Entourage, Season 5: Episode 1
Mon Sep 8 2008
To counterbalance the TONY blog's massive Fashion Week coverage, we present something extremely masculine: a discussion about last night's season premiere of Entourage. TONY's Time In editor, Andrew Johnston, and copy chief Noah Tarnow plan to bring you all the comedy and all the Drama throughout the fifth season. Yes, you can have it all.
Andrew: It was a good episode. For a series that had basically been on hiatus for a year, it hadn't lost a beat--heck, I actually thought this episode was better than most of last season.
Noah: Absolutely. Last season was definitely the weakest thus far. What I found encouraging about last night was how there already seems to be an effort to focus on characterization, rather than just typical Hollywood shenanigans.
A: Agreed. Actually, there were some great bits that combined the two. I loved the shot (an improv?) of Piven chewing on the script in anger when he realizes the producer is manipulating Vince.
N: Well, Piven's performance is the soul of the show. Something I actually was thinking about last night was the relative roles the characters play. You know, E is the hero; Vince is the outside force; Drama and Turtle are the clowns. And Ari is really E's foil/conscience.
A: That sort of came to light in Mexico when it was pointed out that Ari and E are starting to dress alike.
N: Exactly. I'm hoping this season really examines their relationship. You know, maybe to the point where they have to team up against Vince. We also had an interesting look at E and Vince's relationship, when they're talking on the beach.
A: Indeed. But getting back to what you said about Drama as the clown, there's also the "elder statesman" aspect of the character which they backpedaled on until they transfered it from his relation ship with the boys to his relationship with the younger cast members on Five Towns.
N: I know. I was hoping the downturn in Vince's fortunes would be balanced by success for Drama, but it's not looking that way.
A: Hey, Drama is enjoying success—they say they've made 54 episodes of Five Towns—that's well over two seasons on NBC. Viking Quest didn't last as long, and it was just syndicated.
N: True, but a lot of that was between seasons.
A: Yeah, we didn't see a lot of that.
N: This episode already, he got in hot water, with his silly refusal to "go left" in posing for the Five Towns poster (or was it right?). I know a lot of Hollywood actors do stuff like that, but this seemed more silly than interesting.
A: I couldn't help wondering if that line (about the number of episodes Five Towns has shot) was a reference to last night's episode being Entourage's 55th.
N: Really? I had no idea. Man, you are a TV expert.
A: Nah, HBO episode numbers pop up on the TiVo info screen.
N: A-ha! One of many disadvantages of not having TiVo. What did you think of the return of Adam Davies? I guess they're keeping him around as Ari's archnemesis.
A: I liked that he kind of took Ari's side for a change, or at least forced him into a reluctant partnership
N: Well, I think the point is that they're really the same. Ari hates him because, deep down, he hates himself. And of course, Davies is younger and better-looking. And possibly a better agent.
A: I don't think the hatred is all that deep... We haven't seen Davies's wife or girlfriend yet, have we? I bet Mrs. Ari is hotter.
N: Yeah, probably. Speaking of which, nice to see Rex Lee in the opening credits. Lloyd is a great character, and it's always nice to see how much Ari relies on this annoying, effeminate Asian guy.
A: I didn't notice that he got promoted. Good for him! So I think we're in agreement that things are off to a good start, and having already seen the next few episodes, I can safely say the season doesn't slow down anytime soon. Although—no offense to his fans—I could live without seeing Adrian Grenier participating in any more simulated sex scenes for awhile...
N: Oh, come on. People love that. Entourage is the male Sex and the City, after all. A lot of fans probably live their sex lives vicariously through Vincent Chase. Sad as that may be…
A: Sadder still is the number who live their sex lives vicariously through Turtle!