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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 9 - Pie

29 March 2012

Synopsis: On the set of Smoke Jumpers Vince is nervous and soon becomes angry when Jason Patric steals his best lines. Drama and Turtle play pranks on Patric when no one has the guts to stand up to him. Finally Vince confronts him but Patric tells him that the unconventional director Verner took away his lines. Meanwhile Ari has dinner with his old friend Andrew Klein. Klein used to be where Ari is but is now representing writers in Encino. He comes to Ari for a loan but Ari ends up offering to buy his business.

The Good: It’s good to get Vince back on a movie set as it has been a long time (401) since he was on one. Aside from the documentary look at Medellin we have never really seen the filming process before and it’s definitely a nice change of pace and scenery.

Entourage’s budget is impressive and there seems to be no expense spared to make Smoke Jumpers look like a big budget studio movie. Jason Patric is a good sport playing an exaggerated version of himself and he gives the plot a focus. The agitation surrounding his line stealing allows Johnny to rattle off several good one liners: “You know when he was doing Rush he stuck real needles in his arm to prep. That’s what inspired me to do real coke when I did the Menendez brother’s movie.” It fits his character so well to do things which sound like what real actors do but don’t help him become a better actor at all. That’s not the only good line and it was difficult choosing the best (see Comic Highlight). The story that Vince will have to diplomatically confront this maverick director is an intriguing one if it is followed up well in the next few episodes. It’s interesting to examine the politics of a movie set and show that Vince can’t breeze through life like he did when he was the star.

Ari’s plot gives us a bit of a glimpse into who he really is and that is good to see. The most interesting revelation is that he was going to head back to Chicago to be a lawyer. Presumably that is where he was brought up and the legal training makes a lot of sense. It’s also fun to see him talking to a man as an equal for once, not begging to studio heads or crapping on his employees. Their banter feels plausible and they even talk over each other slightly which is an underrated trick to simulate real conversation. It again shows his affectionate side and presumably his struggle to help out his old friend will be his story while Vince is on set.

The Bad: Where is Edward Norton? Wasn’t he supposed to be the star of the movie? Does he appear later? Speaking of which, what happened to Eric’s writers? Are they happy with what has happened? Are they Eric’s clients now?

Comic Highlight: Vince decides to confront Jason Patric about his line stealing. So Johnny offers more sage advice. “Hey remind him that he got molested in Sleepers. That’ll throw him off balance.” The justification for mentioning Sleepers is so amusingly spurious.

Victory?: A really solid episode. Good characterisation, good jokes, a good change of pace for the show. The writers featured Vince, Ari and Johnny particularly well.

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