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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 10 - Berried Alive

22 March 2012

Synopsis: Ashley asks if she can read Eric’s emails in order to trust him. He decides that the lack of trust is finally too much and he ends things. Johnny runs into his former boss at Melrose Place who offers him a part on the 2009 version. Johnny asks Lloyd (who is now with Adam Davies’ agency) and Ari to get him out of Five Towns. Even though Ari succeeds, Lloyd’s passion for Johnny’s acting wins him over. Meanwhile Turtle is guilty over his attraction to the hot college girl and Jamie gets offered a TV show in New Zealand.

The Good: The Johnny Drama story plays out really well. He is one of TV’s easiest characters to like. Slow witted, self absorbed, hot headed but always loyal to fault. More than that though it is his everyman quality. Unlike Vince, he wasn’t blessed with the looks, the talent or the charm to take Hollywood by storm. But he desperately wants to succeed and be recognised as a good actor. That earnest yearning is what makes him so likeable. Most viewers can relate much closer to Johnny than to Vince.

The highlight of the whole episode is Johnny going to see Ari and asking if he really cares about him. Again his earnestness wins you over as he chooses Lloyd’s genuine passion over Ari’s disinterest. It’s a happy moment for two sweet guys in Lloyd and Johnny and it’s hard not to smile. Lloyd has all the passion and excitement as an agent which Eric clearly didn’t have. Seeing Lloyd and Johnny interact could be really fun.

The episode is an interesting one for Ari too. It seems pretty obvious that Lloyd is destined to reunite with him one day as equals so that they can resume their amusing chemistry. Ari’s anger at Lloyd for leaving him is as loud as ever. But the bitter edge he holds for Adam Davies isn’t present because deep down he cares about Lloyd. He lets Johnny go because he is really impressed with Lloyd and can’t bring himself to fight and scrap to further destroy him. Once more credit goes to the producers for their retention and use of smaller characters. Lloyd’s boyfriend Tom returns to offer support while Adam Davies turns on the charm to welcome Lloyd in.

Elsewhere Turtle is in an understandable dilemma. Vince’s fame finally brought him a beautiful, famous girlfriend. Now that status has caught the eye of one of his fellow students. She is the kind of girl Turtle would have fantasised about attracting all his life. Now he has but can’t act on it. It was a fun moment for him to coolly react to Vince picking him up, rather than explain their relationship to the girl. It would seem Jamie and Turtle are headed for trouble as she moves overseas. It’s the first time we have ever had a serious storyline for Turtle so it would be nice for this to tell us more about who he really is.

Speaking of relationships, Eric finally dumps Ashley, presumably clearing the way for him to get back together with Sloan as the season ends. Or possibly get involved with his assistant but let’s deal with this one woman at a time. Ashley’s desire to read his emails was an interesting one. Though to many it will sound a completely unreasonable request, to others it won’t. It’s actually not that unusual a situation for some couples to end up in. Although Ashley rather snapped as Eric broke up with her, I felt the scene had about the right level of emotion in it to express the end of their relationship. Eric’s cool reaction suggested that he has matured and perhaps now will be mature enough to satisfy Sloan.

The Bad: It’s difficult to tell until this season finishes and we can see where the stories go, but it feels like Entourage has become too much like a soap opera. The show sold itself as a look at the inside of life in Hollywood’s elite world and the struggle of those at different levels within it. But this season has ignored Vince’s career entirely and focussed mainly on relationships and Johnny’s somewhat silly work feud. More on this at the season’s end but the show still feels like it’s missing a direction.

It will be interesting to see William Fichtner (Johnny’s old Melrose Place producer) on the show. Having reviewed Prison Break (and seen him in several movies) it was strange to see him playing a character in Entourage rather than being one of the dozens of celebrities who appear on the show playing themselves. It’s not a big deal but might have been odd for other viewers too.

Comic Highlight: Lloyd calls Johnny to tell him that the Melrose Place offer is genuine but he will have to test for the network. Apparently they have no one else lined up for the role so far. Slightly foolish sounding as ever Johnny says “I like those odds.”

Victory?: This is enjoyable fare from Entourage. Seeing characters dreams come true and their excitement is always enjoyable and Lloyd and Johnny carry this off well, ably supported by Ari. But the malaise at the heart of the show remains.

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