Tag: Vince Chase

Entourage 5.6 – Redomption

Can you believe that “Entourage” is already halfway through the new season? It sure doesn’t seem like it, but that’s probably because despite hinting at where the story could be headed, the show hasn’t made very much progress in actually getting there. Following on the heels of what many considered one of the worst episodes to date, tonight’s show wasn’t that much better. I’m not exactly sure why anyone thought it was a good idea to bring back Dom – a character that a lot of fans complained about during his mini-arc in season three – but his return served no purpose other than to tie up Vince and Eric for an entire episode while they waited to hear back from Ari about the fate of “Smoke Jumpers.”

The subplot was supposed to show that Dom had finally matured as an adult, but honestly, does anyone even give a damn? His character was on the show for only a few episodes, and during that entire time, he was nothing but a nuisance to the whole gang. Why does the writing staff feel the need to redeem the guy, and better yet, why should the audience care? It’s bad enough that the show’s main characters are struggling for decent story arcs, but then they go and waste time developing a minor character that we’ll probably (hopefully) never see again? It doesn’t make sense, and it’s the latest in a line of bonehead decisions that the “Entourage” team has made so far this year.

Entourage 5.6

The episode may have been named for the redemption that Dom supposedly earned, but it was the other two subplots that were the real saviors. I’ve always given Drama and Turtle a lot of heat for being forced to play the comic relief week in and week out, but this time around, their storyline actually had some meat to it. It’s nice to see Turtle actually taking this whole job hunt seriously, and though his one-day trial as Drama’s assistant didn’t quite work out, you can’t blame the guy for not trying. Were Drama not such a diva (seriously, where does he get off demanding such an overcomplicated breakfast?), I really think Turtle would have done a good job. After all, it’s what he’s been doing for years as part of Vince’s entourage, so it’s not like it’s something he isn’t already accustomed to. If I were him, I probably would have quit as well, but not before I got the number of that female assistant he chatted with earlier in the episode.

The real story of the night, however, was Ari’s golf outing with Alan Gray. I have to be completely honest, I didn’t think Ari would actually lose the bet (even with Phil Mickelson by Alan’s side), but when he was given a second chance to win Vince a spot in “Smoke Jumpers,” I thought to myself, “Oh, okay, he’s going to sink this putt.” Nope, Ari misses both times, and when Alan gets worked up over Ari’s ballsy decision to bring up Vince’s name even when he specifically asked that he didn’t, Alan has a heart attack and dies. Only Drama is willing to point out that Alan’s death may be a good thing for Vince (since it means he can make movies for WB again), but that doesn’t mean everyone else wasn’t thinking it. If Alan Gray truly was the only thing standing in Vince’s way, then he shouldn’t have any problem getting “Smoke Jumpers,” and he might even have a shot at working on that “Ramones” biopic as well. Check it out, I just wrote season six.

Entourage 5.5 – Tree Trippers

Call me a cynic, but tonight’s show might have been the worst in the history of the entire series. I’m all for filler episodes where the “Entourage” crew runs around town getting into all sorts of shenanigans, but what in the world was the point of them tripping on some shrooms in the middle of the desert? If you think it was to help Vince decide on whether or not he should do the Benji movie, I have some bad news: Vince was never going to make that movie, no matter how much they paid him. He was always going to hold off for “Smoke Jumpers,” and though Alan Gray has made it quite clear that he will never work with Vince again, next week’s previews suggests that might not be the case.

As for their trip to the Joshua Tree, well, there’s not a whole lot to say. Eric Roberts’ cameo was probably the best part about that whole storyline, and even that felt like a rehash of previous episodes involving Gary Busey and Val Kilmer. There are only so many times you can invite B-list celebs on to the show to prove that they’re hip, and between guys like Busey, Kilmer and Bob Saget, we’ve already had our fill over the last few seasons.

Entourage 5.5

Perhaps worse, however, is the fact that none of the main actors are very good at playing high – to the point that Eric’s big trip-out moment was that he was literally speechless and Drama thought Arnold the bulldog was a rock. Jeremy Piven came the closest to nailing the experience (or at least what I’d expect that sort of experience to be like), but it’s virtually impossible to play Ari stoned since one of his main character traits is that he always appears in control, even when he’s not.

