Saturday, November 25, 2006



Thanks to holiday progamming--i.e., HBO not wanting to put anything new on the tube while a good share of the nation was traveling--I managed to catch up with the entire past season of Entourage.

I wonder if it'd be as fascinating a show if I lived in Hwood. Seen from a couch in Cedar Rapids, Iowa it's generally spellbinding.

Now, I take it it's a marginally realistic portrait of fast lane life in LA because so many celebs say it is. I have no way of proving otherwise. I assume that many liberties, epecially sociological, are taken with the show because hey it's TV.

My favorite of this season was the two-parter involving their old neighborhood pal who was recently released from prison. A profoundly spooky dude. Eric (the Irisher) was the first to recognize a sociopath when he saw one, though Turtle and Johnny Drama were quick to share that recognition. There's a scene with the whole crew at a gaziliionaire producer played on-the-money by Bruno Kirby (who would be dead not long after his turn here and deserved some better writing here) in which the ex-con just might blow the whole pending deal by insulting/turning off the producer. Ari the agent is on the verge of total meltdown trying to get the wanker to shut up before it's too late. Then there's a great turn--the ex-con steals the producer's most (sentimentally) valued possession and only Vince the star defends him. Some fine writing and even finer acting.

I still have the same problems I've always had with the show. The only two marginally adult characters are Eric and Ari. Ari is a prick but after twenty years of dealing with disasters large and small for advertising clients and politicians, I certainly sympathise with him. No matter how dutifully you work for some people, they're going to go ahead and fuck it all up for you. The expanded role of his wife this season is a good touch. She's a complex character. And she has all the money. To keep his agency open, Ari has to rely on her, something he obviously doesn't want to do.

Eric's usually the good guy. He not only works hard he's loyal in every way to Vince. And he tries to deal honestly in a cesspool of dishonesty. He went for a three-way with his very sexy girl friend and her girl friend thereby lifting himself out of the altar boy rut, which was starting to fray.

Each critic has his own Entourage favorites. Johnny Drama is all right most of the time, dull some of the time. But Turtle...I want to live in a Turtle-free universe.

The triumph of really great acting can be found in only one person associated with the show in my opinion and that 's Terrance McQuick, Ari's boss, as played by Malcolm McDowell. What an asshole. Deceitful, treacherous, merciless, he's everything you could want in a corporate villain. And he makes the villain perfectly beleivable. He's not Rod Steigering the part. No big melodramatic moments. He's simply being what he is a--a nasty remorseless deep sea creature filled wth greed and self-esteem. He's as much fun to watch as Bush saying heckuva job Brownie.

Despite certain of my qibbles, I'm impressed with the high level of writing and acting that the show has maintained over the seasons. I hope they've got at least one more good one in them.

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