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Sounds Like Fun--But Painfully Uneventful and Unenlightening
on October 20, 2006
I wanted to complete the review of HBO's "Tourgasm" at the same time as I took a look at Dane Cook's concert film "Vicious Circle." I think Dane Cook is a talented and engaging performer, and I think his standup is genial and enjoyable. I can't say that I'm a big fan of his film choices thus far, but his CD's and concerts are genuinely funny and identifiable. In my review of "Vicious Circle", I gave the DVD 4 stars.
Now that you know I don't have an agenda against Dane Cook, you can take this review in the spirit it was intended or not. "Tourgasm" is a reality show broadcast in 9 episodes. It takes a look at Dane with three other comics as they traveled the country to perform for 20 shows in 30 days. On paper, this seems like a great idea--some great comedy, some backstage drama, some insight into the comedy process, a more personal look at Dane Cook. There was a potential for many things.
Inexplicably, however, nothing was delivered. The show has no narrative drive, no hook and nothing to invest yourself in. You want to hear great comedy? Not here. You get a couple of jokes from each show--but anyone familiar with Dane Cook's CDs and Gary Gulman's stint on "Last Comic Standing" will be familiar with the material. But trust me, this series is NOT about the comedy performances. Backstage drama, then? Absolutely not. We're treated to a couple of pranks, and an argument or two (mostly Robert Kelly picking on newbie Jay Davis). Not that interesting. Everyone keeps telling the camera how difficult this trip is, how revolutionary--and yet our view is so sanitized--if there was drama, I never saw it. At one point Gary Gulman actually leaves the tour for a while, I guess he's sick of it. But we see nothing leading up to it and the actual event takes place off camera. One day he's just not there. This is NOT backstage insight. Will you learn about the comedy process? Well, Jay Davis does make up one unfunny joke and we're treated to seeing him do it several times. Personal info on Dane? Nope.
I feel strongly that this could have been fascinating TV. But as it stands, it is so uneventful as to be nonexistent. I'm only trying to warn you! These nine episodes will seem like a lifetime. KGHarris, 10/06.