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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 2 - The First Cut Is the Deepest

29 March 2012

Synopsis: Back in LA Eric and Vince want to see the first cut of Medellin. Billy says he needs another month to edit and when Eric demands to see it he runs away. Eric finally convinces him to show them the movie which Vince loves but Eric doesn’t. To welcome Vince back to LA, Johnny agrees to host a party at his new apartment. Turtle invites dozens of people and so Johnny goes to great effort to ensure that no one will ruin his new place. Ari and his wife are told that their son might not get into the exclusive school where their daughter goes.

The Good: After something different last week, this is back to normal operating procedure for Entourage. Not that that is a bad thing as they present their usual strong half hour of entertainment.

As usual Ari sets up the problem for the episode by pointing out that until anyone sees Medellin, no one will hire Vince for good roles. Eric’s plea to Billy is suitably heartfelt and the fact that Eric and Vince disagree about the film is at least a new twist on the usual movie dilemmas we have seen. Billy is a more endearing character now that we see his insecurity about his work. The scene with his girlfriend is an ideal piece of background context for us. The similarity between his foul mouthed mother and girlfriend is fun to see but it is Cat’s loyalty to him that is most revealing. We know Billy is a hugely passionate man and seeing his girlfriend refuse to give away any details of the movie demonstrates the kind of loyalty Billy can command. It gives him another redeeming quality and helps paint a more rounded character.

Meanwhile Johnny and Turtle have perfected their odd couple routines down to a fine art (see Comic Highlight). All Johnny’s ideas to protect his home seem both sensible and silly which is quite an achievement. But his desire to be a good host while protecting his new apartment is an ideal comedy plot.

Ari and his wife demonstrate more of their enjoyable chemistry as they fight for their sons future. The resolution to that plot is clever when the school admit it is Ari they don’t want and not his son. For once it is not a problem which Ari can solve by bullying and manoeuvring. It should lead to some fun plots with his family. As ever his “I can solve anything” attitude is engaging and entertaining.

Finally there is a nice cameo from Vince’s money man Marvin. He brings home a necessary sense of consequence to Vince’s life by yelling at Eric to sort out their money problems.

The Bad: Entourage sticks to a pretty simple formula for most of its plots. Vince’s latest movie project has a problem and Eric and Ari run around trying to solve it. They do and by the end of the episode we know what the next problem to overcome is. They have been very consistent with this and it makes a very simple entertaining half hour story. But here when Billy drives away with his movie you don’t really believe that they are in jeopardy. You know they will track him down eventually.

The remark that Eric and Sloan are on a break is a bit flippant. Hopefully there will be more follow up on their relationship which would be understandably strained by his time in Colombia. But there was a real lack of focus on their relationship last season so I have my doubts as to how much detail we will get. We have heard nothing about Turtle’s relationship with Kelly either (last seen 319).

Comic Highlight: Johnny asks Turtle to help him move his couch into his bedroom to keep it away from the party. Turtle protests but Johnny explains that he has put more money into his apartment than he can afford so he is not having people destroy it. They lift the couch and Turtle moans. So Johnny says “Oh quit whingeing you pussy. We’ve gotta box up my cutlery after this.”

Victory?: Consistently entertaining and interesting throughout. That could be my description of the whole show. This week does set up a slightly new dilemma to unfold with Eric not liking Medellin. And they do a good job of giving us some more background on Billy and Ari’s wife.

('DiggThis)

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