So why would the writers even produce such an episode? You got me. They probably thought it would be fun to watch the gang act all philosophical while under the influence of Eric Roberts’ homegrown magic mushrooms, but it wasn’t. I sat around waiting for something to happen, but with the exception of a mildly entertaining sequence involving Lloyd coaching Ari through his trip, nothing ever did. You’d think that between the “Smoke Jumpers” fiasco, Eric’s aggressive new clients, the bidding war with Amanda, Bow Wow’s comedian character, and plenty of other discarded ideas (like that Ramones biopic), there’d be plenty to talk about. Instead, we get this, and while I was more than willing to forgive the writers a few weeks ago for abandoning all story development to have a little fun, after tonight’s episode, they’re officially back in the doghouse.

Entourage 5.4 – Fire Sale

Can anyone say “déjà vu”? Maybe it’s just me, but with the on-again-off-again bidding war that dominated most of tonight’s episode, it sure felt a lot like last year’s Cannes-based season finale. Thankfully, it wasn’t as much of a letdown, and though not a whole lot was actually accomplished, it did bring up some very interesting story developments that will not only play a major role in the rest of this season, but next season as well.

For starters, Eric’s relationship with JB and Nick isn’t going quite as smoothly as you’d expect. The amateur screenwriters may have the hottest script in town, but at the end of the day, they’re still amateurs, and acting like a bunch of egomaniacal assholes isn’t going to help jumpstart their careers one bit. If anyone other than Eric was managing them, they probably would have already dropped them as clients. It isn’t enough that he’s gotten them a great deal ($100,000 with a $200,000 bonus if the movie is made) – Nick thinks they can get more money, and he’s not afraid to make his opinions be heard. As it turns out, he’s right, but nobody in town is willing to make the movie with Vince starring other than Amanda.

Entourage 5.4

When Vince graciously removes himself from the project and gives Eric the chance to sell the movie for more, however, Amanda flips out at the suggestion that Edward Norton get into a bidding war with every other studio in town. Ari is quick to jump at the chance of making the sale, and he comes back with an offer that any other first-time writer would kill for: $500,000 and Vinnie Chase in a supporting role. Unfortunately, Nick is not like every writer, and when he hears about Edward Norton no longer being part of the film, he’s disappointed. How cool was it, then, to have Eric take charge of the call by not only telling Nick that he plans on accepting the deal, but that he needs to say “thank you”? Eric may make mistakes every once and a while, but you gotta hand it to him – he’s doing a pretty good job for someone that still doesn’t know all the ins and outs of Hollywood.

The biggest development of the night, however, was Vince accepting a supporting role in “Nine Brave Souls” (now being called by the ultra-lame title “Smoke Jumpers”). This could be a big turning point for him in the series, as just two weeks ago I suggested that it would be fun to see him have to climb his way back to the top without the luxury of having Ari hold his hand. Now, that’s probably not going to happen any time soon, but the fact that he’s willing to settle for smaller roles certainly shows that he’s ready to begin a new (albeit different) era in his career. Not only does Vince have the chance to prove that he can still sell a movie, but he’ll also get the chance to act. Whether this means he might get that Oscar nomination just yet remains unseen, but you can’t deny that “Entourage” at the awards show would make for one hell of an episode.

First thing’s first. Just when it looked like a deal had finally been struck, Amanda came back with another offer ($2,000,000 plus the chance to work with Norton) that Eric’s writers probably won’t turn down. To make matters worse, the studio behind the deal is none other than Warner Bros., and with Allen Grey (you know, the guy who fired Vince from “Aquaman 2”) still at the helm, it’s going to take one helluva miracle keeping Vince attached to the project. Until then, it looks like he’s seriously considering starring in a new Benji movie set in Alaska, but let’s hope it doesn’t come down to that, because I have zero interest in watching a show about a movie star who isn’t even the star of some shitty kid movie.

Entourage 5.2 – Unlike a Virgin

Turtle: You wanna go to the Villa tonight, E?
Eric: What, just you and me?
Turtle: Yeah, you’re right.

If there’s one thing I learned from tonight’s episode, it’s that the writers have no reservations about taking things slow. That’s actually good news, since it means they’re serious about the show’s future, despite the fact that some fans were probably hoping the new season would start off with a little more of a bang. All I can say is, be patient, because although the first two episodes have been relatively tame, they’ve also shown real promise for the things to come.

Even Vince is taking things more seriously since being courted back to Hollywood. He’s busy reading scripts, and though the films he’s interested in already have actors attached, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get back into the game. Unfortunately, no one is listening, and while Eric would love for him to do an indie film called “Nine Brave Souls” from a duo of up-and-coming screenwriters, he agrees with Ari that Vince’s next project should be a studio film. He’s also probably not willing to gamble away what little left there is of Vince’s career, but that doesn’t stop him from tracking down the writers to discuss the possibility of signing with him.

