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Entourage Fodder

Entourage: The Dream Team

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Several weeks ago I lamented on the state of my favorite show 'Entourage', saying it was suffering from the "every other one" theory. Meaning of course, that following a great episode comes a lousy one. Well, I'm a big enough man to admit I was wrong (so far.)

This weeks episode called "The Dream Team" was not only a good one but it was great. I guess that makes it three in a row after the misfire of the second episode of what's turning out be an amazing fourth season. Now, I still have my gripes about the direction of the show (no one's perfect), but the good greatly outweighs the bad.

Once again the writers (Brian Burns penned this one) have given us an episode chock full of laughs, excellent cameos and a little drama mixed in (pun intended.) The result? One of the funniest episodes of the show's run and that's saying a lot.

This weeks "A" storyline continues to be Vince and E and the saga of 'Medellin' with the return of the crazy Billy Walsh; the "B" storyline was Ari and Lloyd going on a stealth mission for Vince and finally, the "C" storyline featured Drama and Turtle on their very own secret mission.

In fact, this episode was a regular "who dunnit" with tons of comedic intrigue right out out of the era of screwball comedies (well, not quite but it sounded good.) It seemed like everyone was on a stealth mission proving once again that great comedy comes out of situations and not necessarily dialogue.

This episode is completely driven by the fact that "someone" leaked the 'Medellin' trailer to YouTube, so it makes sense that HBO would have put the trailer up on YouTube over the weekend, right? Wrong, so very wrong. I don't understand how the folks at HBO dropped the ball on this one. Check out my previous story that talks about this at great length by clicking here.

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

"A" Storyline:
Medellin, Medellin. Everyone is going crazy for 'Medellin'. On the way to have lunch with Billy, Vince and E run into Snoop Dogg (angling for a "Wire" cameo) who tells them he saw the trailer posted on YouTube and that it looks "sick" making the movie "Blow" look like "romper room." Of course E and Vince are totally shocked and when they see Billy at the table he immediately starts insulting and accusing E. E finally loses control and attacks Billy, crashing onto the table.

Afterwards they meet with Ari who tells them that every studio in town wants to take a meeting with Vince based on the leaked trailer but tells them that he's only interested in meeting with Dana Gordon (Constance Zimmer) about a project that E gave Ari a long time ago called "Lost in the Clouds." As an afterthought Ari tells them that they have to be interviewed by film critic Elvis Mitchell who's writing a piece on the film and that they have to bring Billy along.

Eric agrees to do a joint interview with Billy as long as Vince calls him and tells him to back off E and Billy agrees. Once at the interview Billy starts antagonizing E while Elvis just thinks it playful banter. Afterwards, Billy and E start insulting each other again and this time Billy is ready to fight. He takes off his shirt revealing a full 'Medellin' tattoo on his back (very funny) and just then Vince steps in and breaks up the impending brawl. As Vince and E drive off Ari calls and tells them he sold "The Dream Team" to Dana which means E will have to work with Billy again, which he is not happy about. What remains is that they have no idea who leaked the trailer onto the net which leads us to the . . . .

"B" Storyline:
Here is where the chemistry of Ari and Lloyd come into play. Jeremy Piven was in rare form in this episode (when is he not?) as he delivers rapid fire insults to everyone he meets. His interaction with Lloyd is priceless.

When Vince and E come to see him, he tells them of his plan to get Vince a job as he thinks his old flame Dana Gordon will sign Vince solely based on Ari's charm. His description of what's good and what's great will go down in the annals of classic Pivster moments. Anyway, when he visits Dana bringing Cristal and cupcakes, he finds out that an offer already went out to Heath Ledger and Dana tells him there is no way Vince can get this film. Of course no isn't in Ari's vocabulary and he sets out to do some sabotage. Upon returning to the office Ari has Lloyd find out who represents Heath and Lloyd using his legion of "gay" spies finds out where the agent is having lunch. The agent happens to be Ari's old foe and fomer assistant Josh Weinstein which lets us know that Ari won't be taking any prisoners.

