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Entourage? More Like Décolletage! - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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September 11th, 2006


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12:03 am - Entourage? More Like Décolletage!
When I first heard about Entourage, I didn't really know what it was about, and it didn't seem like that many people cared about it. Then, suddenly, it blew up. It was hard to escape talk about it. This talk, as it so often does, took over the VM4. I didn't really know what all the fuss was about; I barely knew anything about the show.

But since I had free HBO for three months, I had the third season of Entourage just sitting there on my OnDemand. One Friday night, I thought, I might as well watch it, right? It was just fluff; I was sure I would understand what was going on. For the record, this was a highly unusual decision. Perhaps because no one had really mentioned how heavy on continuity it was, I didn't adhere to my "Always watch from the beginning" rule. This is why I so rarely pick up new, currently running shows; I don't like jumping in in the middle.

The first thing that hooked me was the credits, which are awesome and use the rockingest theme song since Buffy. I later found out it was "Superhero" by Jane's Addiction, so go Perry Farrell. It's a credit sequence I don't mind watching every episode and rocking out to.

After two episodes, I was already slightly addicted and I couldn't figure out why. It felt like fluff, but extremely entertaining fluff. The characters were instantly lovable, even though they were mostly jackholes (except for E, of course). Plus, the serial nature of the show caused the end of each episode to make me feel like I did watching the first couple seasons of Alias: "Aaaaah!!! It's over? But! MUST WATCH NEXT EPISODE NOOOOOOOOOW."

So the show follows the career of Vincent Chase, budding movie star. Filling out the titular entourage are his brother, Johnny Drama (née Johnny Chase), who peaked with a starring role in a cult TV show called Viking Quest many years ago and is constantly looking for work; his best friend and manager, E (née Eric Murphy), who is the only person in Hollywood with a conscience; and Turtle (née...who knows?), who...actually, I never figured out what the fuck Turtle does. But he is Turtle! And, finally, we have Ari Gold, Vinnie's agent, played by Jeremy Piven, who just won an Emmy for his performance. But more on all of them later.

I burned through the third season in about a weekend, and there was only one major thing I was confused about, but mostly, I could follow the story pretty easily.

Then I watched the first two seasons, and damn, was that a weird experience. Because the characters all seemed much more assholish back then! Especially Vince, who was a lazy jerkface. But, in addition, it was great to watch the lead-up to the third season, to see the continuing story unfold. I felt really spoiled, though, because I knew which movies would end up getting made, which killed some of the tension. This is why I don't like spoilers! This is why I like watching shows in order! But I don't know that I would have gotten hooked as easily just watching the first season. It's possible I would have kept at it, but who knows?

The series as a whole turned out not to be as fluffy as I expected. A great deal of the appeal comes from the "insider" look at Hollywood, at how movies get made. The secret meetings, the cell phone calls, the lunches, the compromises, the serendipity. But in addition to that, it's sort of like a male Sex and the City. The same way that show explored the dynamics of four female friends, this one explores the dynamics of four male friends. It's such a guy show, I was really suprised. And...sort of pleased, being a guy and all. But in addition to that, it's about interpersonal relationships in business and how they can affect friendship as well, the balance of the personal and the professional. It's really an examination of the inner workings of Hollywood and how the delicacies of communication can have far-reaching consequences, how bruised egos can yield bruised careers. It plays with my pet themes of Making the Hard Choices and Power Struggles. Also, it can be fall-out-of-your-chair funny at times, though it's more of a half-hour drama.

If I haven't sold you yet, then let me say that Ari Gold is a fantastic character, and Jeremy Piven deserves his accolades. Ari is a total fucking jackass (in a hilarious fashion), but he is also really fucking good at his job. He's a jackass because he needs to be, because it's what gets things done. He does have a heart and soul beneath the bravado; we do get a rare glimpse from time to time. He honestly cares about Vinnie, and he wants him to succeed.

The other standout character is Johnny Drama, whom I didn't really like initially but grew on me very quickly once I accepted his personality. For God's sake, he calls himself Drama. But he's kind of like this poor, pathetic puppy dog who got kicked to the curb! Kevin Dillon turns him into an endearing bonehead. And his complete obliviousness to his incredible metrosexuality (He cooks! He gives fashion advice! He admires men's calves!) never gets old.

