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Entourage Fodder

Entourage: Fire Sale

ep57_Vince_Shauna.jpg

It had to happen, right? Tonight's episode of Entourage was the first misfire of the 5th season.

We have Vincent Chase getting humiliated all over town because no one will hire him and we see Johnny Drama being humiliated on "The View." Ari can't get anything done and E is making a name for himself as a welcher.

The show was had two distinct storylines, but was it a total loss? Almost. There were some serious problems with the least of them being poor pacing. But it was the story that really was the main culprit. Flat, predictable and not funny were added bonuses.

The "smarter than expected" Redneck screenwriter storyline was played out in the first episode of the year and now it's down right irritating and lame. I mean these guys have no experience and yet they're calling all the shots while shooting guns? You don't have to be in the business to know that this is not realistic at all. Does it work for dramatic or comedic effect? Nope.

Vinnie Chase is whoring himself out all over town to try and get a job. Even Ari can't do anything for him. One studio head suggested Vince star in a new "Benji" reimagining. Vince's reply? The dog? Now that was funny.

Taking place the morning after the now infamous sweet sixteen bash where Drama yakked all over the cake, Vince has a hang over and Drama is guesting with the entire "Five Towns" cast on "The View."

On the Warner Bros. lot, Ari and E insult each other and E calls him out. The dialogue is flat and not clever at all. I would love to see Ari and E get into a throw down. Isn't it about time after all their fighting?

Meanwhile, Drama is getting ambushed by his fellow cast members and Whoopi Goldberg. Yikes. One of the guys starts taunting Drama about his ex Jacqueline, and Whoopi gets him to open up on national TV. So what do the writers do? Of course they humiliate Drama and he cries. Usually, Kevin Dillon is pretty convincing but this time it seemed like he phoned in this performance. In fact, all the acting seemed liked it was phoned in. Even the ultra reliable Jeremy Piven seemed off.

All of a sudden Shauna the shrieking publicist (Debi Mazar) is working for Drama and she accompanies him to the set AND in a surprise twist, sticks up for him. Believe me, that was weird because in every episode Shauna has ever been in she has unmercilessly ripped on him and now she's working for him? That's not the only continuity gaffe as later in a meeting with Amanda, Eric says he's never heard her swear before. Actually, Amanda swore all the time at Vince and E. Oh yeah, Arnold the dog makes a surprise reappearance.

Depressed, Drama gets thrown in jail (don't ask for what) and the entourage all comes together which leads to E getting caught in a bidding war over the firefighting script. E makes a half dozen promises and then quickly reneges on all of them. And in an ending that I saw coming a mile away, Amanda comes back with a huge offer which sends E into shock.

By the way, I have to say that Amanda (Carla Gugino) looked incredibly luscious and sexy in this episode. Decked out in a low-cut formfitting green dress Carla showed that she's still got it going on, big time.

Ultimately, this episode will be considered a "filler" episode with virtually no substance. Last season was all about "Medellin" and this one is centered all around Vince being unemployable. This episode epitomizes lazy storytelling and should be seen that way.

I give this one a 2 "stripper" rating out of 5 for an all around poorly executed sub-par effort. Let's hope this is the exception and not the norm.

-- Janaki Cedanna

Next week: Ari tries to get Vince back in Paramount's good graces and the boys take a trip to Joshua Tree Park with Eric Roberts. Umm, okay.


Posted by Janaki Cedanna on September 29, 2008 1:35 AM
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The ending of the episode wasn't about 'shock' from E, it was about E finding himself in an even tighter spot regarding his loyalty to Vince. He's got an amazing offer for the script but if he takes it Vince is floundering again.

The episode wasn't bad, but that ending was killer.

-- Posted by: Richard at September 29, 2008 5:35 AM

Wow are you off on this one. The drama is building...Johnny Drama is the only one makingmoney right now and he is such a time bomb that you know the good times have to end for him soon, he sabotages himself all the time. Vince, who always had an "I don't care if I get work" mentality is now afraid for the first time that he will go the way of John Travolta for the 20 years he was in exile. Personally, I think that Vince should pull a Daniel Day Lewis and only return once in a while to pick up an Oscar and then go on break..but I digress. The rock and hard place that E is between is his loyalty to Vinnie and his duty to his clients. He is turning into Ari, but is trying to maintain a sense of himself. I like the transformation of E this season. All in all I liked the episode, it was engaging seeing character changes and setting up some slick drama for the future. My only complaint is the running time. Entourage is a dramedy, there is no way it should be lasting 22 minutes.

P.S. I also think that the storyline will take an odd twist soon and show that those gun-nuts actually stole the script. No way those two idiots wrote a screenplay together.

-- Posted by: Don at September 29, 2008 9:26 AM

Am I the only one not enjoying this season?
To me, what made the show a success was the "living the dream" aspect. The show always left me smiling. Now Vince seems defeated, it's no fun to watch. I guess he'll come back, but now it's too much of a downer.

-- Posted by: Ripley at September 30, 2008 2:47 PM

Wow, we are really off on this one. Which surprises me, because we are usually of the same mind.

Here was my review:

Season 5 of Entourage is Hot and Fire Sale continues to demonstrate this point.

Unlike last week's filler episode, this week was all about moving on.

