"Murray, we don't sing other people's songs."
"Oh, I know, Bret, but here's the thing. I listen to some of their songs, and they're actually better than your songs."
Okay, after a second viewing, my opinion still stands - favorite episode of the season. Two plots, equally funny, that come together nicely in the end. Just enough plot, just enough humor, and great use of the whole ensemble. I'm surprised everyone else isn't all OMG BEST EPISODE EVAR!!!!11!!!!1!, but hey, we're all different. I liked the following things:
[*] I'm disclosing my bias right now. I'm madly in love with Mary Lynn Rajskub, so seeing her on this show made my freaking day. She was acting relatively normal by her standards, which made it even funnier when Mel was telling Jemaine about how psycho Karen was. As an objective reviewer, I think we saw just enough of the character. Any more would have stretched the joke too thin. As my normal, biased self, I want to see her join the cast.
[*] I had no idea that was Patton Oswalt playing the Elton John impersonator until my second viewing. Either I'm really dumb, or he's really good. Likely both.
[*] The Prime Minister of New Zealand, just chillin' out with Dave, discussing "The Matrix".
[*] "Demon Woman". Now THAT is how you effectively combine a good song with a good video! I hadn't heard it before, so I can't compare it to any previous live version. Bret looked very "seventies" with his hair combed down like that. And even as a guy I have to admit Jemaine has some great dance moves.
[*] I loved the scene between Jemaine and Mel. It would have been very easy for Mel to go over the top creepy here, but Kristen Schaal handled it very well. She's not just a stalking fan - you can see she actually cares about the guys.
[*] Actually, Mel's every appearance was gold this week. Her confusion watching the guys sing Simon & Garfunkel, her CRAZY sign (which I missed the first time), and making out with Doug-as-Bret in the car were all highlights. Just walk away, Jemaine...
[*] Art Garfunkel's cameo was very nice. "This is like the twelfth one."
[*] And speaking of things I love: the appearance of "Barack Obama". (All my favorite things in one show!) The whole scene was very funny, especially Bret's bodyguard outfit. For some reason it just made me laugh.I disliked the following things:
[*] The descriptions of unseen past gigs are getting old. It's been done several times this season already.
"What about that gig at the taco shop?"
"That wasn't a gig."
"What do you mean, it wasn't a gig? Of course it was, you were playing in front of people!"
"But the restaurant was closed."
"You were playing for the janitor! And you got free food out of it!"
"I don't think that food was originally meant for us."
"Yes, he was about to throw it away."
"Well, it was on the floor to begin with."
(I just made that one up on the spot.
[*] The whole Prime Minister plot seemed very 80's-sit-com-ish, but it was redeemed by a brilliant performance by Brian Sergent, who was consistently entertaining throughout. Apparently New Zealand is run by that crazy uncle that everyone has.
[*] I'm completely torn on Bret's karaoke song. It was brilliant and odd, with Bret leaning forward to see the "words" and his deadpan expression after finishing. The melody was quite catchy too. I just wonder if it was too odd for some folks, and I think it was poorly placed. It was too far away from the setup of the karaoke gig at the beginning of the show. By the time the song came on, it took me a second to remember the reference. But it wouldn't be the first time this show has been too subtle.
[*] The end credits scene with Bret as Paul Simon was just kind of odd and fell flat.