”Entourage”: What happens in Vegas…
This is what you would call a romp. A classic Vegas-themed episode, show No. 9 was filled with all the necessary elements of a Sin City sidetrack: blackjack, strippers, big losses, big wins, a celebrity cameo (Seth Green in a commendable appearance as a smarmy, annoying weasel), a fistfight, and… plenty of homoerotic tension!?!? Okay, maybe it wasn’t your typical sitcom scenario, but it was a great episode of guy-centric frivolity that didn’t try to advance the narrative, a welcome change of pace after the overcooked frenzy of last week’s show.
In their typically fearless way, Entourage used the featherweight subject matter to expose yet another unseemly and greedy celebrity tradition: the appearance fee. That was the whole reason for the Nevada trip: an easy payday. Turtle arranged for Vince to receive a generous $100,000 fee for merely showing up at the opening of a club called Body English. (Doesn’t that sound like a name for one of those new supposedly chick-attracting deodorant sprays?) This is no HBO-created fiction: Paris Hilton reportedly gets three times as much for showing up at discotheques throughout the Continent. Unsurprisingly, the club was actually a strip club, and Vince had (without his knowledge) committed to judging a ”Queen of the Strip” contest. Being the mensch that he is, Vince let his best lech, um, friend Turtle be his ”eyes, ears, and mouth” for that operation.
As Ari pointed out numerous times — when he wasn’t having a conniption over his blackjack losses — maybe Vince shouldn’t be carousing with girls named Crystal and Tiffani when his career seems to be in freefall. Vince waved it off while puffing a joint in his Escalade, as if he were a college frosh without a care in the world. It’s totally irresponsible, but kind of awesome, too. Maybe Vince’s juvenile nonchalance about his own career is Entourage‘s own small way of rebelling against the aggravating proliferation of media-trained, stage-managed, vacuous robo-thespians. As long as Vinnie boy doesn’t go all Mel Gibson on us, a little bit of unbridled ”realness” is fine with me.
Speaking of exposing yourself, things got a little uncomfortable for Drama, when his man-masseur Ken mistook Drama’s over-the-top affection for a come-on. Drama’s id freaked out, flooded testosterone into his system, and then he unleashed some old fashioned whoop-ass on Seth Green and his gang of Jäger-swilling losers. Now, what are we supposed to assume from this? I don’t think Drama is gay, despite his weird Ken worship. He’s obviously a bit of a homophobe — overcompensating much, Johnny? — but mostly I think he’s just an oblivious, narcissistic metrosexual who loves to pamper himself with maroon silk robes and hour upon hour of massage. As a man who has experienced a transcendent hour or two of deep-tissue massage in his life, I can appreciate Drama’s position: He just loves a good rubdown. Wait, does that sound dirty?
Questions for next week: Will we see the return of the shady Hollywood Foreign Press Association? Is Babs going to tear Ari a new one? Will Vince take another role soon? Will Seth Green press charges?