Also, I love Lloyd, Ari's gaysian assistant. Pretty much any Ari/Lloyd interaction is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. Probably multiple times.

There's a lot more I could say about the show, but I try to say enough to make you fucking watch it and then let the folks who are already fans gush in the comments. In any case, you apparently have till FUCKING MARCH to get with the program here, but get on the bandwagon while it's still hot, huh? You can be cool like me.

Now, someone find me a "You do Aquaman, you stupid fuck!" icon.
Current Mood: satisfiedsatisfied
Current Music: Sufjan Stevens - The Dress Looks Nice on You

(49 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


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From:metabeta
Date:September 11th, 2006 07:13 am (UTC)
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I think the thing I adore the most about the show is the interaction between Ari and E. Pivs will be all, "Come on, Eric, just take off your shirt" and Eric will reply, "Screw you, Ari" and I'm all a-flutter. For some reason. That probably has to do with Piven. Because everything does.

That's my favorite Sufjan song. Good job.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:September 11th, 2006 07:37 am (UTC)
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Ari vs. Eric is great because they're so fundamentally different. And it's just awesome whenever goody-two-shoes Eric puts the smackdown on Ari, of all people.
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From:taeli
Date:September 11th, 2006 07:22 am (UTC)
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I agree, I really enjoy the interaction between Eric and Ari.

I think that Turtle's "job" is as a driver, if anything.

I'm so pleased to find another person who enjoys the show. =)
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From:spectralbovine
Date:September 11th, 2006 07:40 am (UTC)
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Yeah, I know Turtle drives, but...Drama and Eric can both drive too. He kind of...does a lot of odd jobs and mooches off Vince.
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From:missquita
Date:September 11th, 2006 07:39 am (UTC)
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Bryan and I started watching Entourage last year and LOVE it. The second most exciting thing about visiting him in October is that he has every episode on his computer, thanks to a downloading-savvy roommate. I'm so glad you love it, too.
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From:missquita
Date:September 11th, 2006 07:40 am (UTC)
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Also, I'm trying to get people to call me "E" like Eric. So far, Bryan is the only participant. Help? :)
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From:catatonia00
Date:September 11th, 2006 08:23 am (UTC)
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Look at you, all smittened by Entourage and caving into the whims of the VM4 Ari fans. So glad you joined the bandwagon and enjoyed the ride.

The show's fluffy, breezy, and all around fun to watch. But like you said, it's the almost sattirical take of the Hollywood scene and interpersonal guy relationships that kept me a fan.

Here are some caps I uploaded for unpanashad. Hopefully, someone makes kickass icons out of the OTP = Ari & Lloyd ones. And the Dick senior cameo cracks me up. You should check out the interviews and podcasts too. Mrs. Ari's real life persona is quite surprising.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:September 11th, 2006 02:18 pm (UTC)
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Wait, where was Dick senior??
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From:chaotic4life
Date:September 11th, 2006 08:27 am (UTC)
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Wow! I watched a show before you and pimped its awesomeness factor before you.
I suddenly feel a little bit cooler.

Welcome to the dark side!
From:(Anonymous)
Date:September 11th, 2006 11:05 am (UTC)
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I've enjoyed the show from the beginning, and it does seem like fluff, but at the same time more than that. Laura describes it as a "feeling" of something or another. (hee, I can't remember. But she was enamored with the show too.)

It makes me wonder how true the lifestyle is. Turtle and Drama drive Vince to meetings and then they just wait in the lobby, like... people beneath those in the meeting. How weird is that? Couldn't they have just stayed at home? The show is supposedly based on Mark Wahlberg's Hollywood/entourage experience. It's all weird to me. At what point in celebrity-dom do you get an entourage? Does it only apply to people from out-of-state who drag their BFFs with them to Hollywood? (Like Jessica Simpson) It's all weird but fascinating.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:September 11th, 2006 02:53 pm (UTC)
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It is! WHOEVER YOU ARE.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:September 11th, 2006 02:19 pm (UTC)
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Well, "redeeming qualities" is a relative term. But, yes, the characters get better, and much, much more shit happens. The show kicks into gear in the second season.
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From:jeeperstseepers
Date:September 11th, 2006 12:38 pm (UTC)
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I still consider the show pure fluff, but that's exactly what drew me to it and it's why I still watch it. It's escapist fluff for me. I enjoy it for the some of the same reason I enjoy my daydreams about exactly what I'd do if I won millions of dollars in the lottery or bumped into a favorite celebrity in the airport and ended up sitting with them in first class (because in fantasies you get bumped up to first class).