Ari cooks up a plan to inform Josh that Heath is wrong for the film because it's another "gay" role and along with partner in crime Lloyd, convinces Josh who in turn bails on the project. Ari calls up Dana who informs him that Heath is no longer going to do the project and that as a result director Curtis Hanson is no longer attached to the project as well which means that the film is no longer fast-tracked. Apparently Ari works his magic with Dana because at the end he calls up Vince to tell him that he sold her "The Dream Team" with Vince acting, E producing and Billy directing, all the while not knowing that Billy and E's relationship has deteriorated into street fighting.

"C" Storyline:
Poor Johnny Drama as he's been relegated back to just comic relief. We finally hear about Drama's show because it's that time again and he has to go back to work. Of course Drama is obsessed this week about his age and he wants to "age down" for his new season. While clothes shopping he sees a guy wearing a cool marijuana truckers hat and he decides that he MUST have that hat. What follows are funny (but pointless) scenes of Drama and Turtle finding out that the hat is from a medical marijuana joint and that Drama has to get a card to even get in, let alone buy the hat. Turns out Turtle knows of a doctor (what?) that will give Drama a prescription and the fun begins. The doc tries to say that Drama has some random illness and finally realizes that he has anxiety disorder and gives him the prescription.

Drama succeeds in getting the treasured hat and scores some pot as well. Stylish (but not younger) Drama struts onto the set of "Five Towns" and all the younger cast and crew immediately see that Drama is going to be their new connection. They want to go back to Drama's trailer and get high but Turtle is back home smoking all the ganja himself. Drama convinces him to come to the set and when Turtle arrives both he and Drama the young cast and a bunch of random girls smoke up a storm while playing strip poker. Drama smokes way too much and starts to "bug" out to the chants of his new found friends.

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

1. Jeremy Piven. I've always said the the Pivster has chemistry with everyone he comes into contact with but there was something different about his performance this week. He actually seemed to be having a great time. There is something radically different between the Ari freakouts when things aren't going well and when everything works out. There are both just as funny, just in different ways. To me there is almost nothing as hilarious as Ari and Lloyd moments. The Pivster slung insults at just about everyone in this episode and I laughed hard every single time. Some day HBO will realize that it just makes sense to give Piven his own show based on the Ari character. Until then just enjoy his limited screen time. Best Ari Line? "This is not good news. Good news is when the wife agrees to eat box for your birthday. This is great news!"

2. Faces from the past. In this episode we see not one, but two familiar faces. First off there is the luscious Constance Zimmer as Dana Gordon. We last saw her in the famous "Sorry, Ari" episode at the end of the first part of season 3 when Ari got her fired. If Vince gets the 'Lost in the Clouds' flick then we're sure to see more of her, which is always a good thing. No one on the show gets such a rise out of Ari than her, in more ways then one. Maybe we'll get to see those compromising pics of her after all? And of course let's not forget the infamous Josh Weinstein (Joshua LeBar.) Ari hates him and he shows a certain amount of devilish glee when he sabotages his client. Nothing and I mean nothing turns Ari on more than to get the better of good old Josh. Even though their scene together was electric, this is a storyline that has unlimited potential. What's better than massive battles between two megalomaniacal Hollywood agents?? Welcome back you two, you were sorely missed.

3. Ari and Lloyd. I had to give them their just due. Ari would be nothing without Lloyd and he knows it. Their banter is so funny and natural I could just list verbatim all their scenes.

Best Lloyd line?
"Woo, woo!"
Best exchange?
Ari: "Who represents him Lloyd?"
Lloyd: "Josh Weinstein"
Ari: "F*ck You!"
Lloyd: "F*ck You. Sorry Ari, that was a reflex."

I'm still laughing as I write this.

4. Great cameos. Some people have complained that the cameos are overdone, that it's too much like the defunct HBO show "Arliss", it's distracting, blah, blah, blah. I'll say this again and will always maintain (probably not for the last time), the cameos are necessary to lend an air of reality to the show!!!! Get over it people! How can you possibly have a show about the world of filmmaking IN Hollywood and not have REAL Hollywood people in it? The cameos on the show "Arliss" worked in the same way as it was a show about a high powered sports agent as he reped actual athletes. 'Entourage' works best when it's fictional characters actually interact with real celebs. The show has ALWAYS done this! Doesn't anyone remember that Ali Larter was in the pilot? And what about the Jessica Alba and Mandy Moore storylines? Anyway, it was nice to see that Snoop Dogg knows Vinnie and E, and that Elvis Mitchell was interviewing them. Oh yeah, and Bob Balaban as the doctor? So perfect and funny.

