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Entourage Fodder

Entourage: Sorry, Harvey

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Okay, so I've been a little angry with our boys from Queens lately. More precisely my anger has been directed towards creator Doug Ellin, but to be fair I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Whenever I throw my hands up in the air and get frustrated with 'Entourage', it once again delivers a very funny and clever episode. It makes me remember why I look forward to Sunday nights. And just to be clear, I enjoy plot development and dramatic arcs as much as the next person but in the end the show IS a comedy and I think sometimes the writers forget that. Having said that . . .

The latest episode called "Sorry, Harvey," is the reason I love this show. Some fans might call this a "throw away" or "setup" episode but to me this episode captures all that is right about this show. Now, I can analyze this to death (never been accused of that before) but simply put, this episode had it all, Ari freaking out, great cameos, wonderful natural chemistry, and oh yeah, it was flat out funny. Sure the story may seem a little trite and Ari's storyline had nothing to do with the boys but I don't care, it was funny. I laughed aloud a lot.

Keeping with the storyline scenario, this weeks show's "A" story was E trying to tell psycho Harvey Weingard that he won't sell "Medellin" to him, the "B" story was Drama taking the Mayor of Beverly Hills out on a night on the town and the "C" storyline featured Ari and his freakouts. While all the stories were vastly entertaining, my favorite was definitely Ari and his adventures.

Okay, let's get into this weeks episode recap and review . . .

"A" Storyline:
In keeping with the 'Medellin' saga, E meets Harvey for dinner to tell him face to face that they are going to wait for the screening at Cannes to sell the film. That night over dinner E sees first hand that Harvey is a complete psycho as he insults the waiter over the salad and points out a guy at the restaurant he'd like to kill. He even threatens E while holding a knife. For the first time we see little Eric scared. Later on at a club, Harvey goes nutso on another poor waiter and gets thrown out. Seizing the opportunity an empowered Johnny Drama tells him the news and Harvey threatens the boys.

The character of Harvey is supposed to be based on Harvey Weinstein of Miramax fame and let me tell you Maury Chaykin does a great job with the character. He is a complete and utter psycho with major anger management issues that puts both Billy Walsh and Johnny Drama to shame. And he does it with humor!

"B" Storyline:
A new episode, a new Johnny Drama neurosis. This time Drama wants his condo annexed to the more prestigious zip code of 90210 as he is only forty feet from Beverly Hills (like Doug Ellin in real life.) Somehow he's cozied up to the Mayor and he convinces him to go out clubbing, all the while trying to suck up to him, hoping to get his condo annexed. When the Mayor, played by always funny Stephen Tobolowsky, tells Drama he wants Vince to use his status to get him a girl (you could see that coming a mile away.) No matter as the story was very funny anyway. We get to see Vince's attempt at pimping (he's not very good) and Turtle being rejected as usual.

BTW, Vince does pull a number for himself and I was kinda surprised because she was just an average looking girl, not the usual girls Vince goes after, I think his confidence level is dropping a bit. Anyway, Drama finds a "girl" for the Mayor and it turns out that she is a he. Drama bravely tells the Mayor but he doesn't care and off they go! The next morning Turtle sees a video on TMZ.com which shows the Mayor getting into his car with the "girl" as she flashes ala Britney style her, ummm, package. Drama can never get a break, can he?

"C" Storyline:
In the funniest bit of the show, Ari goes and sees a client of his, M. Night Shyamalan at a graveyard. In classic Ari style, he insults the famed director. Good stuff. M. Night gives him a personalized script of his next film and has Ari agrees to read it that night. Of course, Ari has to go out to dinner with Mrs. Ari and her friends and thus begins the action! They leave the restaurant only to find that the valet switched his car and Ari goes off into a madcap race against time to get not only his car but M. Night's script.

Pure Jeremy Piven gold as he proves once again that he deserves his own show. The chemistry the Pivster displays with Perrey Reeves is electric and he even has chemistry with the usually limp (no different here) M. Night. Of course all his interactions with Lloyd, no matter how brief are comedic genius.

Anyway, on to what I liked about the episode . . .

