Entourage: Claudette Barius

On ''Entourage,'' Johnny hooks up with his former ''Viking Quest'' costar at a comic-book convention, where Vince continues to have Mandy trouble

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TV Show
January 13, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST

”Entourage”: Johnny finds love in geekland

After you’ve been hooked on a TV show for a while, there’s almost always a random moment of revelation when you realize why you love it so much. It isn’t just because the show is cool or really funny; it’s something a lot deeper than that. You suddenly realize that you actually care about the characters. C’mon, you know what I’m talking about. When Johnny ”booked the gig” last week, didn’t you feel a rush of pride? And this week, when Turtle single-handedly saved Aquaman from bad buzz by suggesting a few porn stars knock on the door of an online journalist, tell me you didn’t yell at the TV, ” ‘Atta boy, Turtle!” Okay, maybe not.

Turtle’s little triumph came during the boys’ visit to the San Diego Comic-Con, a geekfest where just about everybody around them was wearing a costume or brandishing a fake weapon. Like the Sundance episode, this trip had so many just-right details that at times you almost felt as if you were watching a documentary about Hollywood. Real stars actually do attend Comic-Con and do have to suck up to marginal characters like R.J. Spencer, the fictional journalist for a highly trafficked movie-gossip website that could make or break a blockbuster’s opening weekend.

Adding to the realism, Mandy Moore became Entourage‘s first celebrity guest star whose cameo lasted more than one episode. After last week, when Vince told E to get Mandy off Aquaman, I expected her to take a walk to remember — right off the show. As I’ve commented, she may not be the A-list star we’ve been waiting for. But having a real actress playing herself for more than one minute on the show is a vast improvement over tempting us with Scarlett Johansson and whisking her away after she’s said her (few) lines.

Traveling down to the B list, did anyone recognize Drama’s former Viking Quest co-star? It turns out Vanessa Angel was played by…Vanessa Angel. Recognize her? That’s right — it’s the computer-generated babe from the TV version of Weird Science! (Showing how meta these things can get, Angel and Kevin Dillon actually appeared together in the 2004 movie Out for Blood.) When romantic sparks flew between Johnny and Vanessa, even though they were both dressed in ridiculous Viking costumes, I was once again surprised by how much I cared. I almost threw my arm up in the air too when Johnny shouted his Viking Quest catchphrase, ”Victory!”

What do you think? Will Mandy Moore take down Aquaman by herself? Was U2 the coolest cameo ever? And do you think that the show’s second season has surpassed the first?

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Doug Ellin
Adrian Grenier,
Jeremy Piven,
Kevin Connolly,
Kevin Dillon,
Jerry Ferrara
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