”Entourage”: Men will be dogs
Just as Entourage pulled the Ari-Amanda agent switcheroo in last week’s premiere, we’re mixing things up here at the show’s TV Watch. I’ll be taking over for the incredible Mr. Michael Endelman. But in case you’re worried I’m just some hack they grabbed while walking down the hall of the EW offices, fear not — I’ve got the credentials. (I can’t make any claims about the ”hack” question.)
As a born and bred Angeleno and a former bartender at events ranging from premieres to Hollywood Hills parties, I’ve seen the pretty people close up and in their native environment. I can tell you that Entourage comes damn close to being a documentary. Is that a little sad? Yes. But it’s true, and doesn’t it make the show even better knowing that people are out there living lives of such sweet excess?
So now that we’ve met, given each other air kisses, promised to do lunch at Spago, and sworn to have my people call your people, let’s dive in.
Tonight’s episode continued the theme of troubled relationships. Last week Ari and Vince acted like a couple attempting to stay friends after an ugly breakup. Now, it’s E’s and Vince’s turn to go all Oprah on their relationship. Seems even a super-famous, supremely mellow movie star can be a third wheel if a guy wants to have a romantic getaway with his girlfriend. How to escape going away to Napa on a couples’ weekend with Vince and one of his ”special lady friends”? Lie. And then lie some more. E’s failed attempt to play Vince and Sloane off each other so he wouldn’t be the bad guy came off like an episode of Frasier. The foursome had a wonderful dinner until all parties shared information and E was busted. I nearly expected John Mahoney to make a cameo as a wacky waiter. Since no bad deed goes unpunished, E got four days of no sex with Sloane, while Vince and Co. jetted off for a weekend in Cabo San Lucas. It was great to see some problems between the two childhood buds, but did the story line seem a bit forced? Maybe it’s foreshadowing a split between Vince and E.
What did seem natural was Drama and Turtle taking full advantage of a lack of supervision. ”With Mom and Dad gone, we’ll have the entire house to ourselves!” Turtle gleefully cried in anticipation of E and Vince’s departure. So it was off to the Laurel Canyon dog park with their rottweiler, Arnold, to meet some ladies and some bitches. The boys found both in a pair of women walking a lady dog the same breed as Arnold. Flash forward: The group was poolside, and the boys were finally about to get lucky. Funny how Turtle always needs a crutch with the ladies: dropping Vince’s name in season 1 and now using his mutt. In L.A. a cute dog is almost as good as a famous friend.
But love wasn’t in the air after a dogfight — rule 1 of pet care: Don’t throw raw meat between two animals — and the group rushed off to a veterinary hospital. And then the guys pulled a classic man move: fake concern. They spent hours sitting in the waiting room just to get some action in the bedroom. But a dog is man’s best friend after all, and after Turtle’s gal accused the beloved Arnold of being vicious, Turtle defended his pooch’s honor, thereby dashing any hope that Drama would bring his puppy love with the other girl to fruition. As comic relief, is there any duo on TV better then Kevin Dillon and Jerry Ferrara? Piven is good, but bring on the Emmy love for these two!
Speaking of the Emmy winner, Ari Gold finally got some soul tonight. But do we even want Ari to evolve into a better person? I don’t want to see Lou Grant perky, Archie Bunker sweet, or Ari Gold with a conscience. Tonight, Ari used Lloyd to prove he’s a ”friend of the gay man” in order to land a new TV-writer client. So far, so good. This is morally reprehensible, just how we like Ari. Even better was when Lloyd asked about a promotion, and Ari said, ”Don’t be ridiculous. You’ve been on my desk for 16 months. It’s going to be at least another 24.” A smart — and not that far-fetched — way to keep Lloyd and Ari together without having us wonder why the assistant has never moved up the corporate ladder. But using Lloyd as bait made Ari feel bad. Yes, he actually felt bad when the writer wanted Lloyd to literally consummate the deal after a few drinks at a West Hollywood club. So Ari intervened, saying, ”We may be whores at our agency, but we ain’t pimps.” Losing the client, but perhaps saving himself?
No movement at all tonight on Vince’s role in the Sam Mendes film — and just a glimpse of Carla Gugino! Boo! Do you think he’ll wind up doing that movie? Or will he lose the role by holding out for Medellín? And will a kinder, gentler Ari be able to do his job?