Wednesday, June 06, 2007

"Get me a fluffer in the green room! I got reading to do.": Entourage

Before I finally saw the finale of Entourage's mixed, bloated third season today, I had read plenty of reviews saying it was a fairly mediocre cap to a largely disappointing run of episodes. While it didn't exactly leave me jazzed, it was a pretty enjoyable half-hour, better than the last episode, with the eye-rollingly obnoxious Middle Eastern prince financier and his horny trophy wife.

Thankfully, that whole situation was immediately brushed under the rug in the first minute of this episode, cause I really didn't want to see them turn into recurring characters. Instead, the show reached back and yanked out a pair of older guest stars to finally get Vince's dream project Medellin going. There was Adam Goldberg, as maniac financier Nick Rubinstein, who first cropped up a few weeks ago (and made a welcome return, I might add--it's always a pleasure to see Goldberg flip out over something), and there was Billy Walsh (Rhys Coiro), the sub-Tarantino helmer of Vince's indie flick Queens Boulevard. Walsh is kind of a one-joke character, but his antics amused nonetheless, as Vince and E nonchalantly dropped in on Walsh's latest gig--hardcore pornography. It's funny (as well as somewhat of a blessing) that Entourage, which is after all an HBO show about movie stars in Hollywood, features almost no nudity or hard drug use, so I figure all the naked women wandering around in the scenes with Walsh were a little nod to that. Or maybe Doug Ellin just wanted to crowbar some skin into the finale, who knows.

After Walsh got on board, and Rubinstein provided the dough, it was really just a matter of getting the four buddies together and having them celebrate Vince's upcoming project. Each season of this show has ended with Vince about to begin shooting on a movie (Queens Boulevard, Aquaman, Medellin), and then when we come back the movie is in the can and it's back to the silly antics we tend to expect from the ensemble. In general, I think this is a good idea--I doubt the show has the budget to go around shooting little mini-movies, and it's really best to keep that stuff off-screen, as Studio 60 showed us. Still, I'd like for once to have some material that touched on what it's actually like when Vince is shooting a movie, so I hope we get at least a little of that in season four (from what I'm hearing, at least the first episode is going to center on the filming process, so that's cool).

Aside from all that, not much else went on here. Very little Ari (he just stood around and shepherded everyone together), although there was the EXTREMELY welcome return of Shauna (Debi Mazar), who has been mostly missing from this season while on maternity leave. Hopefully she'll be back in full force for season 4, because her little curse-filled torrent of commands on the phone to Drama was a definite highlight this week. Drama's plot involved him spending way too much on a condo that I'm sure he doesn't need (they'll never split these guys up). The whole Drama thing is obviously a "pride before fall" situation, cause he's really at his best when he's miserable. Sadly, no sign of Turtle's girlfriend.

Aaaaanyway, I think season 3 is getting kind of a bad rap from everyone. The problem seems to be, the arc is really only justified to the typical 12-episode HBO style (it's really the same as the Aquaman arc: Vince wants project, project is difficult to get, after a while Vince gets project), but they had to stretch it out to 20 because of the Sopranos, so we get these fairly unnecessary side-plots like the Ramones movie, and Ari getting fired. It's easy for me to pick about 12 eps that I liked this season, so I'm gonna let the show's faults slide and hope that next season (which, by the way, starts in two weeks--no rest for the wicked!) keeps things more consistent. Can I get a woo hoo?


Filipe said...

I strongly suspects Drama's carachter in that TV show will get killed during sweeps. They are heavy-handed suggesting that people watch the show for his little brother and the "actor finds himself in a hit TV show, makes somw big financial coomitment and a sometime later learns his character is being written off" is an old TV story. And it would be very much the sort of unlucky thing that always happens to Drama.

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