I agree with you about all the characters except Drama. I just can't not find him annoying. I've never seen Kevin Dillon in anything else so I don't know if my problem is with him or with Drama, but there's this thing about the way he talks.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:September 11th, 2006 02:20 pm (UTC)
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Oh, yeah, that's why I didn't like him at first. The way he talks bugged me. But then I got used to it.

And it's escapist fluff, but it's really good escapist fluff.
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From:horsefacehannah
Date:September 11th, 2006 01:46 pm (UTC)
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I wouldn't say it's fluff, but I can say that it's a show I watch without ever having to worry about what's going to happen. It's easy, I guess.

But, uh, it's a horrible influence on my vocabulary. I've been saying "cuntmuscle" far too often.
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From:alannaofdoom
Date:September 11th, 2006 02:04 pm (UTC)
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Haven't watched - I keep meaning to, and then not. (Also, admittedly, repeated comparisons with SatC make me not want to watch it, because I really, really dislike that show. Like, I don't know, apparently I was born without the gene that causes one to love Sarah Jessica Parker, reductive characters, and simplistic writings. Not to mention the eye-searing "fashion" "sense" of - oh, whatshername, who got really (and briefly) famous? Patricia something? And, having been born without this gene, I am now utterly lost in a world in which all women are apparently categorizable as "a Carrie," "a Samantha," "a Charlotte," or "a Miranda," and - not to be all "write what you know" because plenty of great shows are written by people who, like, aren't in fact a corrupt undercover cop or a misanthropic teen sleuth or the commander of a rag-tag fleet of ships searching for the lost thirteenth colony, but has anyone else noticed that this show that everyone has decided tells us "what it's like to be a woman in the 90s" was created BY A MAN? I think there are, like, two other people in New York City who don't like the show, and I've met them both.)

Wow, that was a long and vitriolic sidebar. Apologies.

Um, anyway, the other thing I was going to say is: the word "gaysian" makes me need a Mr. Wu "asian... or gaysian?" icon. Which doesn't make a ton of sense, but amuses me nonetheless. Heh. I'll put that on my to-do list.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:September 11th, 2006 02:21 pm (UTC)
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Here's a start.
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From:magnolia888
Date:September 11th, 2006 02:24 pm (UTC)
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I mostly agree with your comments on Entourage.

I like E (most of the time) and I'm entertained by Drama (much of the time) . . . but without Ari, the show would mainly be about four jackholes. Ari makes the whole show. Ari with the guys, Ari with Lloyd, Ari with his wife and daughter, Ari wheeling and dealing with the suits. It's all about Ari for me.
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From:afrocurl
Date:September 11th, 2006 02:40 pm (UTC)
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Oh Ari! Is it sad that I'd rather be married to Ari than any of the boys?
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From:gymble
Date:September 11th, 2006 03:24 pm (UTC)
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Then I watched the first two seasons, and damn, was that a weird experience. Because the characters all seemed much more assholish back then! Especially Vince, who was a lazy jerkface.

Yeah, that was my problem with it initially too. Particularly Vince. But then he grew up a bit.

Turtle has become somewhat endearing, but I just can't like Drama. He irritates me. A lot. I understand his schtick, but I just can't get over him constantly exploding and doing really stupid things.

Ari is awesome, however, and Piven absolutely deserved that Emmy (probably the only Emmy that was awarded that I fully agreed with). And I love Lloyd. And Lloyd/Ari.
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From:miniglik
Date:September 11th, 2006 03:54 pm (UTC)
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This show is way down the list of shows I'll buy someday... but it's at least on the list. Maybe it's time for Netflix?
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From:spectralbovine
Date:September 11th, 2006 03:54 pm (UTC)
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It is always time for Netflix.
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From:spadada
Date:September 11th, 2006 04:03 pm (UTC)
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"gaysian"

Hee.

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