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Entourage Fodder

Entourage: Dog Day Afternoon

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The second episode of season 3.5 has brought a few surprises. It seems that the writers of "Entourage" sat around and decided that the guys need more to do and that yes, it may be time for the boys to grow up. The conundrum is that when the guys show another side of themselves then their immaturity rears it's ugly head in other ways. So what do we got? We have subplots galore and we get to see everyone including Ari struggle with relationship issues.

The episode is broken up into three major plot points that in my opinion can stand freely on their own and in the case of Ari and Lloyd it's actually planting the seeds for dare I say . . . a spin off?!?

On to what I like about this episode . . .

First, we have the storyline invloving E and Sloane trying for a little getaway and having to "disinvite" Vince because he just assumes he's going along as he cannot stand to be apart from E. This is weakest of the three stories and we get to see Eric's inexperience in dealing with women as Sloane manipulates and guilt trips him into lying to Vince. Ah, the perils of grown up romances and the ensuing power struggles. We already knew how much E and Vince mean to each other but we get an even deeper insight when Sloane uses the age old technique of "insulting one's manhood" to great effect. He tells Sloane that even when they were kids Vince went on all of his family trips, even the lousy ones. E goes on to explain that Vince "gets separation anxiety and freaks out if there are more than 100 miles away from each other." So of course Sloane ignores all of this and goes staight for E's manhood by saying the magic phrase, "you are little Vince's boy." The result? E lies to both Vince and Sloane by telling them each what they want to hear, who knew E was so manipulative? Anyway, of course in the end all the lies blow up in his face and it's kind of funny to watch E squirm. Did I mention that all the while Amanda keeps calling and they keep ignoring those calls? Why have an agent if they totally ignore her and don't do anything?

The second and infinitely more amusing subplot involves dumb and dumber themselves, Drama and Turtle. Going on the advice of a recent (and fictional) article in LA Magazine that says the best place to pick up girls is the Laurel Canyon Dog Park. In additon to this being an opportunity for Drama to wax poetic with his theories about women dog owners such as, "Finicky dogs have finicky owners, and finicky owners wait two weeks before they even give you a tug." As they are surveying the bevy of perfect beauties their dog, Ahnold (yes, you read that right) "picks" the perfect girls for them. And who knew that Rotts are really all sensitive underneath? Cut to them making out by the pool with their new dog loving friends but of course nothing can ever go right for these two as Ahnold attacks the girls dog over a day-and-a-half marinated steak. Winding up at the veterinarian hospital, Johnny Drama really turns on the charm while Turtle grows more and more frustrated. The dialog between the two is still crisp and funny when they hear that the girls dog needs to stay at the vet a little longer for observation.

Turtle: "Hey, couldn't we just try to wait it out by the pool?"
The girls go back in to see their dog.
Drama: "Jesus Turtle, you reek of desperation."
Turtle: "How much longer can we stay here?"
Drama: "However long it takes. If you want to bust a nut today you might have to earn it."
Turtle: "I always have to earn it."

Classic. And extremely funny.

As they are continue to wait, Drama orders takeout from a fancy restaurant and believe me it's so funny to watch Drama drink wine and feed his new girl (literally) in the vets waiting room. It's hilarious and very sad to see the extreme lengths Drama will go to have sex. Meanwhile, Turtle is getting annoyed because his girl (an awesome cameo by the very funny and sexy Busy Philipps) is giving him all kinds of pointers about what he has to do to "train" Ahnold. You have to admire Turtle's loyalty, ya know? He is blindly loyal to Vince, E, Drama and now Ahnold. For three seasons all Turtle talks about is sex and now right when he is finally getting some he takes offense when his girl talks smack about Ahnold. After one to many insults he tells her it's her fault because she was the one who threw the steak in between the dogs and that oh yeah, "What about the insensitivity of taking a piece of meat that Drama spent a day-and-a-half marinating and just throwing it on the ground." Needless to say Drama and Turtle do not wind up getting the girls. When it all blows up and they get kicked out of their house Drama is so frickin funny when he sighs and says, "Not again." Extra points to Jerry Ferrara and Busy Philipps yelling at each other off camera. That was over-the-top funny!

Finally, the third and most funny and downright intriguing subplot involves Ari and Lloyd moving on with their lives post VC. In fact, it has nothing to do at all with Vince and the boys and I for one think that it's okay. I would absolutely love to see a spinoff show featuring Ari and Lloyd as they deal with various crazy clients. They can call it the "Gold Standard" and each week Ari can deal with another one of his hundred clients with Lloyd right there beside him. We'll see how that turns out but in the meantime this subplot involves Ari training Lloyd how to sign a client. The writers of this show must love to write for Jeremy Piven as he consistently gets the funniest, offensive, un-PC lines and boy can he deliver those lines, such as:

Lloyd: "So why am I going?"
Ari: "Because he's a queen just like you. He's never had a straight agent and if I'm going to be his first I have to show I'm a friend to the gay man."
Lloyd: "But, you're not a friend to the gay man Ari."
Ari: "Lloyd, this is the big one, so just grab your best dress and know that today your love of c**k is a huge asset to this company."