Entourage 5.2

What he doesn’t expect is for LB (Lukas Haas) and Nick (Giovanni Ribisi) to be so demanding. A little too demanding for a pair of unknowns, perhaps, but they also have a point. After all, if Eric is Vincent Chase’s manager, then why can’t he convince him to star in their movie? Eric explains that Vince is only interested in doing a studio movie right now, but Nick doesn’t want to hear it. Instead, he suggests that Eric sell their script first before they begin worrying about any kind of contract.

When Eric goes to Ari for help selling the script and is immediately blown off, however, Eric takes it to the one person who I honestly thought we’d never see again: Amanda (Carla Gugino), Ari’s temporary replacement from season three. Depending on whether or not she likes the script (and why wouldn’t she, if they’ve gone through the trouble of bringing her back into the fold?), it’ll be interesting to see how her involvement will affect Vince’s relationship with Ari. The fact that Vince wants to do the film, combined with Ari’s recent confession that Vince isn’t a good actor, will likely play a major role in the weeks to come.

For the time being, Vince is sticking with Ari, but how much longer is Ari willing to stick with Vince? Sure, he’s movie star quality, but if he can’t get the guy a job, what exactly is the point of keeping him on the client list? It looks like he’s willing to commit to Vince’s career for now (“This town loves a comeback, and since Britney fucked hers up, it’s all you!”), but wouldn’t it be fun if Vince had to completely rebuild his career from the ground up without the help of a super agent? It would certainly be different, and it might help the show regain its identity without feeling like it’s selling out.

Entourage 5.1 – Fantasy Island

After the semi-disastrous season four, the “Entourage” writers were in desperate need of a longer vacation. After all, there’s nothing like a little R&R to get you back to full fighting strength, and though that much-deserved break came in the form of the writers’ strike, it may have just been a blessing in disguise. It should come as no surprise, then, that as the new season opens, Vincent Chase is also on vacation following the disastrous performance of “Medellin” at the box office. It seems not even Harvey Weinstein could save the film, and to make matters worse, Richard Roeper has just proclaimed it as one of the worst films of the year. Better yet, he says that Vince’s make-up job made him look like “the love child of Jimmy Glick and a bag of Twinkies” and then rips into him even more by declaring that “Al Pacino called and wants his accent back.” Ouch.

Still, all the negative publicity doesn’t appear to be affecting Vince quite like it should. He’s down in Mexico with Turtle jet skiing, lounging around, and having sex with lots of beautiful women, while Eric and Ari desperately attempt to save his career back in LA. Eric’s management company has even expanded to include a secretary and a new client – Charlie (Bow Wow), an up-and-coming comic who has yet to land an actual gig. When word comes in from Ari that producer Carl Hurtz is anxious to meet with him for a new genre film called “Danger Beach,” however, the duo head down to Mexico to convince him otherwise. Vince couldn’t care less (despite the fact that Hurtz is willing to pay his full asking price), but after some rather discouraging words from Eric (who feels responsible for messing up “Medellin”), Vince agrees to give the whole movie star thing another shot.

Entourage 5.1

Upon returning home (sans bushy beard) and taking the meeting with Hurtz, however, Vince is upset to learn that he was only being used in order to drive down Emile Hirsch’s (the original star attached to the film) asking price. This is probably the last thing I expected to happen, but it actually makes sense considering Vince has been MIA for the past six months and his last movie tanked. Also, did Warner Brothers just void the contract they had with Vince and Walsh for “Silo,” or is that still happening? I guess if I was a betting man, I’d choose the former. That would also explain how Vince is able to live so lavishly down in Mexico after investing everything he had into “Medellin.” Sure, $79/day may not sound like much, but it has to start adding up when you’re unemployed.

Nevertheless, while Vince is top priority amongst the characters in the show, Eric has always been the real star. His arc has remained the most interesting of the five men, and this season promises to flesh it out even more as he stops relying on Vince and becomes a success on his own. Drama and Turtle still need to break the comic relief mold and get some meatier storylines, but where their silly antics were a bit tiring in the past, they delivered some of the best moments in tonight’s episode. Turtle blasting the porn from the Escalade was hilarious, but Drama’s retaliation against Hurtz was even better. After taking a golf club to his Mercedes and leaving a fish on the hood, Turtle asks him if he’s leaving some sort of message, to which Drama replies, “Yeah. Aquaman is back.” It’s unclear whether the same holds true for “Entourage,” but if the season premiere is any indication, it’s certainly on the road to reclaiming its former glory.

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