Last night's season opener "Home Sweet Home" was about more than Vince returning from 90 days in rehab, more than saying goodbye to the Big House, but about "Entourage" returning to its roots. I had my misgivings about the show after a sloppy seventh season. But "Home Sweet Home" included all of the elements that has made "Entourage" great in the past: Vince is confident and looking to do another blockbuster, and the guys are coming back together instead of moving farther apart.
Scott is one of the best additions "Entourage" has made to the cast in a very long time. Yes, at first his adversarial role against E was grating, but last night Scott not only had some of the best lines but the best deliveries - and I would even go so far as to say he's becoming a comedic rival for Drama (though I doubt he will ever surpass him). The return of Billy Walsh has been a welcome sight as well. If you told me several seasons ago I would ever say that, I would have attacked you like Drama did with Turtle and the spray bottle. Billy's out of control behavior and smug "suits!" chorus was nearly unbearable, but his sober return as a positive and productive member of the group (who also gets tossed some of the best one-liners, see Musings and Miscellany below for an example) has been refreshing.
The show handled Vince's return to rehab with deft reality and some predictable "Entourage" shenanigans. The news crews, the helicopters, the guys with signs in the background all felt familiar. The girls running along flashing their breasts and Billy later bringing about 50 of them on a bus that he "rounded up from addict meetings all over town," knowing their names, and all of whom of course looked straight out of Victoria's Secret … not so much. But it felt routine within the world of "Entourage," even if a beautiful girl shruggingly saying she would like a menage a trios with Turtle and his girlfriend seemed more like a boyish fantasy than even "Entourage's" version of reality (though this may be a good time to say that Jerry Ferrara, who plays Turtle, has lost a good deal of weight and is looking good).
In the end Vince confronts his anxious and awkward friends who have coddled him since his return, and puts things back to normal - that without them being honest, nothing is going to work. And it is Billy Walsh who saves the day again by rerouting Vince's Romanian miner movie into a made-for-TV film starring Drama. I really love the Drama-Billy collaboration subplots, and I also can't wait to see more of "Johnny Bananas" (which doesn't look funny at all!)
Next Week: The miner movie finds its legs, Ari continues to be an emotional wreck over his failed marriage, Eric and Sloan continue to court, and Andrew Dice Clay returns from the 90s
Musings and Miscellany:
- The one-liners were on fire (no pun intended!) this week, here are a few of my favorites:
• "We don't want [Vince] to mistake your pale round face for a crack rock, E." - Ari
• "If I even had once sip of beer, a week later I would be holed up in my grandma's house with my penis tied off looking for a vein." - Billy
• "Don't EVER spell in front of my son again because he is s-m-a-r-t-e-r than you." - Ari
• "F*ck her! Or, maybe I could f*ck her and then tell her to go f*ck herself ... just for you." - Scott
- Ari's face after he realized the vodka was fake was priceless.
- Drama was in full house-husband mode with his cleaning supplies and obsession about not only ridding the house of alcohol, but also bothering to refill the containers with nonalcoholic liquid.
- Another great touch in "Entourage" is something Ricky Gervais did in every episode of "Extras," and Larry David does in "Curb Your Enthusiasm": having celebrities play warped versions of themselves. In last night's episode, Johnny Galecki (Leonard from "The Big Bang Theory") shows up briefly and unexpectedly as an over-tanned douche getting calls from models.
- How are you feeling about the return of "Entourage"?
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