Take a look at the title of tonight’s episode and then think about it for a few seconds. Get that little giggle out of your system? Great, let’s move on. Of course, that might be hard to do considering both references in the title – namely, anal sex and tequila shots – played a big part in several of the storylines this week. The most entertaining one involved Vince hooking up with porn star (and supposed anal specialist) Sasha Grey at a club, only to surprise the guys with her smarts, sophistication and sense of humor.
Sasha may be classier than she looks, but Drama and Scotty Lavin most certainly are not, launching into a discussion about anal sex that results in Eric confessing he’s never tried it. Scotty claims that Eric needs to do it at least once before he gets married, and Drama agrees (“You kidding? Vagina’s my third favorite hole.”), but when Eric mentions the idea to Sloan, she reminds him that they did try it once… unsuccessfully. That didn’t stop them from trying again, however, but just as Eric suspected, he likes her vagina. It was a rare comedic twist in the relationship that was sorely needed, because up until now, the writers have made Eric’s decision to marry Sloan seem like a bad thing. And if you’ve seen her recently (or heard the actress that plays her talk about all of her awesome qualities in that promo HBO has been airing recently), then you know that it’s not.
Getting back to Vince, while it may have seemed a bit unprofessional to bring Sasha with him to his meeting with Stan Lee and Randall Wallace, I don’t think it should have had anything to do with the fact that she was a porn star. Granted, I can understand their caution about working with young actors who turn out to be the latest fuck-up of the month, but if they hadn’t been so prudish about Sasha’s career, then Vince probably wouldn’t have acted like a giggly little child. The fact that he mixed some of Turtle’s tequila with a Vicodin certainly didn’t help, but I’d be more concerned about him getting addicted to pain meds (or looking like an ass as the face of some tequila) than losing out on a job because he’s dating a porn star. And from the looks of things, Vince is about to go 2-for-2 in that area.
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It was bad enough with one “Full House” cast member dropping by every season, but now we’ve got to deal with John Stamos too? What’s next, Eric revives Dave Coulier’s voice acting career? All kidding aside, The Stamos positively stole the show on tonight’s episode as a vainglorious parody of himself when he came to visit Drama regarding his sitcom. Stamos absolutely nailed the part – from referring to Drama as Jimmy, to almost completely ignoring him in favor of talking to Vince – but it was nice to see Drama get a few jabs in as well. I nearly fell off my couch from laughing when, after winning the serve at the beginning of their first ping pong match, he declared, “It’s going to be a long day for Uncle Jesse.”
The fun didn’t stop there, either, as Drama was challenged to a second match later in the episode at the ping pong club where Stamos trains three times a week. Stamos even promises Drama that he’ll do the show if he can beat him, but it didn’t matter, because even though Stamos won, he still agreed to read the script. Of course, Drama claims that he threw the match on purpose, but does anyone really buy that? I know Phil told him that he needed to stroke Stamos’ ego by letting him win, but with such big stakes on the line, it seems like too big of a gamble for Drama to take. Plus, he’s just as arrogant as Stamos, so I guess we’ll never know.
At least we have one less rivalry to keep track of now that Eric and Scotty Lavin have made amends. Though it certainly took them long enough to man up and apologize to one another for being dicks, Eric had no choice after he discovered that the “Airwalker” script that Scotty was pushing him to read was actually pretty good. Even Vince likes it, describing it as a darker version of “Aquaman,” so it looks like that’s going to be his next project. And perhaps with no copyrights to worry about, we’ll actually see him in costume this time around. While that should make for an interesting subplot for next season’s premiere, the story I’m more curious about how Eric and Scotty’s new partnership develops. We haven’t seen Murray at all this season, so it’ll be interesting to see what he thinks of their plans for the future, or better yet, if Scotty is just playing Eric for his own benefit.
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When Scott Caan’s douchebag talent manager was introduced at the tail end of last season, I assumed he would serve as a fun little nemesis for Eric as he tried to rise through the ranks at the new company. I didn’t imagine that he would have any chance of stealing Vince away from Eric as a client, however, and yet that’s exactly what appears to be happening. Granted, Vince shouldn’t feel compelled into keeping Eric as his manager just because they’re friends, but to get rid of him just because he doesn’t want to jump out of airplanes and party with a houseful of half-naked chicks is a bit juvenile. Then again, no one ever accused Vince of being mature, and his most recent behavior is proof of that.
The more time he spends with Scotty Lavin, the douchier he becomes – from impulse buying a Harley-Davidson, to bidding on (and winning) a dinosaur skull at auction for hundreds of thousands of dollars just so the female curator will sleep with him. I mean, is that really necessary anymore? I thought he was a big star. Whatever the excuse, Vince clearly doesn’t feel like he’s being treated like he should, and you could just tell that he was a little annoyed when he learned that his chance to work with producer Randall Wallace on an upcoming project may have been squandered because Ari wouldn’t return his calls. It couldn’t possibly be because a movie based on a fictional Stan Lee superhero called Airwalker sounds downright terrible. Oh wait, never mind, that’s exactly why. Fortunately, Eric finally decided that enough was enough and went over to Vince’s house to confront Scotty. Their little pushing contest probably didn’t help his cause, but at least he managed to (accidentally) destroy that stupid dinosaur skull in the process. What a fucking waste of money.
