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Entourage Fodder

Entourage: Unlike A Virgin


After a great 5th season premiere episode last week, Entourage returns this week with an even better one. If Doug Ellin & Co. keep this up they will have breathed life into a show that seemingly lost it's focus and took a year off due to the writer's strike.

A Hollywood director friend of mine told me last week that he used to watch this show but that "it became stale and repetitive" and he stopped watching it last year. I countered with a plea to give the show another chance and that he should watch the 5th season premiere which would change his mind. Secretly, I hoped that this season would not let me down. So far so good!

The episode, called "Unlike A Virgin" is all about the guys again and boy it feels good. It was chock full of celebrity cameos and had a noticeable frenetic energy, which was great that for once, all the energy wasn't generated from Jeremy Piven.

So why was this episode so good? Apart from the snappy dialogue and generous walk and talks this episode featured strong performances, character development and each person having some juicy moments. As that's the backbone of ANY good script it seems like the writers are finally showing some maturity. Starting from the 3rd season the scripts seemed to be broken into distinct A, B and C storylines and they still seem to be doing that with the big difference being that at the end they all tie together. Now we might have a D and E story as well.

Now for the episode recap and review . . .

"A" Storyline - Vincent Chase and his fledgling career.
Make no mistake this season is going to be all about the rise of Vincent Chase. It starts with Turtle trying to get Vince to go out and get some girls and Vince turning him down because of his new found work ethic of actually reading scripts. Later, the boys go to see Ari and he tells them Vince needs to do a studio picture and to never do an Indie film again. The first conversation with Ari ends with him insulting E relentlessly and giving Vinny career advice.

The guys go to lunch and Drama and Turtle actually start criticizing Vince in their own kiss ass way. During lunch, they run into Justine Chapin who Vince had a crush on back in the day. Justine is played by Leighton Meester who seems to be channeling Julianne Moore. She famously played a virgin pop star way back in season 1. She invites Vince and the boys to her video shoot with Tony Bennett and so the boys are off.

The boys go to the video shoot and later the after party where Justine "pawns" Vince off to a friend of hers. Reality smacks old Vinny in the face and he runs to meet with Ari again. When he meets with Ari the second time in a day Vince pleads with him to be straight and tell him what he needs to do to get his career back on track. What follows is perhaps one of the best scenes in the history of the show. Ari tells Vince that he did a awful job in the awful "Medellin" film. For the first time in his life someone tells Vince that he is a bad actor. Ari goes on to tell Vince that his career is serious jeopardy because of the perception around town that Vince "doesn't give a f*ck." Piven plays this scene (and the episode) with some understated acting instead of his usual manic and loud method, and it works. Ari's brutal honesty (for once) makes Vince say he's going to start "playing the game" and he starts with going back to the party and picking up Justine and riding off into the sunset. We'll see if we have a new and caring Vince or if he reverts back to his old self.

"B" Storyline - Johnny Drama and his long distance relationship.
As established in the season opener, Drama is trying to make a go with Jacqueline whose still in France. They do a videoconference every night and make cute bird noises to each other. Now the relationship is showing signs of strain. Drama talks to her on the phone several times a day and give her his full itinerary because he thinks she's possessive and jealous. Actually, he's the one who is. Through in some classic Drama insecurity and you have the love life of Johnny Drama.

When they go to the video party Drama lies to Jaq and says he's internet is down. Feeling guilty about this he keeps calling her and projecting his insecurity on her which culminates in him accusing her of cheating on him. Surprisingly, she tells him that she called the police on her last boyfriend and will call the cops on Drama too and hangs up on him. Drama is crushed and starts drinking Jack Daniels. Is this the end of the long distance love affair and the closing of the Cannes chapter? We'll see.

"C" Storyline - E trolling for new clients.

Vince and E read a script from some newbie writers and and want to do the film but Ari talks Vince out of it. E thinks he should try to sign the writers to the Murphy Group, calls them up and goes to meet them. The thing is the two guys are Billy Walsh wannabes except they're rednecks that run a gun range. Nice. They are played as country bumpkins by Lukas Haas and Giovanni Ribisi, umm okay. They meet in a strip bar and E gives them his best sales pitch and Nick (Ribisi) tells him to sell their script and they might agree to let him manage them.

First E tries Ari and he asks him for help selling the script. Ari not surprisingly tells him he's worthless and says no (more colorfully though.) Why doesn't E get that Ari will NEVER help him? Is he that dense?? Not knowing many agents in town E goes to see Amanda played by the luscious Carla Gugino. When we last saw Amanda she signed Vince, slept with him and then fired him as a boyfriend and client. E goes to see her with his small little tail between his legs, talks a good talk, gets her to smile and read the redneck's script. As evidenced by next week's promo Amanda reads it and we will get to see the sexy Carla Gugino in at least one more episode. Whoopeeee!

