Taking a stream-of-conscious theatrics clue from producers Bob Odenkirk and David Cross of HBO's "Mr. Show," "Tenacious D" wreaks havoc on the wacky world of two struggling musicians.

Taking a stream-of-conscious theatrics clue from producers Bob Odenkirk and David Cross of HBO’s “Mr. Show,” “Tenacious D” wreaks havoc on the wacky world of two struggling musicians. Tenacious D is the portly heavy-acoustic duo of Jack Black and Kyle Gass; show, two vignettes per episode, chronicles them as they bounce back and forth between open mic nights and their bleak apartment, meeting, as they do, weirdo denizens of L.A.’s underground. Slew of inside jokes limit the half-hour’s potential and off-the-wall antics are too hit and miss to hold it together consistently.

Each episode begins with the duo onstage being given a humorous introduction. Series premiere details the two battling for the affection of a punk record store clerk, which leads to a hooky martial arts confrontation, and “The Search for Inspirado,” in which they attempt to write a song. Both have a hard time sustaining viewer interest for a full 15 minutes.

Far better are two upcoming episodes: March 31’s “Death of a Dream,” in which the boys refuse to give up on their dream of becoming rock stars after proving the existence of Big Foot; and “The Fan” (April 7), which finds Tenacious D stalking their lone stalker fan.

Black and Gass, as writers, capture well the essence of nightclub life and the ambitiousness of the talent-challenged, an area they know well from gigging around town as one of the city’s fine parody acts. Actually, the more grounded the dialogue, the better the show works. Metaphysical sequences lack quality zingers, brisk editing and a sense of when to cut a scene short.

Show is technically on par with the skits of “Mr. Show with Bob and David.” Excellent location usage of the Garage nightclub and Captain Ed’s record store in the San Fernando Valley.

Tenacious D

HBO; Wed. March 24, 11 p.m.

Production

Filmed in Los Angeles by Dakota Films for HBO. Executive producers, Troy Miller, Bob Odenkirk, David Cross, Jack Black, Kyle Gass; producers, Tom Gianas, Tom Sherren; director, Gianas; writers, Black, Gass

Crew

Director of photography, David Makin; editor, Steve Welch; songs, Black & Gass. Running time: 30 MIN.

Cast

Starring: Jack Black, Kyle Gass. With: Paul F. Tompkins, David Cross, Laura Knightlinger, Laura Milligan, Kirk Ward.
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