are very much present; the awkward conversations are at their best and even include some confusing double negatives about doing somene's thing which isn't their thing and looking like someone who doesn't look like them as well as the classic Flight of the Conchords technique of combining zaniness with extreme groundedness. The episode doesn't put a foot wrong until it gets to the songs which is a shame since they are usually the saving grace of even the dullest episode (not that they come up too often). "Demon Woman" is catchy enough and has a good beat but is visually surreal to the point of almost being frightening and the Asian karaoke song is flat-out boring and the swipe at Karoke songs/videos is too faint to generate laughs. However, I did the enjoy the brief mangling of a Simon and Garfunkel song.
"Prime Minister" is easily the finest of season 2 so far and shows that Flight of the Conchords is flying high.