"D" Storyline - Ari being a big time agent.
This was great Ari episode, in fact it was one of the Pivster's best. He actually gets to show lots of range. He gets to explode and insult E AND he gets to give some serious and brutal advice to Vince. He also admits that he has no idea if Vince's career will bounce back, sabotage a film screening and still have time to play golf with Mark Wahlberg. It also showed that Ari has got big name clients that are actually doing things in the industry that make him money and that he doesn't need Vince. He still cares about Vince so much that he will make himself available at any time to him.

"E" Storyline - Turtle and his quest for women.
If I had a nickel for every time Turtle gets shot down by a hot girl in this series I'd be a wealthy man. Here we actually get to see the persistence of Turtle as he finally wears down a girl to actually sleep with him. His obsession with pot and sex take on epic proportions here as we see him smoking a joint in the morning while watching lesbian porn, asking Justine if she's got a friend for him and wearing down a dancer with a boyfriend after lunch. All in all a great day for Turtle. When will he get a real girlfriend??

Moments I liked . . .

1. Vince's new found work ethic. Out of work? Critics bashing him? Having no money? No problem. A girl he likes "pawning" him off on a friend? BIG problem. That's the only reality Vinny Chase understands.

2. Turtle watching lesbian porn in the morning. Man, that girl was hot! Enough said.

3. Irony of Drama's "Freedom or Death" T-Shirt. Here he is giving up his freedom for a long distance relationship that feeds his insecurity. Classic Drama.

4. Ari's insults E. repeatedly. He rips off one of the best tirades on E that is up there with the most classic Ari moments. Somehow it's very satisfying. Oh yeah, and him knocking the cell phone out of an agent's hand and kicking the mail cart while doing it elevates it to great heights.

5. Leighton Meester looking like a young Julianne Moore. Complete with facial expressions and all. Also, her hair is so similar I actually did a double take. Scary.

6. Ari playing golf with Mark Wahlberg. We actually see Ari talking badly about Vince to one of his clients, which was weird. Wahlberg and the Pivster actually had some nice banter and good chemistry. Wahlberg actually gets to play with his image and bash one of his own movies. Pretty funny. And the swearing tirade Ari launches at the end of the scene is so ridiculous it's hilarious.

7. Tony Bennett is pretty funny. At the after party Drama was by cursing up a storm on his phone and Tony let's rip a great one-liner. Who knew?

8. Drama's one white lie escalates. The ever insecure Drama projects all his nonsense on Jaq. The funny thing is that Kevin Dillon actually plays it like he's aware of his projecting. Does that make sense? If not, just watch it. It's pretty damn funny.

9. Giovanni Ribisi playing a redneck. With an AK-47 no less. Pretty funny!

10. Turtle using his charms. Who knew he had any? His loyalty to Vince actually seals the deal. Nice.

11. Hot girls and nudity. Wow, we had Leighton Meester, Carla Gugino, Michella (Vince's pawn girl), Turtle's dancer girl, Jacqueline, lesbian porn AND meetings in strip clubs all in the same episode. So much for syndication.

12. Ari sabotaging the screening. Having his partner in crime Lloyd pull out the projector plug is smart but then him screaming and cursing about it, is genius.

13. Ari's brutal honesty with Vince. He actually leveled with Vince and told him everything we the fans have been thinking about Vince for years. Who said Doug Ellin doesn't listen to the fans!

A couple of things I didn't like . . .

1. E going to Ari for help.
C'mon does he seriously think Ari would actually help him in any way, shape or form? And he considers Ari a friend after all that's happened between them?

2. E and his possible new clients. Do we really need to see these Billy Walsh wannabe's? All these guys prove is that it takes two people to make one Rhys Coiro, with much less effect. So just bring back Billy and cut to the chase.

Best lines?

Ari pointing to E: So he doesn't even have to talk anymore?
E gives the middle finger: No, I'm going to mime.

Ari: No indies, E! Think of it like the holocaust, NEVER AGAIN!

Ari to Vince: You're in movie jail.

E: So, what do you want us to do? You want us to sit around and do nothing?
Ari: I thought you weren't going to talk but since you are, yes. You should sit around and do nothing. Or maybe go to Vinny's super secret hideaway in Mexico and come back when you're tan or tall, which ever comes first.

Ari: Let me be heard this time. I swear to God you will come back stronger than ever. Like Lance Armstrong but with two balls.

Mark Wahlberg to Ari: You were always good at lying off the cuff.
Ari: What are you talking about, I've never lied to you.
Mark: What about when you told me you liked "The Truth About Charlie"?
Ari: What IS the truth about Charlie?

Ari: Rusty C*nt bucket!

Drama: Obsession is huge turn on to me bro.

Turtle to Vince: If you and Drama both have girlfriends, I'm gonna shoot myself.

Turtle: Drama, you're not doing anything wrong so stop worrying about it.
Drama: I appreciate the advice Turtle, but you don't understand crazy broads. Cause nobody's ever been attracted enough to you to act psycho.

