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Entourage Fodder

Entourage: Buzzed - Review

What do you get when a fun-loving and very narcissistic moviestar experiences a brush with death? You get a guy with lots of money with way too much time on his hands turning into an pseudo-spiritual adrenaline junkie. More clearly, you get the new Vincent Chase.

The second episode in the seventh season of HBO's Entourage was called "Buzzed" (corrected) for a reason. Vincent Chase is a changed man, as it seems that after the effects of his death defying stunt for director Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook), he feels invincible.

If this is the main theme of this season then count me in. Starting last year every character on the show experienced growth except for our boy Vince. Now it's his turn in a big way. It's about time that the show makes Vinnie the centerpiece instead of having him just screw every girl he sees. This new direction feels more like real Hollywood.

This episode just felt large. Not only was it extremely fast paced but it was inhabited by a lots of extras in nearly every scene which provided a frenetic energy that is often lacking. Sure there were lots of cameos as usual but none of them felt forced. In fact, it really seemed like we were given a peek into the behind-the-scenes world of Hollywood for the first time in awhile. The attention to detail hit a new high as we FINALLY had some paparazzi following Vince around! Major props to writer Ally Musika for that!

I like it when there are different and intersecting storylines and this episode did not disappoint . . .

The "A" storyline was all about the new Vince.
The old Vinnie totally relied on his entourage AND experienced everything with them. Vinnie 2.0 not only had to do the car crash stunt by himself but the boys tried to talk him out of it. They went even farther by laughing at the very idea which doesn't sit well with a sensitive and narcissistic actor. He's out to prove to everyone that he can make decisions all by himself, damn the outcome.

When we catch up with Vince he's been sleeping for 18 hours straight and when he gets woken up by Eric he realizes he desperately needs a change. The best decision of the day is when he decides to cut off the mop on his head. That must have been bittersweet for Adrian Grenier as he's had the long curly hair his entire career. The next best decision is when he tells Maria Menounos in an interview with Access Hollywood that the Cassavetes movie will "probably end up sucking" which sends his publicist Shauna (Debi Mazar) and E into damage control mode. Turns out he lied to E about getting permission from the director first by saying the film was wrapped. Especially when Cassavetes finds out and goes off the deep end. You can imagine a slew of young actors doing the same exact thing. Leonardo DiCaprio or Mark Wahlberg anyone? Believe it or not but freakouts over a haircut happen in the industry all the time.

The next best decision is pawning E off onto Drama. He doesn't consult with E first but just tells him to help Johnny get a TV show. The worst decision? Well it's not jumping out of a plane in the middle of the day, it's cozying up with sleazebag Scotty Levin (a great Scott Caan) behind Eric's back. This can't end well. Besides don't they know that the afternoon is the worse time to jump out of a plane? Too much turbulence!

The "B" storyline was about Drama's career.
After Vince pretty much forces E to help Johnny find a TV show the real work begins. Johnny immediately has Lloyd send over tons of scripts for him to read since he's always picked out winners for Vince. Drama is serious about the next phase of his career and dials down the neurotic behavior, which is a welcome sight. Eric comes up with an idea to contact some TV showrunners to see if they can write something specifically for him. Drama loves the idea and asks him to be his manager full-time and E reluctantly agrees. This opens up all kinds of new and neurotic possibilities. Let the real drama begin!

The "C" storyline was all about King Ari Gold.
After numerous attempts to reach him, Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones calls and wants to meet up immediately to discuss the upcoming NFL TV rights which puts Ari on high stress alert. He bails on his day trip with his wife and heads back to the office. Why she expects him to be available during the middle of the week to look at a chandelier is beyond me. Has she learned nothing after all those years of marriage? Turns out that junior agent Lizzy Gordon (perfectly played by Autumn Reeser) wants to sit in on the meeting. After some sexist comments he relents, either because he's impressed by her football knowledge or he likes her unbuttoned blouse. Ari's skeptical of her skills mostly because of her affair with Andrew Klein but starts to form a different opinion when he sees Lizzy in all her charismatic glory. She charms the old white guy owners with a level of sincerity that Ari sorely lacks. As usual Ari comes across as hyper and sleazy. Tell me why he's so successful again? Gotta love the LA Golds as an NFL team name though.

Somehow Jones was impressed with his presentation and calls Ari from the airport to give him good news and bad news. The bad news is that the NFL is probably gonna stick with internally handling the lucrative TV rights but invites him to present to all 32 owners. The good news is that he sees Ari becoming a team owner and bringing football back to Los Angeles. Oh why did he have to plant that seed in his head!! He celebrates by hugging and dancing with Lizzy and promising to give her whatever she wants when Mrs. Ari walks in and sees him all over her. Predictably she is mad but really freaks and storms out when she finds out this is THE same Lizzy Gordon that slept with Andrew and broke up her friends marriage. Ari has some serious splainin to do!!

