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The battle of Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenocerous is over – and we all lost.
It's hard to begrudge the duo – and show co-creator James Bobin – the break. In less than two years, the New Zealand team turned out 22 episodes of the New York-set show, each with at least one song and music video, as well as deadpan dialogue woven into delightfully absurd plots (who knew the purchase of one coffee mug could lead to havoc?).
But for a moment, let’s channel Mel, their only fan and faithful stalker, and selfishly consider what we’ll be missing.
No more visits from Brian, the blustery prime minister of New Zealand. No more nocturnal appearances by various incarnations of David Bowie. No more songs about "Sugar Lumps."
No more friendship graphs from Murray, their hapless attendance-happy manager. No more benefit concerts for canine epilepsy. No more addiction to hair gel.
The quirky program chronicling the exploits of two hopelessly naïve New Zealand musicians making a mess of trying to make it big in New York proved a hit on HBO, building an audience of three million, and leading to concerts and albums. It's almost fitting, in a Conchordian way, that the show about two losers is ending at the height of its success.
On what proved to be the final episode, Jemaine and Bret got evicted (it was discovered they’d been paying rent in New Zealand dollars), deported (immigration officials caught up with them after seeing Murray’s dreadful musical about their lives) and were last seen in New Zealand, tending sheep and playing music in the fields.
“We like the way the show ended,” the duo said on their website.“ While the characters Bret and Jemaine will no longer be around, the real Bret and Jemaine will continue to exist.”
Still, there’s a tad of hope the characters Bret and Jemaine will return. McKenzie told NME, the UK music publication, it’s possible “we'd do a film or something like that.”
Perhaps we’ll see a rematch of Hiphopopotamus and Rhymenocerous yet…
Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is the former City Editor of the New York Daily News, where he started as a reporter in 1992. Follow him on Twitter.