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This is late because I was very sick and even more wildly uninspired by this episode.
SEASON 1, EPISODE 2: THE REVIEW
WHAT I REMEMBER: Hopefully the episode titles continue to remain so blatantly helpful in regards to what the episode is about, but knowing the turn the show takes in later season (“Self-seriousness is a left up here, Mr Ellin”) season four and on will probably all have names like “Empathy From the Devil” or “Turtle’s final swim”.
Vince gets a bad review from Variety (getting bad reviews from Variety becomes a theme on the show because a writer at Variety was constantly crapping on Entourage, and what is a scripted television for other than settling your beefs?) and Eric tries to keep him happy while the rest of the reviews come in. One way they do this is by buying a Rolls Phantom. I think E’s ex-girlfriend makes an appearance, but not positive. I also think Drama and Turtle are given no actual storylines of their own to handle, much to the relief of people who sat through the later days and watched Kevin Dillon and Jerry Ferrara struggle to display any emotion other than joy over collecting a paycheck. That’s mean, so I’ll add that Adrien Grenier doesn’t even emote joy at receiving a paycheck, so I’m not saying they’re the worst things on the show.
WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED:
The episode begins with Eric walking on Drama practicing the Vagina Monologues for an acting class. E is baffled by this, apparently unaware until now of Drama’s history of “acting” like “characters in written productions”, particularly when he’s holding a script he’s clearly reading from. There’s a transgender joke (GOT ‘EM, AND IT’S ABOUT TIME TOO) and Turtle comes home with a copy of Variety, containing the bad review. “Fucking Prick called you a ‘thespian’.” Turtle says sincerely, lending credence to the theory he never developed passed the age of eight mentally. The review is bad, folks. So bad, it sounds like it was written about the 2001 motion picture “Harvard Man”.
The guys go to Ari’s, where they meet reccuring characters Justine Chapin (played by Latent Meester) the world’s most obvious Britney Spears surrogate, and Ari’s assistant Emily. So many recurring characters already!!!!!! I bet all their storylines pay off, and huge!
“Bet accepted,” you say right before I have to pay you money for losing said bet.
Ari chastises E for letting Vince read the bad review, then tells Eric to keep Vince distracted. This exchange takes place:
Eric: “WHAT’S VINCE’S NEXT JOB?”
Ari: “YOU DIDN’T TAKE THE JOB I GOT VINCE YOU PASSED BECAUSE THE SCRIPT STUNK!”
(I hope you find that interesting, because it happens about once a season.) Hug it out makes, I believe, it’s first appearance. They buy a Rolls Phantom, because this takes place anyone anywhere was disgusted by flagrant wealth, and then they have the second 4 girl-4 guy pool party in as many episodes. Because the only thing more interesting than going to a pool party in real life is watching one on television. Vince’s accountant gets mad at Eric for letting Vince spend so much on a car, there’s talk of buying a house (“This is LA. Today it’s worth 10 million, tomorrow it’s worth 20.” Drama says in a moment of unintentionally depressing real life dramatic-irony) and they end up at a party at Jessica Alba’s (who gives her most convincing performance ever as herself). Eric and Ari have more tension, Eric questions his qualifications to be Vince’s manager, then Vince tells him he’s good at it and to return the Phantom (which I guess he does, even though it’s both a lease and never addressed on camera again.)
This episode, despite also featuring the first of many appearances of Welcome to Earf’ café, stunk. Dull dull dull, and not even a rehash of the first episode because at least the first episode had some tension, with Colin Farrell taking the job Vince was thinking about taking (but the jokes on Colin Farrell because his career isn’t so hot now). Is this whole season essentially one episode’s worth of plot ground out to an entire season length? It’s starting to feel like it.
NOTES: No hot girls to open the show, so we’re now 1/2.
Gay Panic joke 2/2 (I feel strongly this categories is going to end up going perfect)
Game changing phonecall to end the episode 1/2 but to be honest, I skipped the last minute because this was such a dud.
GOOD JOKES ALERT: Drama: “The Orange County Register said I was a functioning retard. Now that was a bad review.”
But, hey, Elizabeth Santorum isn’t a bigot—she can’t be! She has gay friends! And her gay friends support her dad!
Who are these gay people who support Rick Santorum despite his having equated consensual gay sex to child-rape and dog-fucking? Who are these gay people who support Rick Santorum despite his opposition to gay marriage and any other legal framework—civil unions, domestic partnerships—that might provide legal protections for same-sex couples? Who are these gay people who support Rick Santorum despite his promises to write anti-gay bigotry into the U.S. Constitution, forcibly divorce all legally married same-sex couples in the United States, reinstate DADT, and ban adoptions by same-sex couples?
Who are these faggots?
To Ms. Foley and all the other political reporters out there: When someone like Elizabeth Santorum tells you that she has gay friends and her gay friends support her dad based on his “family platforms”—gay people shouldn’t be allowed to have families—your subject is making an astonishing claim. Your immediate response should be a demand for the names and phone numbers of these gay friends. Offer to quote these gay friends anonymously, to protect their privacy/stupidity, but tell the homophobe that you will need to verify the existence of her gay friends because you’re a journalist, not a stenographer. You’ll either catch the homophobe in a very revealing lie—what does it tell us about this moment in the struggle for LBGT equality that even bigots like Rick and Elizabeth Santorum perceive a political risk in being perceived as homophobic?—or land a fascinating interview with a crazy-ass faggot.” —-Savage Love, Jan 11th
SEASON 1, EPISODE 1: PILOT
WHAT I REMEMBER: Irreverence, irreverence, irreverence! I remember the pilot effectively establishing a tone of fun and lightheartedness (a tone that would eventually be shown the door, naked and shivering, in later seasons) by having almost nothing happen other than the dudebros sitting around chatting, possibly calling E’s ex-girlfriend a bitch (I know this happens, and at a prodigious rate, but I don’t remember if it’s this season/episode). They go to Vince’s movie premier, Ari is a way bigger jerk than he is in later seasons, and there is precious little Johnny Drama. Because when it comes to Drama, Entourage is like life; less is more.
WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED: More than I thought, I guess. The overriding arc of the episode is the conflict between Eric and Ari over Vince’s next movie. Two things are interesting (might be overstating it) about this: One is that Ari starts the show almost as an antagonist. He also talks himself up as a serial philanderer, but that gets dropped pretty quickly, probably because Super Agent/Real Person Ari Emmanuelle called Executive Producer/Series Creator Mark Wahlberg and said “Hey, since everyone knows this character is me, maybe don’t have him bragging about fucking every woman all the time.” The second is that Vince really isn’t the catalyst in much of the action of the episode, which I took to mean the show initially is able to recognize that revolving a program around the charisma of Adrien Grenier is a lot like planning on breathing the oxygen on the moon. There isn’t any too be found. But, much like the winking tone mentioned earlier, the acknowledgement that Adrien Grenier reads every line as if it’s the first he’s seen the script is quickly tossed aside in favor of the hotter, much younger notion that he’s a tremendous actor. So the pilot really establishes Eric as the main character, and the only person who stands a reasonable chance of being seen as “relatable” by the audience. He also has an ex-girlfriend who, as I mentioned, the show really wants us to know is a total, HUUUUUUUUUUGE bitch. Why? Because she dumped him, I think. UGH, WHAT A BITCH WOMEN ARE FOR DUMPING GUYS!!!!!!! They also alternate each mention of WHAT A TOTAL BITCH SHE IS with incredibly brazen foreshadowing of the two of them getting back together. I think one of them even says “We don’t want to say she’s a bitch, then have you two get back together in two weeks!” Then, they call her a bitch. It’s as subtle as a character handing another character a gun while saying “DON’T USE THIS GUN BY THE END OF THE NEXT ACT! ALSO, THIS PLAY WAS WRITTEN BY ANTON CHEKHOV!” The conflict between Ari wanting Vince to agree to star in “Matterhorn”, and Eric thinking he shouldn’t because the script stinks, results in them waiting too long and losing out on the part to Colin Farrell. This news is delivered to Vince and Eric, by Ari via phone call (see “Motifs, Recurring”).
In terms of characters, Turtle is established as the grunt/idiot/horndog (though listening to his incredibly sexually aggressive dialogue again as a wiser man, I’m stunned his character didn’t end up sexually assaulting someone) and Drama is clueless and desperate about his career. Shauna, Vince’s publicist, is listed in the opening credits, probably because the producers assumed she would be a more important character than she ended up being. Ali Larter also has a fun cameo as herself, out on the warpath because Vince either slept with her and didn’t call again, or he killed her family (I missed that particular line of dialogue and can’t be positive about it). Celebrities playing gently mocking versions of themselves is something else that gradually falls away, and simply becomes celebrities playing themselves for real. Because the only thing funnier than a satirical version of yourself, is just yourself. *Yawns*
NOTES: The episode, and thus the series, opens with a shot not of our main characters, but of hot girls. We’re 1 for 1, so far.
With the “I heart cock” bumper sticker placed on the hummer, to embarrass Turtle, we’re also 1 for 1 on gay panic jokes.
Episode ends with game changing phonecall, 1 for 1.
Jeremy Piven looking pretty thin on top. His relationship with Eric gets warmer as his hair gets thicker.
FROM IMDB: A real riveting Trivia section for this episode -
“In the original draft for the pilot, Vince’s publicist’s name was not Shauna but Sarah Davis, and was described as: “Smartly dressed in a pant suit, Sarah embodies mature elegance. By comparison the guys seem like high-schoolers.”
“In a draft script, it is stated that Turtle’s real name is Mike Quinn.”
Hey dudes/dudettes/trans-duders. As anyone who’s ever been nearly bored to tears by me knows, I have seen every episode of entourage. A bunch of times, in fact. It’s not a show I particularly enjoy, and in fact I downright loathe most of the episodes, but I was really addicted to the show for a while. It was like some kind of heroin that, instead of bringing about an intense euphoria, simply made you roll your eyes and question how someone could write this particular batch of heroin.
But I digress (non-stop and at the worst of times). Because it’s been a while since I’ve seen the show, I am going to go back and REWATCH EVERY EPISODE OF ENTOURAGE! I know, I’m as unethralled by the idea as you are. But this all means I’M DOING A BLOG PROJECT!!!! Before each episode, I’m going to recall what I remember about the episode, then I will watch give my thoughts on how accurate I was, as well as the shows overall quality. Then, to close off, I’ll post something from the episode’s imdb page, because that place is filled with lunatics.
HOORAY FOR POINTLESS BUSY WORK THAT YOU HOPE WILL HELP YOU WRITE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS MORE CONSISTENTLY!!!!!
“As surely as Ron Paul speaks to a real issue—the state’s broad use of violence and surveillance—which the America’s political leadership has failed to address, Farrakhan spoke to something real, something unsullied, which black America’s political leadership failed to address, Both Paul and Farrakhan, in their glamour, inspired the young, the disaffected, the disillusioned…
…But as sure as the followers of Farrakhan deserved more than UFOs, anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories, those of us who oppose the drug-war, who oppose the Patriot Act deserve better than Ron Paul”” —ta nehisi (via jsmooth995)