Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Blogger somehow ate an entire post, which contained thoughts on the "Entourage" season finale and the new episodes of "Prison Break" and "Vanished," and I'm on deadline for tomorrow's column, so I don't have time to recreate it all. Short versions:
"Entourage": A mediocre conclusion to an up-and-down season. I've always wavered on how much, if at all, I like Vince, and his refusal to acknowledge even a tiny bit of responsibility for his current predicament -- throughout the series, and this season in particular, he goes out of his way to jeopardize his career, often against Ari's advice -- really turned me against him again. On top of that, I don't buy that Ari would be so stupid as to give the exact same hackneyed branding speech to Vince -- especially since, as Rich Heldenfels pointed out to me, he knows Josh Weinstein's M.O.
I'm also disappointed that they got rid of Bob Ryan so quickly. I would have loved spending some time actually watching Vince make a movie for once, both to see whether he's just as big a flake on company time and to see Bob attempt to fit into modern Hollywood outside the cutthroat deal-making.
The season wasn't a total loss -- the trip to the Valley, Eric's threeway, Drama in Vegas and the introduction of Bob made it worth sitting through the episodes that dragged -- but it feels like the writers aren't sure what to do now that the show is becoming more popular (at least in Hollywood, if not the rest of the country). They spent large chunks of an episode on Vince buying Turtle a pair of $20,000 sneakers, for God's sake. I'm hoping the spring episodes with Carla Gugino are an improvement.
"Prison Break": A strong second episode, highlighted by Pope taking a stand for his guy (even though Bellick deserved to be fired) and Linc improvising a rescue attempt for LJ (including the first of what I'm sure will be many face-to-face encounters between Mahone and Michael). On the other hand, the bit with T-Bag preparing to kill the poor veteranarian made me uncomfortable. I'm glad the writers aren't trying to soften the character now that they know he's a fan favorite, and I completely believe he would kill the guy under these circumstances. But it felt like the show reveled in T-Bag's sickness more than it needed to in that scene with the vet taped to the table, begging for his life. Is it just me?
"Vanished": Placed in the Life's Too Short file after an unimpressive second episode. I don't have time to detail all that's wrong, so go read Fienberg saying almost everything I would.
Today's column mostly deals with "Justice," a pilot I dismissed back in June, but which grew on me in second viewing, mostly in the little details I didn't pay much attention to during my pilot marathon. I don't know that I'll feel compelled to watch it again, but that has to do with my own personal burn-out on the Bruckheimer formula than the show's actual merits, which aren't half-bad. Victor Garber fans will enjoy watching their guy play a cheerful bastard.