Finally the "D" storyline was about Turtle.
After getting his platinum AMEX card declined from a $47.00 lunch he finds out that there is a 10k charge at Tiffany's on it and immediately suspects that his former driver Alex (Dania Ramirez) stole from him. He confronts the girl that he sexually harassed and she denies the whole thing saying that he asked her to buy his mom a gift and she spent only 1k. She bitches him out and scares the girl he's interviewing. Later when he finds out that Tiffany's made the mistake he goes to her house (stalker alert!) and apologizes to her again and again. Why she hasn't sued him yet is totally beyond me. Word has it that sometime this season they will get together but I sincerely hope not as she's just flat out irritating. Plus there's absolutely no chemistry between them. Anyway, Turtle leaves and sticks his foot in his mouth one last time when he says he owes her one and if she needs anything to come to him. Huge mistake!!

Some thoughts . . .

I hope we see more paparazzi following Vince around as everyone knows that in this world of 24 hour celebrity news we see stars jogging, going shopping and stopping for coffee on a regular basis. It was perfect that they caught him coming out of a strip joint!

There was a little closure with Andrew Klein as we found out from Lizzy and Ari's sexually charged exchanges that he's in rehab and is no longer working at the agency. Good riddance!! Wonder what happened with Aaron Sorkin?

Continuing with that, yes there is some serious heat between Jeremy Piven and Autumn Reeser and absolutely zero with Jerry Ferrara and Dania Ramirez. I still don't want to see Ari be unfaithful to Mrs. Ari though.

Vince's haircut makes him actually look presentable for the first time, EVER. He's channeling Matt Damon or as Shauna said, Samantha Ronson. I like it. Adrian Grenier may actually have a chance to show he can act. I can't wait. He already got to jump out of that airplane for real. Very, very nice.

Nice to see Shauna again and actually doing something. Somehow she was less irritating then I remember. It was funny to find out some character backstory like she slept with Maria Menounos' ex and that her three sons all have different fathers. I really liked her and Eric's banter especially after they hung up with each other.

I can't tell you how happy I am that for the second episode in a row Eric's love life was nearly non-existent as I'm sure later in the season we'll have plenty thrown in our faces and a "wedding" episode to cap off the torture. E is at his best when he's harried and playing Vince damage control. He's the glue that binds everyone together so stick with that Doug Ellin. Please! I am looking forward to the new dynamic between E and Drama though as they have never really spent any time together besides trading insults. It was hilarious how they were awkward with each other when Drama asked E to be his manager.

I thought Vince was testing Eric when he told him he got Cassavetes permission for a haircut. I think he was just trying to see if E had been doing his job and keeping up with his schedule. How can E not know they are doing reshoots?? That's why he's gonna sidle up with Scotty in future episodes to make E jealous. Vince always said that E can do whatever he wanted as long as he always came first. Typical narcissist!

How can Turtle's Platinum AMEX card be declined? Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't there no limit on those? He would have to NOT pay his bill for two months before they cut off his credit, right? And how the hell did Turtle get a Platinum AMEX card anyway??

The topical references are all hitting the bullseye this season. Everyone knows that all TV shows are shot months in advance so if you're not careful by the time they air they can already be extremely dated. In the premiere they brilliantly referenced Jessica Simpson, a Fall Guy remake and Tom Cruise in Knight and Day, while this week they referenced the David Duchovny show Californication in a very funny scene. Nice props for Showtime from an HBO show!

Sometimes the dialog seems slightly staged (funny as they are) with all the long insults and ramblings so it was actually noticeable this week when the insults were shorter which really made them feel more natural.

Now I know what creator Doug Ellin meant when he said that the reason the show isn't an hour long (or even actually 30 minutes long) is that it's very expensive to shoot and requires lots of locations and extras. This episode was jammed packed with tons of extras at every location. That is some serious logistical issues, let me tell you. The people were actually doing things! And the fact that there were lots of hot girls in the background is an added bonus. I thought they were gonna run into Billy Walsh at the strip joint!

Bob Saget tells a sexual story involving two Morman wives. Enough said.

After having a little experience in Hollywood I can fully understand and relate to the fact that women get really jealous when their husbands are surrounded by incredibly hot girls that will do anything for their "career." Given that, Mrs. Ari's reaction was actually kind of subdued. Wanna bet she tells Ari to fire her?

Best Line:

"Button up, this is the NFL not the NBA." - Ari to Lizzy.

Overall, this was one of the best shows in a long while when stacked side-by-side with other episodes. It was fast paced, had naturalistic dialogue and most of all had a vibrant energy to it. I give it 5 Lim-Ho's out of 5. It's way overdue for Vince to grow as a character instead of dragging the show down. I love how the season is set up with Vince creating a swath of destruction for everyone to pick up the pieces. What's next, a racist rant caught on tape? How about Vince dating a porn star . . .

This season is shaping up to be one of the best seasons as the show seems to have gotten a second wind. I think the end is in sight which allows Doug Ellin to really set things up perfectly. Only time will tell. So far, so good. Very good.

-- Janaki Cedanna

Next Episode: "Dramedy" - Eric and Phil Yagota try to convince Drama to work on a sitcom. Turtle gains an unlikely partner in a new business venture. Ari and Barbara Miller clash over giving Lizzie a promotion. Love it when it's a Drama-centric episode!

And to keep you primed, check out this great video "Uncovering Sloan" with the very beautiful Emmanuelle Chriqui and Lloyd's new diary.

Uncovering Sloan


Posted by Janaki Cedanna on July 11, 2010 11:50 PM
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