5. The return of Billy Walsh.
Talk about a career defining role. Rhys Coiro has parlayed this role into one of the most memorable characters in TV history AND it's getting him actual film work as well. However, the way he insulted E was so memorable and funny I actually can't see him in any other role. And the 'Medellin' back tattoo? That was so perfect. Just the right amount of irony and craziness.

6. Johnny Drama wants to be younger. Let's face it Johnny, you're not getting any younger. Kevin Dillon does a consistently great job every week as the comic relief. The chemistry is always there between him and Jerry Ferrara and even though most times it's Drama giving the advice, this week Turtle is the one who is the all knowing wise one to Drama's insecurities. Every week Drama has a new neurosis and this time it's his age. I love it how after succeeding in getting the hat, Drama struts onto the set with the theme from "Saturday Night Fever" playing which ironically places his age in that generation. Best Drama line? "Doc, in my line of work you gotta do everything you can to look young. And since I dare not stick a Botox needle in my face for fear of losing my comic expressiveness, this hat is all I got." Awesome.

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

1. Drama storyline. Even though I love all the adventures of Turtle and Drama, I still think the writers are just giving them something to do without any real ties to the main story. Johnny Drama's character has always been the comic relief but a least his storylines used to dovetail into the overall story. I'd like to see it get back to that.

2. No Mrs. Ari. As last week proved, Perrey Reeves is sooo good and vital to Ari's life. She is what keeps him from being a two-dimensional caricature and keeps him grounded (somewhat.) Future episodes will explore her going back to work which should drive Ari nuts, but I'd like to see a love triangle between her and Dana Gordon. That should prove to be steamy, right?

3. Vince is always right. Not only did we have to suffer through his Buddha-like "It will all work out in the end," statements for months but tonight we were treated to not one, but two Vince "I told you so's." Wow, I know some people lead charmed lives where everything no matter what turns out good in the end (sadly, I'm not one of those people), but we had our hero Vinnie rubbing it in every chance he got. He has no money but is already planning to buy another house? What's next, new cars?? Probably. I did like how he got in between Billy and E though, he looked and sounded real pissed, probably for the second time ever.

Watercooler moments for the week . . .

1. Snoop Dogg surfs the net.
Who knew? Wouldn't it have made more sense to have Snoop in the medical marijuana joint?

2. Eric jumps Billy. Finally, someone attacks Billy! All throughout the show the boys always reference E as some bad*ss that was always fighting, probably due to his "Napoleon complex." But to hear Billy say that AND that he will "F*ck his mother" finally sends E over the edge as he attacks him so quickly and with so much fury I had to run it in slow motion to see all the fighting! Yeah, go E!!!

3. Lloyd immediately noticing E's torn shirt. We actually never get to see Lloyd acting like a gay man which makes his offer to sew E's shirt all the more uncomfortable and funny. Which in turn gives Ari more ammo for his insults.

4. Ari's good mood. Not only is Ari happy to see Vince and E to tell them the good news he also gives E a compliment in a way only Ari can. When he describes his past relationship with Dana Gordon the Pivster displays some of the best physical comedy in the show's run. Real life Kevin Connolly and Adrian Grenier can't help but laugh at the Pivster in this scene.

5. Drama's trip to the doctor. Priceless moments when Turtle and then Drama and the doc try to come up with illnesses to justify his getting a prescription for medical marijuana. "Look at these pipes!"

6. Ari and Dana Gordon. Wow, I don't know how Constance Zimmer kept a straight face during this scene. Not only was the Pivster so freakin hilarious with his rapid fire insults to her but Ari was genuinely trying to charm her! This has got to be one of the funniest scenes ever (I say that a lot.) "Lay off the icing Dana, it looks like your hips could use a breather." Sexual tension at it's finest.

