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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 3 - One Car, Two Car, Red Car, Blue Car

22 March 2012

Synopsis: Turtle turns 30 and receives two cars, one from Jamie and one from Vince. He feels like he has achieved nothing for himself and goes to Ari for advice. He decides to enrol in business classes to learn for himself. Meanwhile Eric spends the day avoiding Charlie after he doesn’t test well in his pilot screening. Initially annoyed by Ashley, Eric comes to value her and her accurate assessment of Charlie’s failings. Eric also seeks Ari’s advice and heads to Amy Miller’s office to accuse her of being racist.

The Good: Unlike a lot of shows, we do see the characters in Entourage putting in the effort before they succeed. Ari Gold has turned into the modern version of Bill Cosby, teaching his errant children the value of hard work. He seems like a thoroughly modern role model, driven, ruthless and vulgar, but ultimately successful and with a heart of gold (pun intended). The show is certainly doing its bit to humanise Hollywood as Ari finally starts to treat Vince’s friends like equals. After six seasons of antagonism it was genuinely nice to see Ari being kind to Turtle and Eric. The use of Lloyd was strong too as his continuing story fitted seamlessly into other people’s plots (see Comic Highlight).

Eric’s transformation into Ari was really fun to watch. When he arrived on the beach in a suit (501) it was clear whose career path he was following. Now he realises that he is going to have to lie, cheat and steal like Ari does on behalf of his clients. Credit Eric for his acting as he managed to look believably outraged at Amy while also betraying his inner doubts about what he was doing. Follow up is key to this story. Will we see Eric genuinely struggling to “sell” for his clients?

Turtle’s development continues nicely as he decides to go back to school. 50 Cent pops in to provide the celebrity moment for the week and demonstrate what the wider world thinks of Turtle. Throwing in Turtle’s mom and cousin Ronnie gave us a much fuller picture of the pressures he is under. One of Entourage’s great strengths is the consistency with which it brings back the same actors to play cameo roles, even if it is for only one scene.

The Bad: Vince admits he only just got his license (601), so no way he should be driving around a race track like that.

Comic Highlight: One of Lloyd’s new tasks is to refer to everyone as Mr around the office. Mr Murphy and Mr Gold got the full treatment. Then when Turtle arrived a flustered Lloyd said “Hello Mr…Turtle.”

Victory?: Another solid episode of character development. I think having Ari mentoring three different characters dampened the impact of the drama. As I always preach, focus is the key to great television. Would this have been a much better episode if it were focussed solely on Turtle, or entirely on Eric? Yes I think so, but as it is, it’s fine.

('DiggThis)

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