”Entourage”: Sex and drugs and Bob Saget
In this year’s first TV Watch on Entourage, I listed five reasons I was disappointed in the season premiere. Judging from this episode, I believe the crew at HBO read the article and addressed every single one of my complaints. Perhaps they’ll think about hiring me as a consultant now that I’ve gone five for five.
Okay, of course I know that the writers ignore guys like me and, moreover, probably had episode 5 in the can months ago. But let me dream for a few minutes. It’s as if they were responding to all of us Entouragers who were crying out to the show to get back to its roots. With this episode, the series did just that. You need proof? Here’s a rundown:
After the first episode, I wrote, ”If this is the way Ari’s going to be all year, Vince should find other representation” Way back then, I wondered why Ari had all of a sudden lost his arrogance and confidence while he pleaded with Vince to take Aquaman. But the superagent has been coming back strong. This week’s Ari Moment even topped last week’s tantrum and subsequent firing of the mailroom clerk. As Ari drove with his wife to pick up their daughter at school, he looked like a beaming Father of the Year. But we quickly learned the real reason for this trip: Why, what a coincidence — there’s Dana Gordon, the woman in charge of casting Aquaman, picking up her kid! If we didn’t think it last week, it’s confirmed now: Ari’s got game again.
I wrote, ”The pop-culture references and celebrity cameos need improvement” This episode erased memories of Amanda Peet’s bland first-episode walk-through, and it did so by following rule No. 1 of celeb appearances in movies and TV: You can’t go wrong putting in Saget. (If you’ve ever seen Half-Baked, how hard did you laugh when the former Danny Tanner admitted he has a coke problem to Dave Chappelle and Jim Breuer?) This is especially true for an HBO show with no holds barred. Even though you knew the jokes would all be based on how Saget is nothing like his former Full House character, he still got more laughs on this one episode than he did on his entire run of America’s Funniest Home Videos. Here are a few highlights: Telling the boys about sending his plane to Colombia to get the purest weed. Doing an extended handshake with Turtle. Discussing his house account at the brothel. You get the idea. And how do you top off a Bob Saget cameo? End it with Vince turning to Eric and asking, ”Who the f— was that guy?” As for the pop-culture allusions, Johnny and Turtle’s tag-team use of the Starland Vocal Band’s ”Afternoon Delight” to describe the activities at their new neighbor’s house was one of the oddest references I’ve seen on TV in a long time. Which leads right to the next point.
I wrote, ”I demand better subplots for Johnny and Turtle” I still think that devoting an entire half of the premiere to Turtle’s solution of Johnny’s head-shot problem was lame. Though Turtle’s little cold streak in this episode was almost too obvious, the discussion of how his ”wave-nod” exudes desperation was priceless. Any time Turtle tries to hit on Hollywood hotties, it’s comic gold. And tell me you didn’t enjoy watching as Johnny and Turtle whispered to Vince that they both knew the girls they slept with were ”pros” and ”hookers.”
I wrote, ”Where’s Emily?” There she is! Finally! Flashback to the premiere: Ari mentioned to Eric that Emily had jumped ship to James Cameron’s office. So when we heard Josh Weinstein mention the Titanic director last week, most of you put two and two together and realized that the blond assistant would be back. Thank God we haven’t seen hide nor hair of another of Eric’s exes, Kristen. Even the way Emily purred Eric’s name at him when he arrived at J.C.’s office was a vast improvement over Kirsten’s whining, which is still ringing in my ears. Though Eric told Vince and Co. that he and Emily are going to start as friends and see where it goes, I think we’ll be watching ”The Ericization of Emily” soon enough.
I wrote, ”What happened in New York?” We finally caught ten seconds of the indie that Vince shot there last summer, as he looped, ”I am Queens Boulevard.” Ooooo. Very dramatic, Vinny. I agree with Eric — the Sundance-bound flick actually did look good, though that line got a little old. I’m expecting more than a snippet when the boys travel to Utah. [Thanks for the fix, readers!] And with more Queens Boulevard, we get more of shaggy auteur and Chris Robinson look-alike Billy Walsh. Do you think ”Yo, suit!” could become this season’s ”Hug it out”?
What do you think? Do you agree that the series is finally up to speed, or is it back in a rut? Will Eric fix the James Cameron debacle? Will the boys run out of money before the Aquaman deal comes in? And will Turtle ever hook up again without having to pay for it?