On ''Entourage,'' Eric and Vince stand up to the dreaded indie producer Harvey Weingard at the Utah film festival and win ''Aquaman''

By Charles Curtis
Updated January 13, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST
Entourage: Claudette Barius

”Entourage”: Hot times at the Sundance festival

They’ve been teasing us with this one since the season began. That’s right: It’s the Sundance episode. I was fully decked out in a parka, ski pants, and boots and sipping hot chocolate with marshmallows with the air conditioner pumped up to high, just to feel like I was a part of the action in Utah. But I didn’t need to bundle up; as Ari put it, at Sundance, ”you come for the heat.” There was so much heat in last night’s episode that I thought the show could make this the season finale.

In honor of the boys’ making their way to the actual festival and filming on location in Utah, I’d like to hand out my own set of Sundance awards for this episode. Pass the envelopes, please:

Audience Award: Best Facial Expressions God bless TiVo — it allowed me to go back a half-dozen times and watch the looks on both Turtle’s and Johnny’s faces as Cassie the driver took their hands to lead them upstairs for a little…group bonding on the bunk beds. Without them saying a word, we knew what they were both thinking: Is a night spent with a beautiful blonde about to join the Peace Corps worth seeing each other nude? This subplot also allowed Entourage to introduce another crass new phrase into the mass audience’s lexicon: ”crossing swords.”

Special Jury Prize: Best Celebrity Acting You would think that James Cameron would win this one easily. But he didn’t really have much of a role (besides his sarcastic retort to the concessions-stand cashier about Titanic). So the winner is…Peter Dinklage! His short — excuse me, Pete — brief cameo provided one of the show’s truest statements about the hierarchy of the film business: The diminutive Station Agent star told Ari, ”I tolerate agents; I don’t like them.” Also noteworthy: It’s funny how Ari can rip on Dinklage’s indie success a few episodes ago and kiss up to him now. Gotta love Hollywood!

Audience Award: Least Subtle Imitation Hmmm. A rotund, foul-mouthed, ill-tempered producer who has the Midas touch when it comes to awards — or, as Shauna said, ”Everything he touches turns to Oscar gold.” Plus, Ari said that he used to produce Kevin Smith movies. Could this character be based on Harvey Weinstein? Nah, his name is Harvey Weingard. Those other resemblances must be coincidental.

Excellence in Lebowski Homage After finding out that Mr. Cameron left Queens Boulevard about 10 minutes into the four-hour indie, Vince said, ”F— it. Let’s go boarding.” Replace the last word in the line with ”bowling,” and we’ve got ourselves a Coen brothers quotation. Perhaps it’s Entourage‘s subtle Sundance-inspired salute to independent filmmaking.

Special Jury Prize: Worst Acting This one’s a shoo-in. Angela Trimbur, who has stood out in the casts of Road Rules: Extreme and Road Rules/Real World Challenge, should stick to her day job. Playing publicist Jen, Angela said the line ”I must have seen [Titanic], like, 400 times” as if she were reading it off a cue card. That PG-13-topless shot of her by the hot tub did make the appearance a bit more memorable.

Grand Jury Prize for Corniest Moment I have to admit that I was as excited as the boys that Vince will be suiting up as Aquaman. But how lame were those few seconds of snowboarding, which included both a downhill high five and a freeze-frame shot of Eric and Vince catching air on a jump? I would rather have seen more of Ari’s victory dance in the snow. Or how about more face time for James Cameron? After all the mentions he’s gotten this season, he could have gotten up off his pile of cash to make more than two brief appearances.

What do you think? Which character or actor most deserves an award?