7. Information on Heath Ledger. Lloyd then rattles off Heath's measurments and likes from memory (and US Weekly.) When Ari finds out that Josh Weisntein reps Heath, he launches a diabolical scheme with Lloyd with assistance from the "Gay Mafia." This scene is so damn funny I just watched it over and over.

8. Meeting up with Josh Weinstein. Poor old Josh never had a chance, especially when Lloyd turned on his charm (and gayness.) "I think Heath and the Rock will make a hot couple."

9. Drama struts on the set.
Having him walk to the "Saturday Night Fever" song was a stroke of genius. It was also very cool to have all the hot girls on the set say hi to the one and only Johnny Drama. Maybe he'll get some action in his own right this year.

10. Billy's t-shirt. Love it how Billy Walsh showed up to the interview with a "Suits Suck" t-shirt on. Need I say any more??

11. Billy's tattoo. I also love when he took off his shirt to fight E and he had a full on huge 'Medellin' tat on his back with Pablo's face. BTW, it wasn't Pablo Escobar's face it was Vince AS Pablo face. Hmmmm, somthing just isn't right about that.

12. Ari pitches Brian Grazer in the street. Ari is always working for his clients, isn't he? While on the phone with Dana about one film, he stops Brian Grazer on the street to pitch Vince and Russell Crowe doing a film together. Very funny and realistic.

13. Drama's own little entourage. Drama is creating it with all the hangers on from the set of his TV show. It's cool how one of the girls offers to strip for him when he loses at strip poker. Not to fear, Drama will most likely screw it up. Watch, because he was so high on set he forgets his lines (repeatedly) and gets fired. Just watch.

14. Billy Walsh won't go away. If Ari has his way, the next film will have Walsh again directing Vince which will keep Billy around for a long time to come. This isn't a bad thing and is very realistic as many directors make film after film with the same actor. We shall see!

Well, there you have it. This episode was extremely funny in almost every single way, even the dramatic moments were comical (in a good way.)

Janaki gives this episode a solid A.
In my mind, the only thing that kept it from being perfect is that Drama's storyline was not connected to the main storyline at all. Nevertheless, the episode featured big laughs, well placed cameos, hilarious situations, tension, fighting, insults and Ari and Lloyd. How much more can you ask for??

My final thoughts as next week brings the half way point of the first part of the fourth season (I know it's confusing), I ask myself, what's the fascination with people named Lombardo and it's variations on this show? First off we had arguably the most disliked character ever to appear on the show named Dom played by Domenick Lombardozzi, then we had Billy's girlfriend Cat played by Michelle Lombardo, and now the one and only Louis Lombardi as Turtle's good-for-nothing cousin. You might know him from his awesome role on "24" as Edgar Stiles. Well anyway, just thought I'd bring that up. C'mon Doug, you got some serious momentum going, so keep it up!

Next week: Billy makes amends with Eric over the online leak of Medellin (I bet it's the editor or the hooker); Lloyd takes a leave of absence from the Miller Gold Agency (finally a peek into his life and where is Babs by the way?); Turtle makes an investment (gets ripped off is more like it.)

And for those of you that missed the world premiere trailer for 'Medellin', I now present it in all it's full "leaked to" YouTube glory. Enjoy and see ya next week!

-- Janaki Cedanna


Posted by Janaki Cedanna on July 16, 2007 12:56 PM
Permalink |






I just bought 3 sweet Entourage shirts I have not seen anywhere else before. A Medellin, Vinny Chase and The Chasers and Ari/Lloyd in 08 shirts.

For all of you Entourage fans out there, I found these hidden gems at www.apparelparade.com

I would have bought the Viking Quest but didn't want to break my piggy bank yet.

-- Posted by: Brian at July 19, 2007 12:07 AM

Hey Thanks Brian!
That is a very cool site indeed.

Maybe I'll do a blog on them and maybe, just maybe I can score a couple of "Suits Suck" tees.

-- Posted by: Janaki at July 20, 2007 1:41 AM

dose anybody know what the white sunglasses drama is wearing in this episode are..

-- Posted by: simon at February 6, 2009 2:06 AM

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