1. Jeremy Piven. Simply put, his portrayal of Ari Gold makes this show. There is nothing funnier than the Pivster freaking out. Piven is a great theatre trained actor and it comes through every single time he's on screen with the nuances of his performances. Some say he's a jerk in real life, but I don't care. Nobody and I mean nobody can play a jerk like him. Best Ari Line? "Indians and improv, no greater match" is a classic not only for the delivery but for the look the Pivster gives with it. I have yet to see anybody who DOESN'T have chemistry with this guy.

2. The cameos. TV shows have done this since the beginning of television but I can't think of another show that has put them to as good of use. Many fans complain about all the cameos, saying that they interfere with the chemistry of the show, blah, blah, blah. I say, this is a show about fictional people living and working in the real place known as Hollywood. What better excuse than to have people in the entertainment industry cameo? It gives the show an air of reality that couldn't be done otherwise. C'mon M. Night parodying himself? Awesome. Keep them coming Doug!

3. The camaraderie. As evidenced by their many appearances together offscreen, you can tell the guys really like each other and are true friends. This comes across abundantly when you see how they interact with each other on screen. This episode is proof positive that when the guys get good material they grab it and run it in for the touchdown. The naturalness (is that a word?) they show when they are together cannot be forced and many other shows have suffered because they lack the chemistry these guys show weekly. I would love to see a more in-depth behind-the-scenes look at these guys on the set as well as a blooper reel included in upcoming DVD releases (hint, hint.)

4. The comedy. The old cliche about great comedy coming from situations rather than the dialogue is in my mind, very true. In this ep we saw our boys reacting to extreme situations such as E's dealings with Harvey and Drama's dealings with the Mayor. Each time they played the straight men to a crazy situation and it worked effortlessly. And when you put Jeremy Piven in a heightened situation? You just sit back and enjoy the fireworks as you are in for a great show. You throw in the ever exasperated Mrs. Ari and Lloyd for him to work off of and you have classic comedy. Oh yeah, and Turtle doing his Harvey impersonation? Priceless.

5. Johnny Drama's attempts at recognition. When Drama gets something in that empty head of his, no one and nothing will make him deviate from his goal. Now if only he would apply the same discipline to his acting as he does to his idiosyncrasies then he would be a much bigger star than his baby bro. He's like George Costanza of 'Seinfeld', which shouldn't be a surprise as Larry Charles helped develop both of these classic characters.

6. Perrey Reeves as Mrs. Ari. Yes, she gets her own category. Why Perrey Reeves wasn't a star before this is beyond me. She's been acting for ages! Even though she isn't supermodel hot she plays the character of the long suffering wife perfectly with just the right mix of sexiness, innocence and disgust. One can see why and how Ari was attracted to her (and stays with her) in the first place. And yes, she's very hot. Best Mrs Ari line? "You tell me, freak."

Now to the things I didn't like . . .

1. The continuity. Usually it's pretty good but the opening scene with E getting a shave was just plain inexcusable. Was someone flirting with the continuity girl??

2. Vince being worthless. Someone hire this guy as another super hero please! Not only has he been relegated to playing second fiddle to Drama, but now he can't even pick up chicks anymore?? Wasn't this the guy that told Warner Bros. to go screw themselves?? What's this world coming to!!!!

3. Not enough Lloyd. My same gripe every week. Ari and Lloyd's interactions are pure comedic genius. Can't those writers see that???

Now on to the watercooler moments of the week . . .

1. Ari has M. Night Shyamalan as a client. It's actually pretty cool that Ari talks smack to ALL his clients and not just Vince and E. When he pulled into the graveyard and freaked when M. Night knocked on the window I spit up my drink. M. Night did a great job playing with his own image, especially when he handed Ari a 200+ page script with "Ari Gold" watermarked on each page to read overnight. I mean c'mon who out there doesn't think this guys a paranoid wacko? Exactly.

2. Turtle's impression of Harvey.
It came out of nowhere and was so freakin funny. He nailed it dead on. I wish they had the camera on him the whole time. Plus it will only make sense if you saw the "The Sundance Kids" episode from season 2. I like to have that as my ringtone, ya know?

3. Eric wrestling Turtle. It brings back the good old days of the show when these guys were just having fun. It was nice to see E relax a bit and remember at the end of the day there are all still friends. Once again the camera didn't catch it. Having Turtle smoking a joint at the same time was pretty funny as well.