Vince: I'm not sure but I think I'm being "pawned" off.

Lloyd to Ari: E's on the phone.
Ari: WHY?
Lloyd: I don't know but he sounds enthusiastic.

Ari: We share one client E, we're never gonna share two.

Drama leaving a voicemail for Jaq: Baby it's me again. I'd like to think you're sleeping but nobody can sleep through this. Where the f*ck are you, pick up the f*ckin phone!
Tony Bennett: Didn't his mother ever tell him not to speak like that?

Ari to Lloyd: Pull the plug on the projector.
Lloyd: Are you serious?
Ari: Yeah, go.
Projector shuts off.
Ari: What the hell!? Can we fix this f*uckin projector already?!

Ari calls E.
E: Are you calling to apologize?
Ari: I'm calling to tell you that I blame you for every bad thing that's ever happened to Vince and every bad thing that could ever happen to him for the rest of his life. You're the unf*uckin lucky charm do you hear me? You should never utter the words "I found a good script" because you have no idea what a good f*ckin script looks like! Live with that!

Lloyd: He's here, he's here! Vince is here!
Ari: What are you speedballing fairy dust? Go out there and greet him like a man.

Vince: One bad movie and this is what happens. Was I really that awful?
Ari: Straight up Vinny, the movie was awful and yes, you were awful in it. But you know what? One bad movie can be overcome. Look at Colin Farell he's overcome dozens of them because the perception of him is that he's a movie star.
Vince: What's the perception of me?
Ari: That you don't give a f*ck. You refuse to play the game. You refuse to a part of the process. Look, the greats ones, even they don't care they pretend they do.
Vince: Do you think I'm a good actor Ari?
Ari: I did not sign you in the first place because I thought you could act. I signed you because I thought you were a movie star and you haven't acted like one in a long time.
Vince: I'm ready to play the game Ari. Whatever you say.

Boom, there ya go!

Janaki gives this episode an A+.

Final thoughts: An excellent episode that gave a lot of face time to every character while they actually said and did interesting things. This episode shows everything that is right about the concept of the show and should stand as a classic episode right up there with Johnny Drama yelling victory at the Grand Canyon.

Side Note: Lukas Haas is an old friend and roommate of Kevin Connolly's. It's also funny how they always mention Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire since they were roommates with Kevin back in the day as well. Maybe they'll make an appearance someday! And have we seen the last of Leighton Meester and Bow Wow?

Feel free to leave your comments and observations!

-- Janaki Cedanna

Next Week: The All Out Fall Out 9/21/08
To avoid bankruptcy, Vince takes Shauna's and his accountant's advice by agreeing to make an appearance at a not-so-sweet-sixteen bash. After a fast and furious drag race in his new Ferrari, Ari ups the ante with Adam Davies. Still devastated by his breakup, Drama befriends a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue. Fran Drescher, Carla Gugino and Debi Mazaar guest star.

Posted by Janaki Cedanna on September 14, 2008 11:55 PM
Permalink |

Funny.... I had the same observations about Tobey, Leo and Lukas all being mentioned or appearing in the same episode:

After all, Kevin Connolly really does have an Entourage in Hollywood.

Great episode.

-- Posted by: lainiek at September 15, 2008 11:08 AM

do you know the name of the song in the beginning of episode 2, when vince was with the two girls in mexico?

-- Posted by: anna at September 15, 2008 12:27 PM

Vince was with girls in Mexico in episode 1 (season premiere) not last night's episode.

Song: Mercy (Remix featuring The Game)
Artist: Duffy

The next morning they always post the music credits from the episode on

Thanks for reading!

-- Posted by: Janaki at September 15, 2008 12:47 PM

I don't know. I didn't like this one as much as last week. Let me say this... I love where the whole E storyline is going and I am glad that Drama got rid of his girl (or vice versa)... however...

I really want to see more of Vincent Chase, B-borderline-A movie star, not watch him constantly go on a hunt for bitches. That bores me. I thought it was a funny parallel how the girl was pawning him off... but to me, it's just part of him not caring as an actor.

Also, I loved Giovanni Ribisi and Lukas Haas. I didn't even recognize Haas until I saw the credits!

Last thought: I can't wait until this script becomes HUGE. E said it was about 9 firefighters? I bet it's stocked with A-listers, sans Vince.

-- Posted by: Rachel at September 15, 2008 4:47 PM

do you know the name of the actress who plays vince's 'pawn-girl' Michella??

-- Posted by: Rachel at September 17, 2008 11:19 AM

does anyone know the song playing during the credits of this episode?

-- Posted by: anon at September 18, 2008 5:22 AM

RE:does anyone know the song playing during the credits of this episode?

Phoenix - If I Ever Feel Better

-- Posted by: Anonymous at September 18, 2008 11:24 PM

I just saw this show for the first song. Though the show was pretty good. Was looking for the credits song also. Thanks.

-- Posted by: Anonymous at September 19, 2008 12:39 AM

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