Tuesday, May 01, 2007

HBO Sunday Night: Entourage

Episode 38: "Gotcha"

The only reason to show this pic is because Ari's pecs and Mrs. Ari's chest were probably the best things about this ep- well, other than Leslie Bibb in a bikini.

There's a good reason why it took me so long to review this week's episode of our favorite frat boy comedy, and it had nothing to do with me being to busy to find the time to do the post. No the reason is much more simple than that:

This week's episode sucked.

There, I said it. Now I'm not going to jump off the bandwagon, like some columnists have already started to do, with the series only in its junior season, but with the shelf life of hit TV shows getting shorter than Verne Troyer's thumbs, the series is starting to get a little...stale.

This week we were treated to one of those absolutely meaningless "fluff" episodes, where nothing really happens except the boys putter about town getting into some form of high school hi jinks and Vince & E. haggle over Vinny's latest love interest. Been there, done that so many times it's already retro, ya know what I'm saying?

The hi jinks part of the ep takes place when Drama's old nemesis Pauly Shore (ooh, what a cameo, how'd they get him with his busy schedule?) shows up wanting to get Drama on the premiere of his new "Punk'd"-style show called "Gotcha"; get it-'gotcha', it's like a play on punk'd and...(see what I'm talking about?)

Anyway, Drama thinks he's being set up when he and Turtle get into a confrontation over a parking spot with UFC champion Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell, so he goes and shoots his mouth off to the bruising brawler. "Why don't you get back in your hooptie and move along...you WWF-wannabe" was one of the better blasts Drama got off on Liddell as he waited for Pauly to jump out of the background and "got" him. Alas Liddell threatens Drama and leaves, then a bunch of girl scouts show up and appear to pull the prank, but anyone with half a brain cell could see that the Liddell thing was the actual gag. Yawn.

The love story angle comes into play after Vince and Amanda have consummated their client/ agent sex pact, and the repercussions are being felt in the group. Well, mainly with E., because now he is stuck smack dab in the middle of yet another Vince schoolboy crush, and he is not too happy about it. Vince and Amanda start acting like a couple of google-eyed kids, which is totally against type for Amanda's character, and when the three meet for lunch E. immediately knows that the two have slept together.

"I can't believe you fucked her...that was like a bad Meg Ryan movie back there,"
E. says incredulously to an oblivious Vince, who just promises that everything is fine and nothing will change just because he's having a thing with his agent. "Just don't say anything to Amanda, that could really fuck things up," Vince instructs him. Oh like they're not already was not only E.'s response, but ours as well.

The other meaningless thread this week had Ari & the Misses hosting Ari's old college buddy for the weekend. The friend, Scott (Artie Lange- were the casting agents scraping the bottom of the barrel this week or what?) used to be a poor, obnoxious schlub but thanks to a windfall he scored from selling his website, Stamps.com, Scott is now a $65 million dollar man with a hot fiancee (Leslie Bibb, best remembered as Ricky Bobby's 'smokin' hot wife' in Talledega Nights), matching Bentley's, and a certain swagger that makes Ari sick.

Ari gets even more disgusted with his friend when he continually compliments Mrs. Ari, who used to think Scott was vulgar but now finds his comments flattering. This attitude shift causes Ari to go into full-blown rant mode, with Scott's fiance the object of his venom; "why don't we see how Scott likes it when I start drooling over the future Mrs. Siegel's soon-to-be Jewish ass."

This explosion of Ari-tude leads to the best scene of the night:

"Ever since you got here I have not been able to take my eyes off your ass. I mean it's the perfect shape. It's like God came down, hand-crafted it, and put it on a silver tray for my good buddy Scott over here!" Needless to say that went over like a lead balloon, and soon after the couple leaves and Mr. & Mrs. Ari screw and make up.

The show wraps with Drama attending a charity match Liddell is putting on, and to no one's surprise Drama ends up inside the octagon, gets humiliated by Liddell, and then everyone screams "you got got" at him as Pauly comes out of hiding. The whole thing was like so 1st season, it was kind of embarrassing to watch. Let these guys grow a little already, instead of always making Drama look like a buffoon and Turtle his lackey. The writers keep hinting that Drama's TV show is going to start soon, but why wait? I'd much rather see him going opposite the terrific Ed Burns then looking like an ass for Pauly Shore.

E. ends up confronting Amanda about the tryst with Vince, and she tells him that she's not so sure if it was a one-time thing. He responds by informing her "Vince has a hard time separating business & sex...he almost threw away a million-dollar movie...for Mandy Moore", and just the mention of the name caused my stomach to turn; that was the worst storyline in the series' short history, but this one is shaping up to be a close second.

Even as Amanda & Vince profess their intense like for each other, everyone knows this crappy story is just filling time until the real theme of the season appears- Ari & Vince's reunion. We all know that's inevitable, so instead of spoon-feeding us shitty storylines and telling us its caviar, just get to the real meal and leave these Alpo-based plots for the dogs.

Rule #1 of hit television- respect your audience, don't take us for granted. Or your show will end up lost.

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