Monday, June 19, 2006

Who needs to hydrate?

Before we get to "Entourage" episode two, the morning column link: Matt on PBS' "The History Detectives" and "Free Speech: Jim Lehrer and Bill Bradley," plus a capsule review from me of the muckraking first segment on tomorrow night's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel."

Now, then, on to "Aquaman." I thought the season premiere was just a'ight-blah, but this was much better. I spent the hiatus telling friends that I thought it would be an interesting story direction if "Aquaman" was a flop and suddenly Drama, Turtle and E had to fend for themselves, possibly with Drama experiencing a brief career renaissance and becoming the new breadwinner while Vince struggles to prove he's not washed up before 30. Obviously, they ain't going in that direction, and that's fine, since A)My idea is more one of those things a show tries in its later seasons when it's run out of variations on the premise, and B)The writers clearly haven't run out of variations on "Vince gets everything he's ever wanted while the guys ride his coattails" just yet.

Things to love: Ari denying Mrs. Ari because you don't fool around on game day; Drama going all T.E. Lawrence for the trip into the Valley (Matt's been quoting the "I gotta hydrate" line at me for weeks), Turtle striking out with the older sister, Ari smashing Lloyd's statue, the clever use of an "Aquaman" clip that didn't feature the costume or any major FX (I'm sure the wave was lifted from another movie) and Vince trying to have the "I am a golden god!" moment from "Almost Famous." (I think if Vince had a choice between having lots of money or just getting to re-create scenes from movies he loved growing up, he'd pick the latter.)

So now Vince has starred in the movie with the biggest opening of all time. His playground just got a whole lot bigger. What did everybody else think?


Anonymous said...

I gotta say -- I am finding this season to be pretty mediocre. The first 2 eps have felt flat and recycled. We've seen Ari yelling "Lloyd". We've seen Ari in therapy with his wife and the phone ring. I think my biggest issue is I dont find Piven funny anymore. Divorced from stuff I've read about him as a nightclubbing asshole - he seems tired and under the weather and phoning it in. Reminds me of Adam Brody on The OC or Matthew Perry on Friends. Yes, he's playing the character, and saying the lines - but it just doesn't feel very fresh.

The whole deal feels a little tired. Charm is gone. And the stories have no pay offs (James Woods, Brownouts). Just excuses for lazy cameos and parties. Which we've seen.

I hope it pulls out of the funk. But I don't know that there was ever that much depth to begin with.

Anonymous said...

You may be right. I thought the first ep was blah. The second a little btter. Actually, I think the strongest through of both eps was Ari. I really think that first ep was awful.