Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Let me stand next to your fired agent

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.


Anonymous said...

Alan -- agree with your assessment - though feel entourage was way more down than up. i mean if vegas is considered a highlight - with the bizarre goes nowhere johnny drama massuese storyline - than this was not a season to write home about.

what is it about season 3 that hurts shows.

i feel like entourage was never witty to begin with - but became less than that. and that as good as kevin dillon remains in a one joke part - piven became too mannered and one note in a part they tried to deepen.

let's not forget dom and the stolen shrek doll as maybe the low point of the series. it did perk up in the middle for the threesome episode and some good aquaman drama. but it didn't seem to amount too much.

it's hard to care about the story if the main character (vince) doesn't seem to care.

vanished is godawful. how are the ratings going up? and what's worse justice or standoff? when did FOX turn into CBS Jr.?

Anonymous said...

Start the post offlive in an application like Word, or hell, even notepad, so if the blogger eats it on upload you have a backup. Anywho, love the work, Entourage is coming back in the spring? for how many episodes?

Vanished upon viewing the second episode has me turned off. Kidnapped is the one of the two that looked most promising from the pilots.

Justice has potential, but would they have us beleive the firm is going to win every case, and ethinic diverse LA firm at that. =)

Anonymous said...

Is Vince really the main character of Entourage? We're really seeing this world through E's eyes (and Connolly has the top billing in the credits.)

But yes, this season was pretty uneven at best.

Adam said...

As long as there's no consequences for Vince's screwups, it's fantasy fluff. This was Johnny Drama's season, and as far as his stuff was concerned, it was a fun season, but this isn't Great Television.

Lord Floppington said...

T-Bag's decision to kill the vet did fit with his personality, even though I wish he hadn't done it. I half wished the vet had made up a syringe of some sort of anesthetic that would put him pretty far under for an hour or two, fooling T-Bag, and then coming out of it after T-Bag was gone.

I'm not sure if I bought the stealing the vet's car thing. Maybe he will ditch the car 20 miles down the road, but if he's still in it, is there a way to track him over that On-Star system? At the very least, they know where he's going.

Plus, isn't On-Star pretty new? I had been under the impression that T-Bag has been in jail for a while, like since before On-Star was even available. How does he know how to hop in a car and fire it up to get directions.

And even if he only went to jail recently, is he really the type of guy who could afford a car with that feature?

And yes, maybe that vet could reconnect some of the larger blood vessels and sew the two pieces together around the surface of the skin, but the nerves? The bones? T-Bags left arm ought to look like a mummy up to the elbow or something. That better turn into a zombie hand and start rotting away over the next several episodes, or I'll be majorly bummed. If his hand is as good as new two shows down the line, that will be beyond the limits of my ability to suspend disbelief.

Anonymous said...

When T-Bag was puking his guts out, that might have been the time for the vet to run. But he didn't, so T-Bag's Bauerlike recuprative powers enabled him to overpower the vet with one hand after a major surgery and massive blood loss. Prison Break rules.

I'm no Hollywood screenwriter, but I'll bet Bellick and Mahone are gonna butt heads before the season is through. Just call it a feeling!

BF said...

To answer Floppington's question, T-Bag has been in jail for less than 5 years, probably closer to 3 years (thank you, otherwise worthless flashback episode from last season!)

Concievably, he might know more about it. Me, I would have just filmed him driving off and panned to a highway sign that said "West". But that's just me.

Anonymous said...

The one thing I want to know is how they all know *where* in Utah to go? I thought Michael was the only one with the actual location of Westmoreland's dough? Utah's not exactly a small state.

I was actually disappointed that they didn't rescue LJ, although I guess they can stretch the season out by having them run after him instead of going straight to Utah.

Good thing Bellick's mom told him about the reward before he ate his gun. As much as I hate Bellick, I would have hated it more if he'd offed himself. Also, the vet said that he'd reconnected the major blood vessels and nerves in T-Bag's hand, as well as pinned the bones together, but that T-Bag had to go to the hospital right away. The vet said that it was lucky the hand was iced. I say bring on the improbabilities because that's what I watch this show for :-)

As for Justice: Wasn't going to watch it until I heard Victor Garber on the radio this morning extolling its virtues. He sold me on at least watching the pilot ep. He sounded so cheerful and un-Bristow-like!

Lord Floppington said...

Good point on LJ Dez, although, when Linc and Michael learned that LJ would be taken to Arizona, I figured they would give up on the immediate rescue in favor of hijacking the bus somewhere on the lonely highway. Heck, for a while, Arizona might even be on the way to Utah!