Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Hollywood Dream

The boys are back in town: Vince, E, Drama, Turtle, and Ari, and they've come back in full swing.

Entourage has always been received with mixed reviews, at least in my circle of friends. The acting is not great, everything works out a little too easily for the crew, and are there really no ugly women in L.A.?

My answer to that: who the fuck cares? Entourage is not supposed to be an Emmy-winning drama or something to philosophize about. This HBO phenomenon is about living the good life in Hollywood. It's fun, and you live vicariously through it (or hopefully, like me, one day). Sure, for story's sake, we need Vinnie Chase and The Chasers to fall on hard times just to stay interested and see them succeed. "Everyone likes a comeback, Vince. Since Britney fucked hers up, you're next," Ari boasts in season 5's second episode. While the plot is moving along quicker than the forever-feeling season 4 to speed up Vince's comeback, the first two episodes are setting up what looks to be a promising 13 episodes.

We find E and Drama trying to keep the cash coming in with new clients and new episodes, respectively. Drama is doing the whole long-distance thing with that really hot French chick that he boned on the beach in the season 4 finale. However, the promise of a mainstream Hollywood film reunites the crew to get back to work. Ari and E fly to Mexico to track down a very bearded Vince and the cuddly Turtle fucking some really hot girls.

Oscar winning material, I know.

The second episode assesses the situation in which the entourage finds themselves: Vince is pretty much a Hollywood leper. No one wants to touch him since the disaster of a film Medellin. But with a new work ethic, desperate to prove everyone wrong, Vince and E read scripts like no other until they find one written by the eccentric pair of writers played by Lukas Haas (Brick) and Giovanni Ribisi (Boiler Room). E wants to sign them, but Ari won't let Vince play lead because it's an indie flick. No more indie flicks according to the wunderkind agent. "It's like the Holocaust. NEVER AGAIN!" Vince hooks up with Justine Chambers from Season One, Turtle busts out a brilliant line ("Well, you've already lied to your boyfriend so why don't you tell him that we didn't fuck tonight."), and Drama gets drunk after blowing up at his really hot French girlfriend and getting subsequently dumped. Oh, and there's been quite an abundance of celebrity appearances with the likes of Carla Gugino and Mark Wahlberg. I hear Michael Phelps and the Cuban goddess Jamie Lynn-Sigler will make cameos in a future episode.

I still love this show. It's always great to see what part of L.A. the boys are in such as visiting Urth Cafe or walking down Rodeo Drive. The show isn't just about a group of guys partying, it's about the city that is built on the facade of stardom, where dreams live and dreams die. The show is still hilarious, too, mostly due to Ari and Drama. Watch for great Ari tantrums where he just randomly throws files or breaks people's phones for no reason--pure agent gold. I've also recently come to the conclusion that Entourage needs to come out with a soundtrack: the episode song enders are always brilliant, whether it be classic rock ("Gimme Shelter" by The Rolling Stones; "Peace Frog" by The Doors), hip-hop ("The Good Life" by Kanye West), or alternative awesomeness ("Dream" by Alice Smith; "If I Ever Feel Better" by Phoenix--the last ep's episode closer). As the first two episodes have proven, season 5 looks to be promising.

It's good to have you guys back.

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