2. The New Cup
‘I see you girls checkin’ out my trunks I see you girls checkin’ out the front of my trunks I see you girls checkin’ out my junk, then checkin’ out my rump, then back to my sugarlumps’
More on that later…
The episode opens with Bret and Jemaine having a discussion about a new cup that Bret has decided to buy. After all, it only cost $2.79 and the purchase of a new cup would mean that they wouldn’t have to share the only cup they have and there would be no need for Jemaine’s ‘cup roster’, which means that Bret is unable to have a cup of tea between 7-9pm. Caffeine at that time of night? Tsk tsk.
After the credits we find Jemaine going through their finances. He notices that the cheque for their phone bill has bounced as their account was short by, you’ve guessed it, $2.79. As their account was short they incurred a $30 charge. Their financial woes didn’t stop there though. The cheque for their gas bill also bounced and their services are due to be cut off immediately. The $2.79 cup isn’t looking like such a bargain after all.
To combat their financial problems Bret sells his guitar, which makes performing gigs a little problematic, to say the least. Sans guitar, Bret’s reduced to playing air guitar whilst making guitar noises, leaving Jemaine to play the ‘Daddy guitar’or bass guitar in muso terms.
In the band meeting that follows the performance, Murray is less than impressed. In a write up he did in the New Zealand Consulate News Letter he awards the boys ‘2 stars out of 100’ (roughly the same score as I’d give the previous episode). Bret requests some emergency band funds so that he can get a guitar, but Murray tells him that this is impossible as their funds are tied up in a business opportunity with Murray’s friend, Nigel Seladu from Nigeria.
Desperate for money, Bret is reduced to selling ‘super straws’in front of the apartment. Mel, ever obliging, buys one and when she hears of their financial woes, she offers to pay them $30 for a massage. What follows is an awkward encounter with Bret being unable to bring himself to go through with it leaving Jemaine to prod away aimlessly, much to Mel’s delight, as poor old Doug watches from the sofa.
Following the easy, if somewhat awkward, money earned from the massage, Jemaine suggests that they become male prostitutes – after all it’s a quick way to make money and isn’t degrading. Bret’s unconvinced, as they don’t get any sex anyway so why would people pay money for them. Jemaine launches into Sugarlumps a brilliant take on My Humps with Dave performing a rap in the style of the theme from The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air thrown in for good measure. Still unconvinced, Bret states that he thinks Jemaine should be the prostitute.
There have been reports that writing songs for this series had been a struggle. This song certainly doesn’t show that – on par lyrically and musically with a lot of their previous output, it easily stands up to the best songs from last series, which is great to see. There’s also an appearance from The Prince of Parties which is a nice nod to series 1.
Bret and Jemaine try to drum up business by approaching women on the street. Their attempts at this are hilarious but unsuccessful. Unable to attract any business, Jemaine is left with little option but to sell the ‘Daddy guitar’ leaving both of them performing their classic Robots sans guitar. Murray hilariously labels the performance “Flight of the no-chords” in his review for the consulate newsletter.
Still desperate for money, Jemaine decides to take his new profession seriously, calling up an old girlfriend to let her know about his new profession to try and get money from her for sex that they had previously and asking her if she fancies meeting up again. This scene also sees another nice little nod back to season 1 with, what I think is, Foux du Fafa playing in the background whilst Jemaine is making the call. If my memory serves me correctly, things didn’t exactly go well for Jemaine with the girl in that episode.
Such is Jemaine’s focus on his new career, he misses the bands next meeting. Which is unfortunate, as Nigel Seladu accompanies Murray. Murray and Nigel aren’t impressed to learn that Jemaine has become a prostitute, stating that he’s degrading himself. Murray asks Bret to find Jemaine and stop him. What follows is Bret performing You Don’t Have To Be A Prostitute, another strong song, but it doesn’t touch on the quality of Sugarlumps.
As the song ends, Bret finds Jemaine in a hotel room with a customer – well the customer’s out of the room at the time, as Jemaine insists on his clients showering before business time. Bret’s discussion with Jemaine is cut short when the police turn up to arrest the boys for being prostitutes. Murray has to bail the boys out with the money earned from his investment return from Nigel Seladu.
After the credits, power returns to the boys’ apartment that triggers a domino effect that leads to Brett’s cup being smashed.
After last week’s sub-par effort, from the sub-pop signed duo, I didn’t have high hopes for the series, but this episode has restored some of my faith. This episode was fantastic! Maybe it was because my expectations were so low following last week, that I was easily impressed, or maybe it’s simply down to this episode being a Conchords classic. More of this and less of what was seen in episode 1, please.
Check out our review of episode 1 here.