Vincent Chase, our leading man, finds out that he doesn't sell anymore. Offered a role in Benji, by the end of the episode Vince not only agrees to 2nd lead in Smoke Jumpers, he also grows more than a little. This is never more evident than when he tells Eric to do what he has to in regards to his clients and their script. Season 3 Vincent would have guilted E into getting the script back for him. Season 5 Vince has learned to be humble and generous.

As for Vincent's Entourage:

Brother Johnny pours out his heart on The View. Something tells me this moment of weakness will pay off in many ways. Not only will it make him more appealing to women, the fair Jacqueline may just respond once the daytime talk show airs overseas in France.

Best bud Eric is learning to play the game, as Amanda so specificially points out. This is more evident at the end of the episode, when he is suprised by an extremely lucrative counter offer. On a personal note, it was extremely nice to see Kevin Connolly get a lot of air time on this episode. It is great to see him play off someone besides Jeremy Piven's Ari Gold for a change. If we didn't know that Carla Gugino was only signed on for 3 episodes, it would be interesting to see what would come of the Amanda/E interactions. Its nice to see someone appreciate his skills, rather than belittle him all the time like Ari likes to do. Hopefully, she will make it back for Season 6.

Poor Turtle was just along for the ride on this one, there to play off Debi Mazur's Shauna. The best is yet to come for him this season.

So, the million dollar (with 3 mil riding) question: Who will play the lead in Smoke Jumpers if Vincent Chase is playing the brother? Will it be former competitors Jake Gyllenhaal or Russell Crowe? Will Ed Norton sign on after all? Or, will Vince get his groove and his leading man status back?

None of this matters. What truly matters is I care! Unlike the Medellin storyline, which became stale and frustrating all at the same time, I want to tune in again next week to see how these guys continue to grow and change. I can't wait to see what happens next!

And, that's HOT!


- lainiek


(ps- I do agree that Amanda has cursed in the past, but I would have to go back and check to see if she ever cursed in front of E. I do know she has cursed at Ari and Vince. Time to hit the DVDs)

-- Posted by: lainiek at September 30, 2008 3:20 PM

I love this season. I am glad Vince is getting knocked down a peg, and I think it makes the show more realistic. I have to wonder what will happen -- will E blow this deal because of his buddy? I hope not. However, I do see Drama getting huge press over the whole "View" thing.

I do think those idiots wrote the screenplay, but do they have any sort of contract with E? I could see them moving on without him.

-- Posted by: Rachel at October 1, 2008 7:23 PM

Check out this website for a massive spoiler..the SMOKE JUMPERS poster featuring Edward Norton and Vincent Chase. Produced by Dana Gordon.

http://isthishappening.hotornot.com/

-- Posted by: JEFF at October 2, 2008 8:17 AM

The poster is not real. It's a mock-up by a big fan. There are two versions on the web- one with Warners and the other with Universal and Ron Howard directing.

-- Posted by: lainiek at October 2, 2008 11:17 PM

@Richard: I don't think E's loyalty to Vince is the issue at all. E was in "shock" over the fact that everything came together so quickly and out of his control. We all know who E will side with. Vince.

@Don: I too like the transformation of E. He's the only character that grows (or wants to) I was just saying that from a story standpoint it was all a little contrived. And for pure production value it was lacking in pacing and dialogue. I also had the same thought that those two rednecks didn't actually write the script. The fact that they "knew" the business because they read Variety is just another example of lazy writing.

@Ripley: Apparently you are not the only one NOT enjoying this season as the low ratings show. I'm enjoying the season except for this episode but realistically there is only so much they can do with this premise.

Either you have Vince on top of the world, i.e. getting girls, going to premieres, making great movies etc. and all you will see them do is sitting around getting high and buying more things or you can have Vince's career go up and down which makes for more interesting stories. Generally this works when the writers actually make an effort but this one wasn't an example of this. You can't have it both ways.

@lainiek: It's okay if we disagree sometimes right? I liked your take on the episode but I have to say that I don't think Vince is "growing." If anything he's just being humbled. At his core Vince is an insecure actor, when things are going good he's Buddha-like but when things turn sour he desperately seeks approval. This is not to be confused with growth.

I guess I'm just sick and tired of Johnny being humiliated each and every week. What happened to the cocky and always quick with a story and crazy advice Johnny Drama?

I also care about these characters very much and I enjoy seeing them grow and change it's just that there are better ways to portray this instead of taking the easy way out like the writers of this episode did.

p.s. Amanda cursed up a storm when she brought Vince and E into her office after the "Walk in the Clouds" fiasco. That's the one where Drama and Turtle sat outside cringing as they listened. And BTW, Carla is smokin HOT!

@Rachel: I agree that knocking Vince down a peg (or a couple) makes for great stories and realism. I also think that Drama's appearance on "The View" will have great unforseen benefits for him. I just hope that it's not dragged out too long. I would love to see Drama get booked for a film and have Vince come visit HIM on set. That would be cool.

I have to say that the preview of next weeks episode doesn't look good. It's symptomatic of desperate writing. Some writer said, "Hey let's put the entire gang stranded in the middle of nowhere and see what happens!" And someone else said, "Let's throw Ari out there with them!!" Cue big laughs.

Let's hope I'm wrong and the next episode is really, really good.

-- Posted by: Janaki at October 3, 2008 2:12 AM

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