Entourage 6.3 – One Car, Two Car, Red Car, Blue Car

For all those doubters out there who haven’t seen this week’s episode yet, please do, because it’s one of the best the show has ever produced. I’ve been waiting for Turtle to get a worthwhile storyline ever since that whole rap management thing fell through, and though he did get a lucky break at the end of last year by hooking up with Jamie-Lynn Sigler, their new relationship hasn’t exactly spurred any kind of change in his lifestyle. Now that he’s got a case of the birthday blues, however, Turtle’s ready to get his life back on track.

The fact that both his best friend and girlfriend have just bought him new cars (a Ferrari and Porsche, respectively) isn’t helping, though, and when his mom isn’t giving him shit about being a loser, 50 Cent is picking on him for being Vince’s lackey. Still, you really have to respect Turtle’s tenacity, because some people would be perfectly happy leeching off their famous best friend forever. Not Turtle, because even after Ari grills him on the concept of paying one’s dues, instead of giving up, he decides to enroll in business management class at UCLA. Here’s hoping the writers aren’t just introducing another subplot for Turtle only for us to never hear about it again. I’d still really like to know what happened to that other girl he was dating back in Season Three.

While Drama and Vince try and console Turtle, Eric is stressing out over the impending pilot test results of Charlie’s surfer sitcom. Unfortunately, it’s a good news/bad news situation. While the test audience actually liked the show as a whole, they didn’t exactly love Charlie in the lead role. I don’t know how that’s possible (if you don’t like the main character, how can you like the show?), but regardless, Eric is forced to make some decisions of his own. He still thinks Charlie is funny upon another viewing of the pilot – even after Ashley, who he’s clearly crushing on since almost blowing her off the night before, declares that he just “sucks” – but the studio wants to replace him. Again, Ari is called on for advice, who suggests that he should stand up for his client if he truly does believe in him. Eric does just that, and even plays the race card in a last ditch effort, but no dice – Charlie is canned and Eric follows suit to support him.

For as good as both Turtle and Eric’s storylines were, however, one of the major reasons tonight’s episode worked so well is because Jeremy Piven wasn’t overused, as he too often is. Instead, he had a short exchange with Lloyd early on that revealed that he had forced the agent-in-training to memorize every one of his client’s favorites drinks, and then shined in two great scenes with Turtle and Eric – not as his usual asshole self, but almost as a mentor dispensing words of wisdom to his young pupils. It might sound a little strange to think of Ari as the Mr. Miyagi of the Hollywood agency world, but sometimes, it’s nice to see his human side.

  

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Entourage 6.2 – Amongst Friends

Last week’s season premiere received a bigger negative response than I expected. In fact, I’m kind of surprised that more of these detractors didn’t come out of the woodwork last year, when there was actually something to complain about. At least then it looked like the show was taking a turn for the worse, because as far as I’m concerned, the first two episodes of the new season have been nothing but classic “Entourage.” If you’re not enjoying it now, then I find it hard to believe you ever did. Sure, it might seem a bit repetitive after six years of the same thing, but the chemistry is still great and the story arc for this season actually shows real promise.

As for boys still being boys, well, that’s very much in full swing at the beginning of the episode when Turtle launches into a rant about how Katherine Heigl’s character from “Knocked Up” would never bang the guy played by Seth Rogen. (Our own John Paulsen would likely agree.) Apparently, being funny doesn’t make up for being ugly. I don’t know what that means for Turtle and Jamie-Lynn (he claims that girls think he’s cute, even though he’s always had a hard time convincing them to have sex with him), but for the time being, they’re very much the happy couple – so much so that Jamie-Lynn finally makes their relationship official at Vince’s big movie premiere. The rest of the guys score dates as well. Vince brings some chick he hooked up with last weekend, Drama convinces a vivacious retail clerk to tag along, and Eric goes with Sloan… as friends.

Obviously, the ever-changing relationship between Eric and Sloan is going to play a big part this year, especially now that they’ve introduced the superhot Alexis Dziena as Eric’s new “friend,” Ashley. I mean, he didn’t even seem that interested in the girl at first (her appearance at the party definitely caused some awkwardness between him and Sloan), but after confessing his true feelings to Sloan and getting denied, he was more than happy to use Ashley as a last-minute back-up plan. Sloan’s text message apology (what, she was too busy to call?) seems to indicate she cares more than she’s letting on, and you can be sure that once Eric finally starts getting serious with Ashley, Sloan is only going to want him back.

Also, is it just me, or does it seem like Ari doesn’t even work for Vince anymore? With the exception of the odd run-in with his star client, he’s been spending most of his time these days with Andrew, who Ari discovers may or may not be having an affair with a junior agent. It’s the kind of news that Ari doesn’t want to hear, especially since he’s just gone out of his way to convince Mrs. Ari to become friends with Andrew’s wife, Marlo. He’s urged Andrew to put an end to the fling before his wife becomes any the wiser, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that this is going to end very badly. And poor Lloyd is going to be one that gets punished for it. Oh well, we knew Gary Cole wouldn’t be around for the long haul. It was just a matter of who would be the one to push him out the door.

  

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Entourage 6.1 – Drive

Fans of “Entourage” know that season premieres have never been one of the show’s strong suits (they tend to act more like a prologue than an actual part of the story), but while tonight’s episode wasn’t particularly memorable, it did set up quite a few interesting arcs for the coming season. The most obvious of the bunch is Vince’s return to the big time after the colossal failure of “Medellin” nearly ruined him for good. Granted, working with Scorsese will usually do that for you, but it’s just nice to see Vince back in his old digs worrying about things like getting his driver’s license instead of how he’s going to climb his way out of debt.

It’s a shame we didn’t actually get to see any of the footage from the film (maybe next time), but he did talk with Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show” about his new gig: a biopic about Enzo Ferrari, hence the reason why he needs to learn how to drive. The actual exam didn’t go over quite as well as Vince’s confidence would have implied (he practically ran over the entire course of traffic cones), but he was still able to earn a passing grade after bribing the instructor with premiere tickets for his new film. Not exactly a sign that Vince has matured, but with everyone else in his life doing just as good as he is, it’s probably about time he starts.

After all, with Drama constantly working and Turtle always hanging out with Jamie-Lynn, the one person Vince has always been able to rely on is Eric. That’s all about to change, however, now that Eric has agreed to sublet a house from one of Sloan’s friends. Why he’d want to live in that house for only a year is beyond me, but Eric clearly understands that if he ever hopes to get a second chance with Sloan, he’s going to have to be a little more independent. Vince doesn’t seem to have a problem with it at the time, but now that he sees just how lonely life could be without anyone there to keep him company, it might just force him to reassess his bachelor lifestyle.

Meanwhile, with Vince back in the industry’s good graces, Ari is having the time of his life alongside his new partner-in-crime, Andrew, who’s settled into the agency quite well with a string of new clients. (Of course, if the writers knew that “My Name Is Earl” would be cancelled mere months after the episode was filmed, they probably would have chosen a different client for him to sign.) Okay, so maybe business isn’t exactly booming, but that doesn’t stop Lloyd from demanding his long-awaited promotion. Ari finally gives in to Lloyd’s constant bickering and offers him a deal: do whatever he says for 100 days and he’ll make him an agent. I’m really hoping Ari doesn’t follow through, though, because while Lloyd certainly deserves the promotion, the show would be better off maintaining that dynamic. It’s worked this long, so why mess with a good thing?

  

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