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Bowie
1x06 - Bowie
Season 1
Episode 6
Air Date July 22, 2007
Writer(s) James Bobin
Jemaine Clement
Bret McKenzie
Director Troy Miller
Guests Stars Frank Wood as Greg
David Costabile as Doug
John Hodgman as David Armstrong

Gallery of ImagesMain Discussion

Prev: Sally Returns
Next: Drive By

After a photo session, Bret develops body image issues and gets some dream advice from his idol, David Bowie. Jemaine plots to cheer him up and Murray tries to get one of the band's tunes used for a musical greeting card.

PlotEdit

Bret starts suffering body image issues after Murray accuses him of being small during a photo session. He then gets visited in a dream by a Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie (who, as Bret points out, looks remarkably like Jemaine) telling him not to worry about his body image and advising him to get an eyepatch.

Murray announces that he has arranged a meeting with a company who are interested in using one of the band's songs in a musical greeting card. Jemaine visits Mel and asks her to cheer Bret up complimenting him next time she sees him. Later Jemaine tries to cheer Bret up himself by singing him a song he has written, "Bret, You've Got It Going On".

After Bowie's eyepatch suggestion causes accidents, Bret is visited again in a dream, this time by Bowie dressed as he appears in the Ashes to Ashes music video. Bowie advises him to do something "absolutely outrageous" when the "time is right". The next day they see Mel on the street who compliments Bret profusely at the expense of Jemaine who now starts to doubt his own body image.

At the greeting card meeting the owner, David Armstrong, tries to explain the workings of the audio card to technically challenged Murray, Jemaine and Bret. When Armstrong says that he feels that the band are not really interested in the opportunity, Bret sees it as the cue to do something outrageous. He leaps onto the manager's desk and exposes himself. On the bus ride home, Murray and Jemaine express their disappointment with Bret for ruining the business opportunity and Murray becomes depressed that his management skills weren't good enough to prevent the incident or spin it well.

That night Bret gets visited again. This time it is Bowie as he appears in the movie Labyrinth. A disappointed Bowie tells Bret that he is out of advice and has lost confidence in his ability to help people. The scene ends with a song and music video, "Bowie", that mimics various performance styles and roles from David Bowie's career.

Despite the disastrous meeting, the greeting card company decides to produce the card anyway, but because the chosen design is "Happy 80th Birthday, Son" very few cards are made and the band ends up earning only 50¢.

SongsEdit

The following are songs featured in this episode.

Bret, You've Got It Going OnEdit

Jemaine sings Bret, You've Got It Going On to Bret in order to try and break him out of his depressive mood regarding his body image. Frequently laced into the song are Jemaine's self conscious remindings that he is not gay - 'Why can't a heterosexual guy tell a heterosexual guy that he think's his booty's fly', which lead into his revelation that he wishes that either he or Bret were female. This song does not have an accompanying music video. Jemaine and Bret are sitting in their apartment and Jemaine simply plays an acoustic guitar.

BowieEdit

Bowie (a.k.a Bowie's in Space') begins after Bret's last dream encounter with David Bowie. It is a parody of the many musical styles and visual aesthetics that Bowie has used in his career. The video mimics, in particular, elements of the videos for "Space Oddity" and "Rebel Rebel". During the credits the second part of the video mimics Bowie's song "Let's Dance".

Background NotesEdit

  • Arj Barker is not credited in this episode, although he is present in the last scene outside his pawn shop and asks the guys how the card works.
  • Bret is reading a magazine called "Novelty Music Scene", early in the episode. On the cover is "Weird Al" Yankovic. It is worth noting that David Bowie spent some time as a novelty musician (with his single "The Laughing Gnome" being the most obvious example, although bigger hits like "Space Oddity" have been considered novelty songs.)
  • When Murray shows the duo their photo that was featured in the magazine, the caption reads "New Zealand Novelty Duo: Tenacious Dundee?". This is a reference to another famous comedy musical pairing Tenacious D, and also to Crocodile Dundee, a fictional character created by Australian film-maker Paul Hogan.
  • Near the end of the episode, Murray, Bret and Jemaine have a discussion about biscuits. In New Zealand, the term "biscuit" is used to refer to the food item more generally known as a cookie in North America, and not the scone-like item that North Americans call a biscuit.
  • In keeping with the running David Bowie theme in the episode, after Bowie leaves for "outer space," a long and surreal music video sequence accompanies the "Bowie" number making numerous musical and visual allusions to Bowie's career. Amongst the alluded works include "Space Oddity", "Changes", "Jean Genie", the music video for "Rebel Rebel", Bowie's Love You Till Tuesday featurette, and the cinematic content of The Man Who Fell to Earth. The final credits also feature reference to "Let's Dance" and Bowie's fashion choices at the time.
  • The robot on the birthday card is a robot from the Doctor Who episode Robot.
  • The space-helmet-wearing band at the end of "Bowie" is a reference to the 1977 video for "Magic Fly" by the French electronic music band Space.
  • There is a Sub Pop sticker on Bret's guitar case.
Season One Episodes

1. "Sally"
2. "Bret Gives Up the Dream"
3. "Mugged"
4. "Yoko"

5. "Sally Returns"
6. "Bowie"
7. "Drive By"
8. "Girlfriends"

9. "What Goes on Tour"
10. "New Fans"
11. "The Actor"
12. "The Third Conchord"

Season Two Episodes

1. "A Good Opportunity"
2. "The New Cup"
3. "The Tough Brets"
4. "Murray Takes It to the Next Level"

5. "Unnatural Love"
6. "Love is a Weapon of Choice"
7. "Prime Minister"
8. "New Zealand Town"

9. "Wingmen"
10. "Evicted"

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