Monday, August 22, 2011

The Televangelist: 'Entourage' Season 8, Ep 5

Posted By on Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 9:22 AM

Daddy no one whos 18 goes to Disneyland unless theyre high
  • HBO.com
  • "Daddy no one who's 18 goes to Disneyland unless they're high"

I had hoped after the episode featuring Ertz's suicide two weeks ago that "Entourage" had turned a corner. That somehow, in its final season, it was about to get serious and show us something real from our characters. But it seems, from the two episodes afterwards, that moment was but a fleeting cloud over the sparkling, shallow waters of "Entourage's" typical fare. This week the gang all reverted into depressingly familiar patterns, beginning with Vince and his interview with Vanity Fair. Was there one among you who thought, even for a moment, that the interviewer might have been a man? Or an older, married woman? HA! Have you ever seen this show before? She was stunning, extremely posh in her clipped Britishness, and a terribly accomplished Oxford grad, of course. Her disinterest in Vince and his shallow ramblings only made him - wait for this, I'm not sure you're going to believe it - want her even more! "I'm in love," a dazed Vince says to Turtle after she rebuffs him a second time. Predictable? Yes. Boring? Yes. "Entourage," you have three episodes left. Give me something to work with here that's fresh. No? Ok. Well then that takes us right into E's storyline.

We all knew E would go flying back to Sloan as soon as he could. That's a predictability we've learned to live with and maybe enjoy (just a tad). But along the way to that inevitable reunion we got a deliciously wicked turn by Melinda Clarke playing herself as a real-life Julie Cooper (her soapy siren from The O.C.). E is able to loosen up and join forces with Melinda in lightly bashing the McQuewicks with some standard banter. In a stronger episode this might have served as a serviceably fun scene, but it's nothing to hang an major plot on.

I doubt much will come out of E's illicit encounter with Melinda that will do any harm to him getting back with Sloan, so finding out it was all a trap was a fine little twist (in fact I'd like to see them team up to win Sloan back for Eric somehow).

The only character who seems poised for any real change is Ari. How many times have we watched Ari smooth over a disappointment, often related to a blunder of his or related to him choosing work over family, by offering his wife and occasionally his children grandiose substitutions? "I promise, I'll buy you X, I'll take you to Y, I promise you can meet Z." And how often have these ever materialized? Because I enjoy Ari as a character, and probably because I'm a little bit of a fool, I've always imagined that Ari has made good on at least some of these promises off camera. But last night Mrs. Ari made it very clear that he never has - his words are worthless. As I touched on last week, though we know Ari loves his family very much and had never, before the separation, been sexually unfaithful to his wife, he has always been "cheating" on his family with his work. Or is it the other way around? Unfortunately, Mrs. Ari doesn't exactly come out smelling like a rose from this either. I fear her case would have been stronger without the unnecessary Bobby Flay fling. What, by the way, do the kids have to say about that?

But now we know for sure that Mrs. Ari is filing for divorce, and the episode ends with a tired and lonely Dana admitting that she's willing to take it a day at a time with Ari. I don't forgive Ari for his absence of support from his family in favor of increasing his power from work, but I do, moving forward, support the Ari-Dana relationship. I've always liked Dana a great deal, and this week she was able to show a little extra dimension behind that I Am Woman Hear Me Roar! exterior when she introduced herself to Ari's kids and was met with "so?" and "are you the one Mommy hates?" Poor Dana.

Next Week: Looks like almost everyone get a dose of unsettling news - with three episodes left we'll see if there's any real progress made with how they deal with it, or if "Entourage" will end as it began: just a group of guys living the highs and lows of Hollywood life.

Musings and Miscellanea :

— Highlight of the episode for me? Billy's red track suit, of course.

— I didn't mention Drama's interactions with Andrew Dice Clay or Phil because I was too busy trying to fight off a migraine after Dice came on screen. I know the man has made a career from his schtick but gods be good, I can't personally handle him for more than a few seconds.

— I'm worried about Drama and the folly of walking from "Johnny's Bananas." I worry a lot.

— More Shauna is never a bad thing

— "Tell Mommy that Daddy's been working out" - Ari

— Sloan gets a $200,000/month allowance? Hold on I think I feel another migraine coming …

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