Meanwhile, Ari is still trying to make amends with his wife after she discovered him dancing around his office with Lizzie, and he’s not exactly making any headway. Ari definitely has a bit of dilemma when it comes to the sexy up-and-comer, because while he would love to make his wife happy by firing Lizzie, he knows that she’s too important to let go. So when Lizzie comes to Ari demanding that she be put in charge of the TV department while Andrew’s in rehab, he takes the neutral route by telling her that she’s not ready, hoping she’ll stick around and fight for the position instead of acting like a selfish brat. Instead, Lizzie quits, and Babs is pissed, fearing that they’ve made a huge mistake. And from the look on his face upon hearing the news, Ari doesn’t seem too pleased either – probably because Lizzie has the potential to steal several big clients from the agency if she walks.
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Many people have been clamoring for “Entourage” to switch to an hour-long format for quite some time now, but with how thinly plotted each season tends to be, I’m glad that the only thing HBO has changed is reducing this season’s order from 12 to ten episodes. And it appears to be already working, as tonight was jam-packed with so much story that the chance of those pesky filler episodes popping up this season is unlikely.
Vince was also at the forefront yet again, as his newfound addiction to thrill-seeking continues to get him into trouble. I don’t think cutting his hair was a really big problem (if Cassavetes wants to do reshoots, he can always use a wig), but Vince certainly isn’t doing himself or his career any favors by acting out like that. It’s good to see him finally having some fun, even if it’s posing for pictures while leaving a strip joint or skydiving with a bottom feeding agent like Scotty Lavin, but that doesn’t mean he can act like an asshole either. While doing an interview for Access Hollywood, Vince says that his new film with Cassavetes would “probably end up sucking,” and while he may get a thrill out of making a joke like that, it’s also pretty damn rude and unprofessional. And if he was trying to be funny, then he should have at least told Maria Menounos that he was just joking around, because now Shauna, Ari and Eric are forced to run around town trying to fan the flames while Vince leaves a path of destruction behind him.
And it’s not as if Ari has the time to deal with such childish behavior. After all, he’s finally done the impossible: get a meeting with the NFL. Granted, it’s only Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and a handful of others that take the meeting, but he definitely left a lasting impression, thanks in part to Lizzie, who helped break the ice after begging Ari to sit in. Nevertheless, Jones informs Ari that they won’t be needing his services to negotiate the TV rights, but does invite him to the upcoming owner’s meeting with an eye to bring an NFL team to Los Angeles. Ari loves the idea (although the L.A. Gold sounds more like a WNBA team), and expresses his excitement by dancing with Lizzie around his office… just as Mrs. Ari walks in.
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For anyone that read my preview of the new season, you probably weren’t too surprised by the events that took place in tonight’s premiere, but I still enjoyed the episode a lot and think that it’s a strong start to what could be another great year for the series. With Eric more or less taking a backseat this week, the bulk of the episode revolved around Vince on the set of his new action film. And if you thought Vernon, the fictional German director of “Smokejumpers,” was intimidating, wait until you get a load of real-life actor/director Nick Cassavetes. Worried that the audience will know he’s cheating by using stunt doubles for Vince, Nick begs him to do an upcoming car chase sequence himself, and he agrees. That is, only because he doesn’t want Nick to think he’s a pussy, but the minute that Nick leaves his side, Vince goes running to Eric and Ari for help in breaking his promise without Nick knowing it was him who spurred them on.
Ari has more important things going on in his life as the new head of the biggest agency in the world. He’s got big plans for the company, including a possible deal with the NFL regarding the league’s TV rights, and yet instead of sending someone else to get their hands dirty (much to the annoyance of Mrs. Ari), he visits the set to speak with Nick himself. It doesn’t quite go as planned, however, after he threatens Nick to get the studio involved when he learns that they haven’t been insured for the stunt because he hasn’t told them about it. Nick threatens Ari to keep his mouth shut, and then delivers a little payback later on by taking a full-page ad out in Variety with a picture of Ari in drag and the following text below it: “Ari Gold. My Friend, My Agent, My Bitch.” Has Ari Gold finally met his match? Apparently, because I don’t think we’ve ever seen him step down from a challenge before – and that includes the aforementioned “Smokejumpers” director, whom Drama once referred to as a “cocksucking Nazi bastard.”
Nick piles on the pressure, though, and Vince decides to do the stunt, which doesn’t go as planned when the car fails to brake properly after jumping off a ramp through a gauntlet of pyrotechnics. Vince emerges from the wreck unharmed, and though he appears to be a little shaken at first, once he realizes that he’s okay, he wants to go again. The look on his face seems to say otherwise, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Vince’s big storyline this season involved him becoming a thrill-seeking adrenaline junkie. It would definitely be an improvement from previous years, as Vince tends to get the short end of the stick when it comes to character development.
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