Monday, June 04, 2007

Entourage: What do I do for the next 17 years?' Do I become a fluffer?

Between dealing with "Sopranos" finale logistics, a four-hour break in the middle of the day to tape a four-minute TV talking head segment (which, in case you missed the update below, probably won't come until around the mid-point of the show, if not later), and my fatigue from staying up late last night to write the latest Sopranos Rewind, I have about three working brain cells left, so some really brief "Entourage" spoilers coming right up...

The largely underwhelming third season comes to a close -- with the fourth season due to follow in two weeks, thanks to HBO's weirdo scheduling -- on a fairly funny note. Debi Mazar finally made an appearance and was funnier in her two minutes than everything Kevin Connolly and Jerry Ferrara have done all season combined. The visit to Walsh's porn set was vintage "It's not TV, it's HBO"-style comedy, with all the Fellini-meets-Dirk-Diggler background details (I laughed especially hard at the couple going at it poolside over Walsh's shoulder), and Drama's real estate dilemma was amusing, if 100% predictable.

I have a screener of the first two episodes of season four somewhere in my satchel, and if I don't fall asleep next to my daughter sometime around 8 p.m., I'm going to watch them. I want to see whether we'll finally get a glimpse of Vince under actual working conditions after the show had the "Queens Boulevard" and "Aquaman" shoots take place off-camera. There's a risk, though, of undermining the show even further if we realize that, just as the allegedly funny "Studio 60" sketches aren't funny at all, Vince doesn't really have the talent or charisma that the show has been boasting about for the last three years. The brief snippets we saw of "Queens Boulevard," for instance, looked like an overbaked parody of a bad Scorsese imitator; can "Medellin" possibly live up to billing, or will the writers finally use the new season as an opportunity to show something significant going wrong in Vince's career?

What did everybody else think? And what do you want to see in the new batch of episodes?

16 comments:

Janna said...

I agree, I would love to see Vince doing something on the set. While I enjoy the camaraderie and the funny situations they get into, it would be nice to see what he actually does. Also, more Debi please! She is so hilarious and they need to use her more. Ari has gotten less screen time and it upsets me. I am not necessarily looking forward to the friction between the director and everyone. All in all, to bring together these scattered thoughts, I would like to see more of the supporting characters.

Mase said...

Actually, I think showing Vince "in action" would lessen the show. In the movie HENRY FOOL (one of my all-time favorite films), they never show the poetry of character Simon Grimm; instead showing only the reactions to it. It made the film that much better in my mind. (granted, ENTOURAGE is the cheezwhiz to HENRY FOOL's gouda).

Showing, Johnny Chase acting, however, works because it adds to the mystique of Vince being that much better.

Scott Tobias said...

Oh, what an aggrevating season this has been. And yet no matter how bad it got (and boy, did it get bad), I still appreciated the show for being the after-dinner mint after "The Sopranos." I think last night's episode-- easily the second-best of the season after the Yom Kippur bit-- showed some promising signs to come, if only for reintroducing Shauna and Billy Walsh, and keeping Adam Goldberg in the picture. Here's hoping for a return to watchability on the 17th.

ooda said...

If it wasn't for the extremely short break, I would have been disappointed with this "season finale". And Mase, while you bring up Henry Fool, I counter with Larry Sanders (albeit a talk show).

Filipe said...

I don't think showing Vince's working would be an actual problem. What hurts Studio 60 is that the show keep saying that those guys are brilliant and are rescuing that show from mediocrity and as subjective as humor can be, nobody seems to like the sketches that we see. Now, Vince is a star, which is something nobody agrees with in the first place, most viewers are more than used that they don't always get the appeal of certain stars that I believe they would accept Vince even if they don't get him. Now, if they are really going to sell the idea that Medellin is a great film (which knowing Entourage is almost certain), I understand the fear of showing much of it to us.

Abbie said...

I don't really want to see Vince actually acting on set. The couple of snippets of Queens Boulevard and Aquaman were both the perfect bite-sized chunks, and seeing any more of either or of Medellin would ruin it. This show is not about acting.

