”Entourage”: A few serious misunderstandings
I’m baaaaack! Did ya miss me? Perhaps not so much with the eloquent Dawnie Walton and Chris Schonberger stepping up while I was gone. But I missed you. And lest you think I simply took two weeks off without a single thought about the world of Entourage, be assured that the folks at Entertainment Weekly are always on call. I made my way to the City of Angels for the past 12 days to refresh my insidery know-how about the sparkling, shiny underbelly of Hollywood. Quick props to the folks and siblings for the free digs and grub. (Hey, I just report on Hollywood — that doesn’t mean I can afford a suite at the Mondrian.)
Tonight’s episode hit three major Hollywood arteries: the downside of living in a car culture, the ability of raving loons to become raving successes, and the continuing allure of the 90210 lifestyle.
First off, E managed to escape from his ill-advised promise to sell Medellín to the fake Harvey Weinstein. It was done in a manner best described as a beautiful train wreck. Having met the real Harvey Weinstein back in the 1990s, I must confess that Maury Chaykin’s performance was impressive. I’m not saying that it was spot-on, but that’s mostly because I’m actually still a little bit afraid of the real Harvey W. No doubt he’s a big fan of this TV Watch, so I’m just being careful. Whether brandishing a bread knife at the start of dinner, suggesting that E assault a man on his way to the bathroom, or finally getting booted from a nightclub for verbally abusing a waiter, the fake Harvey proved that if you can bring in the box office, almost any dysfunctional behavior is permitted in Hollywood. The best moments tonight were the give-and-take between E and Vince about whether E would step up to tell Harvey that the deal was dead. It actually felt like real old friends giving each other grief, and that provided the episode with some needed reality. Is anyone surprised that Vince backed out of confessing to Harvey? I’m shocked he agreed to in the first place. Vince has character (see: dumping the Aquaman sequel) but not much backbone. He is a movie star after all. Plus, it really is the job of a producer to take care of the dirty work. Do you wonder who Harvey was talking to when he swore, ”You’ll never work in this town again”? Was it Vince? Drama? The bouncer? I get the feeling that when the boys head to Cannes, we’ll be seeing Harvey again, and he won’t be in a very good mood. Burning this bridge might come back to haunt the boys.
In L.A. most people would rather give up their right arm than their cars. The doctor ready to perform that amputation? The valet. Street parking is available all over, but it’s not for a player, so out west most folks happily pass along the keys unlocking a $100K car to a guy they’ve never seen before simply because he’s wearing a vest and provides a stamped ticket. Crazy? Yes. Hollywood? Yes. As the manager pointed out, valets have access to not only your car but the GPS leading to your empty house. This proves what I have always suspected: Valets have access to more private info than psychiatrists. Ari’s automotive nightmare, which also meant he had lost an M. Night Shyamalan script, was an Entourage classic. M. Night is widely known for his obsessive secrecy. He was far better spoofing his real-life persona in this guest role than he was acting, writing, and directing in Lady in the Water. In fact, maybe he should give up movies and do a reality show. Probably would be more interesting. But Ari — except for ruining the marriage of the man with whom he traded cars by inadvertently letting the man’s wife know he’d been on a clandestine rendezvous — had a good night. Sure, he was arrested and got no sleep, but he ended up making the client happy. And that’s the mark of a good agent. My only question? No, it wasn’t why he was arrested. The cops frown on people driving four times the speed limit in California. I want to know why Ari wasted his one phone call on Mrs. Ari. Seems a true superagent would call his assistant first. Ari, you showed your true colors — you love your wife.
And finally Drama had a 90210 flashback. Seems the zip code is still in hot demand, and Drama wanted his neighborhood annexed to raise the property value of his condo. Meh. Drama is so much better when they aren’t wasting him as mere comic relief. Entourage is already so light that my TV set damn near floats away when the series airs. Give the guy a story line that matters at least a little. By the way, I happen to have eaten dinner at the house of the former mayor of Beverly Hills on my trip. (Shout-out to the Honorable Mark Egerman!) I gotta tell you — if you want an autographed photo of Luke Perry, the mayor might be able to help. But what local official holds the power to annex territory from another municipality? It seemed too far-fetched even for the fantasy world of Entourage. Still, you have to appreciate a story line that ends with full frontal of a tranny and brings all the boys together for the finale. The more the gang is together, the stronger the show gets.
What do you all think? Who missed Wally Balls this week? Did Mrs. Ari really think the sex toys in the trunk belonged to Ari? And what payback will the fake Harvey plan for E and Vince?