4. All the scenes with Harvey. I mean, what a nutjob. In one breath he's saying he can't get mad anymore because of doctor's orders and in the other he's yelling at the waiter to bring their damn salads. Love it when he tells E while cutting his bread that if E screws him over again he's "going to kill people." Also when E gets up to go to the toilet (he asks first) and calls Vince and Harvey tells him to elbow some guy in the head because he doesn't like him. Pure comedy. The nightclub did seem a little forced but he was still extremely funny.

5. Ari's got the wrong car. But before he finds out he opens the trunk and Mrs. Ari pulls out a black dildo. Man the look on Ari's face is so priceless and incredulous all at the same time. Their interaction here is so natural and SO damn funny I had to watch that scene a dozen times. No joke.

6. Ari breaks up a marriage. Ari drives 50 miles out to Oxnard to get his car and M. Night's script and breaks up a marriage in the process as he beats the husband home and the poor shmuck gets cursed at by his wife in the driveway. Ari in his most apathetic tone tells the guy, "Deny until you die." Great stuff.

7. Drama having to tell the Mayor about his "girl." Even though Drama doesn't want to do it and can see his annexation slipping away, he breaks down and tells the Mayor the truth, that his new "girl" is a transvestite. Stephen Tobolowsky is so funny as he responds by saying they already "made a connection." In reality the girl that plays the tranny really isn't, thank God. She is way too hot!

8. Drama has guts. It's easy to tell someone bad news when two huge bodyguards have them in a headlock. And this is precisely what Drama does when he tells Harvey when he is being thrown out that they won't sell 'Medellin' to him until it shows at Cannes. Hey, it's more than E or Vince could muster up.

9. Ari meeting with M. Night. After a night of pure hell (and spending the night in jail for extreme speeding) Ari maniacally reads M. Night's script just in time for their morning meeting. Only then M. Night tells him he rewrote the ending and wants him to reread it right in front of him. The looks the Pivster gives are once again comedic genius and so damn funny.

10. The Mayors tranny video. Saving the best for last . . . the next morning Turtle is checking out TMZ.com and low and behold they shot some video of the good ol' Mayor and his date. When "she" gets in the car she pulls a Britney (no underwear) and you can clearly see the guys . . . ummm, package. The boys all laugh so hard (like the first season when Arnold attacked Turtle in full hockey gear) and I for one couldn't stop laughing along with them.

As you can see this episode was extremely funny and in my mind it's up there with one of the funniest eps in the series run (at least top 15.)

Janaki gives this episode a solid A-. And as I mentioned at the top of this review, the show works best when the characters (even Ari) are surrounded by and are put in crazy situations. BTW, what happened to the fallout from Ari pulling his daughter out of the private school? Oh, well.

Next week: Episode #47: "The Dream Team." The "Medellin" trailer is leaked to YouTube (I beat them to it, hah!), and an enraged Billy blames Eric. In an effort to appear younger, Drama gets a prescription for a medical marijuana facility, so he can purchase the club's stylish cap (umm, okay.) Ari and Lloyd (Rex Lee) attempt to sabotage a deal with a longtime foe so that Vince can get his next project (wonder who that can be . . . Benicio?) Plus a return appearance of the luscious Dana Gordon! It should be good!!!!

Stay tuned for the mid-season best lines post and if you want to submit something, feel free!

And what about 'Medellin'? HBO has already registered medellinthefilm.com and even though it's not up and running yet, look forward to great content on this site. In the meantime enjoy the just released teaser trailer HBO has been showing!

See ya next week!!!

-- Janaki Cedanna


Posted by Janaki Cedanna on July 9, 2007 6:26 PM
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So, two good episodes in a row? Isn't that what you've been waiting for? Seems we got it, though I didn't like last week's as much as you did, but this show is never bad.

-- Posted by: brian at July 11, 2007 7:26 PM

Why yes, yes it is.

Will it be too much to ask for to have three good episodes in a row?

I have a novel idea, how about a whole season of good episodes??

Am I overanalyzing??

Thanks for reading!

-- Posted by: Janaki Cedanna at July 12, 2007 4:29 AM

And how does that mean? I do not understand anything.

-- Posted by: Mackenzie at January 31, 2013 8:37 PM

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