And Adrian Grenier could not pull off making Vince look like a great actor. Adrian Grenier cannot even pull off great acting himself.

Matt said...

Descriptions of the first two episodes of the next season are available, and it sounds like they're striking the right balance. We will get to see Vince and the gang "working," but it won't take over the show.

(Also, if Drama is on a high-rated show, why is he never off working/filming, and how did "The Black Donnellys" become a huge hit in this universe?)

Brian said...

A few thoughts.

1. I've said it on another forum, and I'll say it here: I like this show, but if it went away, I'm not sure I'd care. It's not as funny as many people make it out to be, and while I appreciate the glimpses of the inner workings of Hollywood, I can get them elsewhere. Maybe I need to watch the series from the beginning to appreciate it more, but I'm just not seeing the same show so many of my friends see.

2. I don't necessarily mind that Kevin Connelly isn't funny on the show. Again, I haven't seen as much of this show as other people, but I don't think that's his main role. I like him because his presence on the show is affable, like Vince's usually is, which is more than I can say for Drama, who seems to verge on the pathetic, and Turtle, who seems utterly worthless.

Ted F. said...

The sense I got from the previews is that the Medellin filming looks to be a disaster, and Vince finally has to face consequences for irresponsibility.

There's no way that Drama can afford $1.5 M unless Vince floats him the money. He can't be making more than $20,000/episode, and where does he get the down payment?

I did like the H!ITG who played the condo broker. But that scene was so predictable that I spoke the lines out loud before they were said.

BF said...

if Drama is on a high-rated show, why is he never off working/filming

IIRC, "Five Towns" was a midseason show. So, aside from reshoots, there'd be no need to be on set until July/August-ish whenever production ramps up for Season II.

TuckPendleton said...

Yeah, no need to see Vinnie Chase emoting, just like we never saw the SportsNight guys do more than take the show to commercial.

Plus, I'm sure not showing him in his movie roles is also a budget choice, since it saves them having to build other sets for Vince's movies.

Although the previews of the summer eps did make it look like there was some more $ being spent...I recall a pretty decent explosion?

Isaac said...

Ted, yeah, that condo scene was a little unrealistic, given that the broker was acting like a used car salesman and no written offers were exchanged and there were no disclosures and Drama just signed the papers with the seller's agent right there at the showing and he didn't arrange any pre-qualification.

Still, I don't think a $1.4M condo was really out of the question for Drama -- assuming he's making $20K per episode, that's $460K a year, and since the first episode has already aired they must have four or five in the can. So let's give Drama $100K, and then take out $40K for taxes. We can take out another $10K for ordinary expenses, though Drama is the least spendthrift of that posse. He has not paid rent in years, doesn't have car payments, and presumably has paid off his student loans. So let's say he has $40K left over from his season to date. He only needs another $30K in savings for 5% down, with a $1.1MM first and the other 15% on a second or on a negative-amortization line of credit to tide him over until he has more cash.

To emphasize how this is not totally unreasonable, after the first season of That Seventies Show Danny Masterson bought himself an $800,000 house in Los Feliz. I think that's comparable. If actors didn't stretch for homes, houses in LA would be cheap.

Isabel said...

The porn in the background made me sick. Not laugh.

I think the shows lost something this season. I kick myself for subscribing to HBO just for Entourage. It just isn't the same.

Jeff K. said...

The porn in the back made me laugh.

Mostly because it was just so over the top -- the midget on the set, and later the naked midget just made me laugh... like porn Fellini, only not quite as clever.

Anonymous said...

*possible spoiler* so proceed with caution...
I read the first episode of the new season involves a documentary crew's footage of the Medellin taping.

Also Michael Ausiello's vodcast indicates the film does well at Cannes and Ari runs around looking for a buyer.

Entourage should be focused on Ari and Lloyd - the rest, especially Vince seem like supporting cast.

The Yom Kippur episode was by far the best of the season.

Anonymous said...

It hasn't been a good season for Entourage, but I did like when Billy/Wally bragged about scoring a "25-picture deal" to make porn.