Let me tell you, the look on Lloyd's face is priceless. It's pretty obvious that Lloyd has a crush on Ari. More on that later. Something strange is happening to Ari after he was fired. Is he still successful? Yes. Is he still running his own agency and getting richer? Yes. Ari is showing his soft underbelly and is actually revealing he is not a bad person (and human) after all. As Ari and Lloyd meet the gay TV writer named Jay for lunch, it becomes apparent that not only is Ari very uncomfortable with homosexuality (being an alpha male and all) but he is just using Lloyd to be a buffer so he doesn't have to talk much. Imagine that, Ari not talking much. The look on Pivens face when the Jay spoon feeds Lloyd (literally) is laugh out loud funny. Was it me or was the sight of Ari and Lloyd doing a happy dance when Jay decides to sign with them a classic moment? Of course it comes with conditions as Jay has taken a liking to Lloyd and askes that Lloyd deliver the signing papers personally. Another chance for a classic Piven one-liner, "Lets not jump to conclusions Lloyd, he might just want a pretty Mongolian face to look at over dinner." Ari then asks Lloyd to make a sacrifice and do it for the agency. Lloyd tells Ari that he's not going for the agency or himself but is going for "you." Ari is oblivious to what Lloyd is really saying responds, "Hey, whatever gets you through the night."

As Lloyd maneuvers through a incredibly wild and packed gay party at the Jays house he clearly looks uncomfortable and sheepish. We've never had an insight into Lloyd's life and all we know is that he is flamboyant but here he shows that he is also willing to do whatever it takes for the one he loves. Meanwhile, Ari is driving home from dinner with Mrs. Ari and is strangely quiet. He tells her that he "sold his soul today", and for the first time ever we see Ari's human side with all the guilt that comes from knowing you've done something incredibly wrong. Piven plays this revelation with just the right amount of frustration, resignation and humor when he says he "sold his soul so that they could have a plasma in every room." But just to let us know that we are still watching a comedy, he follows it up by saying playfully that he can't get his soul back because he's a Jew. Piven is really getting the chance to stretch out his acting legs this season and it's wonderful to see that he can imbibe the character of Ari Gold with such humanity.

Before you know it he turns on the radio and hears Donna Summer's "She Works Hard for the Money" on the radio and decides then and there what he's got to do. He's got to save Lloyd and by doing so, save himself. Go Ari, go!! When he gets to the party he is so uncomfortable that he weaves through the crowd trying not to touch anyone, in fact, he screams, "Coming through. Civilian, no touching!" I laughed my a** off! Of course, on his way to redemption he runs into a acquaintance that is married and now this guys thinks Ari is secretly gay like him. Insult to injury, right? No quest would be complete without obstacles to overcome. Anyway, as Ari yells for Lloyd he finally finds him drunk with Jay and tries to intervene. He confronts Jay and tells him that will not let Lloyd leave with him and utters another classic line, "We may be whores at my agency but we ain't pimps." Ari Gold the hero! Jay then offers to "take" care of Lloyd and buy him a car but when Lloyd refuses he attacks his race to which Lloyd slaps him in the face and says, "I'm an American of Chinese descent, and you are what Jay? Just another overweight hack TV writer." Piven is laughing through this whole scene and Rex Lee sells this so well that I think everyone who watches this will also grin from ear to ear. To top off the night for Ari, Lloyd grabs his hand and leads him out of the party and of course his acquaintance congratulates him on the way out and you can tell from Pivens body language (from the back mind you) that he's frustrated. Great acting in this episode from everyone but special kudos go out to Piven and Rex Lee.

Coming full circle Drama and Turtle drown their sorrows by sitting on the couch and smoking pot. When Vince comes in he tells them he wants to go on a trip to Cabo San Lucas (cut to the plane with the sexy stewardess). And finally the episode ends with E and Sloane driving up to Napa and she is pissed at him saying that all she will do is talk to him and nothing else. Nothing like using sex as a weapon, huh?

Now what I didn't like.

1. E's whole relationship with Sloane. It's not that I'm against E having a girlfriend or relationship but the fact that the character and actress Emmanuelle Chriqui are incredibly annoying. Can't they find someone who can act? Are they that concerned that Kevin Connolly needs something to do? Get rid of her and bring someone else in, quick!

2. Give Vince something to do. My god, how long can he walk around and do nothing? Doesn't he ever want to act again??

3. After all the buildup about Vince's new agent Amanda, she's in the show for 10 seconds??

Overall the show was very witty, fast-paced, entertaining and comedically brilliant. This has got to be one of the most complex storylines "Entourage" has ever had and it's showcasing alternate sides of the characters we know so well.

Janaki gives this show a solid "A" and I expect huge things the rest of the season and beyond.

Next weeks episode shows Amanda (Carla Gugino) in very sexy lingerie (wow!!) and alludes to the "sexual" tension beween her and Vince. As well as the new softer Ari. Very funny stuff!

-- Janaki Cedanna


Posted by Janaki Cedanna on April 15, 2007 10:30 PM
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