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Entourage

Entourage is a half hour long comedy-drama about young movie star Vincent Chase and his best friend and manager Eric Murphy. Filling out the entourage are high school friend Turtle and Vince's brother Johnny "Drama" Chase. High powered, ambitious and foul mouthed agent Ari Gold also helps to manage Vince's career. HBO 2004-11

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Episode 7 - The Day Fuckers

29 March 2012

Synopsis: Johnny goads Eric about not being able to have unemotional sex. Vince bets that Eric can get laid before Turtle, and Johnny takes the bet. Vince and Eric meet two British girls by the pool while Turtle meets a girl from the internet who has a furry fetish. Eric runs into Sloan but she has moved on. Meanwhile Ari tries to blackmail Principal Preston but finds him to be incorruptible. Finally he begs him to let his son in to his school and they make a deal.

The Good: Ari Gold shines as a character here. As the man of action he cockily bustles around LA sure that he can solve his problems by his usual measures. But we finally see him completely humbled by his son and Principal Preston. He shows a tremendous range of emotions as he begs him for help. The fact that the Principal’s one weakness is his son is a wonderful irony which Ari of course sums up perfectly “the things we do for our children, huh?”

It must be the sign of a good show when they can answer my criticisms in full. For those who read my review of the previous episode will know that I complained that we had not seen enough of the Entourage’s private lives this season and in particular hadn’t seen Sloan. But lo and behold we get an episode all about Eric’s private life and a proper goodbye for Sloan as well.

Like Ari, we get a proper glance at Eric’s personality. He plays his awkward conversations at the pool really well and manages to be shy and demonstrate chemistry at the same time. His emotional reaction to women will endear him to many as will his amusing honesty with Heather and Sloan. The moment where he gets Heather’s name wrong is perfect television (see Best Joke).

There are a ton of outrageous sex jokes in this episode which should make just about everyone laugh at some point. To name but a few there is Eric’s line about Johnny sleeping with a dead girls, Johnny’s retort about a girl riding a bike after anal sex and his offer to buy Turtle a latte if he can sleep with a girl in the parking lot of the café he has to meet her at. Turtle’s best moment doesn’t even come wearing a bunny suit, it is when he asks a girl if she is Kelsey and she says that even if she were she would say no. “That’s just rude, honey.”

The Bad: This is one of those occasions where Entourage’s format lets it down. One of the strengths of the show is that it is a drama which only lasts thirty minutes. By not going the full fourty-two minutes like other dramas, the show avoids becoming dull or full of overly dramatic and unnecessary stories. However here we lose out on Ari and Eric’s character development because there is no time. Ari’s story has been built up well over the season but here his desperation comes on too quickly to have the impact which his talents could have made. Similarly Eric’s love life is a real hook for the show as he is the only member of the entourage clearly looking for love. But what could have been an intriguing examination of his character only scratches the surface. In some ways it is a nice complaint to want more, but it may limit Entourage from reaching the heights it is clearly capable of.

The finish to the Johnny and Turtle plot is not quite right. It seems like it would have been funnier if Kelsey wasn’t a furry after all and was disgusted by Turtle assuming that she would be. Instead we see Johnny having silly sex with her. It’s less funny than it should be, partly because it doesn’t look as abnormal as you might assume and partly because she hasn’t recognised that it isn’t Turtle.

Comic Highlight: Heather comes over while Eric and Sloan are talking.
S: “I’m sorry, hi.”
H: “Hi.”
E: “You know, that’s my bad. Sloan this is Juliet.”
H: “Heather.”
E: “Wow. Really? Uh, Juliet is Heather’s friend and she, she’s with Vince somewhere.”
The moment is played completely straight and is totally believable. It’s such a real moment and plays into Eric’s awkward situation so well that I think it is a genuinely brilliant bit of writing. Maybe not the funniest moment for most but I think it was certainly the highlight.

Victory?: A wonderful episode, funny throughout with three engaging stories. Ari and Eric carry the acting while the others chip in with comedy. It’s about as good as Entourage can get. The question is though, could it be even better?

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