Vegas Baby, Vegas
This is what you would call a romp. A classic Vegas-themed episode, show No. 9 was filled with all the necessary elements of a Sin City sidetrack: blackjack, strippers, big losses, big wins, a celebrity cameo (Seth Green in a commendable appearance as a smarmy, annoying weasel), a fistfight, and… plenty of homoerotic tension!?!? Okay, maybe it wasn’t your typical sitcom scenario, but it was a great episode of guy-centric frivolity that didn’t try to advance the narrative, a welcome change of pace after the overcooked frenzy of last week’s show.
In their typically fearless way, Entourage used the featherweight subject matter to expose yet another unseemly and greedy celebrity tradition: the appearance fee. That was the whole reason for the Nevada trip: an easy payday. Turtle arranged for Vince to receive a generous $100,000 fee for merely showing up at the opening of a club called Body English. (Doesn’t that sound like a name for one of those new supposedly chick-attracting deodorant sprays?) This is no HBO-created fiction: Paris Hilton reportedly gets three times as much for showing up at discotheques throughout the Continent. Unsurprisingly, the club was actually a strip club, and Vince had (without his knowledge) committed to judging a ”Queen of the Strip” contest. Being the mensch that he is, Vince let his best lech, um, friend Turtle be his ”eyes, ears, and mouth” for that operation.
As Ari pointed out numerous times — when he wasn’t having a conniption over his blackjack losses — maybe Vince shouldn’t be carousing with girls named Crystal and Tiffani when his career seems to be in freefall. Vince waved it off while puffing a joint in his Escalade, as if he were a college frosh without a care in the world. It’s totally irresponsible, but kind of awesome, too. Maybe Vince’s juvenile nonchalance about his own career is Entourage’s own small way of rebelling against the aggravating proliferation of media-trained, stage-managed, vacuous robo-thespians. As long as Vinnie boy doesn’t go all Mel Gibson on us, a little bit of unbridled ”realness” is fine with me.
Speaking of exposing yourself, things got a little uncomfortable for Drama, when his man-masseur Ken mistook Drama’s over-the-top affection for a come-on. Drama’s id freaked out, flooded testosterone into his system, and then he unleashed some old fashioned whoop-ass on Seth Green and his gang of Jäger-swilling losers. Now, what are we supposed to assume from this? I don’t think Drama is gay, despite his weird Ken worship. He’s obviously a bit of a homophobe — overcompensating much, Johnny? — but mostly I think he’s just an oblivious, narcissistic metrosexual who loves to pamper himself with maroon silk robes and hour upon hour of massage. As a man who has experienced a transcendent hour or two of deep-tissue massage in his life, I can appreciate Drama’s position: He just loves a good rubdown. Wait, does that sound dirty?
Questions for next week: Will we see the return of the shady Hollywood Foreign Press Association? Is Babs going to tear Ari a new one? Will Vince take another role soon? Will Seth Green press charges?
The Fall of Saigon
I had a feeling that Turtle was gonna get screwed. And honestly, it’s a good thing that he did. If Turtle actually landed Saigon a major label deal, it would definitely upset the fragile emotional balance within the Entourage crew. Turtle is a natural mooch, excellent driver, and convincing second banana. But as a money-making manager? Nahhh. And thanks to Saigon’s unexpected defection, Turtle will have to get back on the Vincent Chase gravy train.
When our freshly dipped Turtle stepped into the office of record exec Sammy Kane — nebbishy character actor David Paymer doing his best Jerry Heller — he was expecting the best day of his life. After Saigon didn’t show, it took some Columbo-style sleuthing by Johnny Drama to flush him out. The ensuing confrontation at the Hollywood Standard — one of two prominent hotel cameos this week — was a typically Entourage-ian nudge-nudge inside joke. Just replace Saigon’s ”old” manager Bunky (Hassan Johnson, in the second appearance by a cast member of The Wire this season) with the famous barrel-size music-biz intimidator Suge Knight. Then replace Johnny Drama with Vanilla Ice, and you’ve got a knowing re-creation of an alleged (then recanted) 1990 incident in which a certain intimidating executive dangled a particular white rapper over a hotel balcony while demanding that the rapper hand over half the publishing for his biggest hit. In the end, Turtle capitulated, but he still got $40,000, which should keep him stocked in New Era caps and fresh-out-of-the-box Nikes for a few months.
Movie buffs who missed the Suge Knight-Vanilla Ice reference could spend the episode enjoying the welcome appearance of Martin Landau as Bob Ryan, a distinguished if dejected old-school Hollywood producer who shows up at the blindingly white, hyper-modern Miller-Gold agency begging for a meeting. I’m no Peter Bart, but even I could tell that Landau’s washed-up, name-dropping, past-his-prime producer with a Versailles-style estate in the hills was a riff on Robert ”The Kid Stays in the Picture” Evans. After being tricked into an endless lunch with the reminiscing, fading player at his mansion, filled with Roman Polanski’s Picasso and naughty home movies of Candy Bergen, Eric actually finds a good idea. That would be a Ramones biopic called I Wanna Be Sedated, which, come to think of it, actually is a good idea. First Aquaman, now this? In the real world, the flick would be Oscar bait. Maybe Doug Ellin should quit Entourage and start pitching movies full-time.
On the other hand, after Queens Boulevard, should Vince really be signing on for another outer-borough-themed movie? If this trend continues, soon enough Vinnie Chase will be playing that other Queens icon, Mr. Met.
Some questions for next time: Is Vince really falling for his Book Soup pickup Nicole? I have a bad feeling that she’s gonna pull a runaway bride and become his first celebrity stalker. Will the Ramones movie actually get made? And is Ari more interested in decorating than being an agent?
TV SQUAD NEWS
Full scene from Entourage’s Queens Boulevard
Cool link here.
It sends you to the homepage for a company called Legend Films.
Their specialty? Colorizing old black and white movies so that classic cinema is more appealing to the current crop of film-goers. Anywho, they were tasked with colorizing that one scene from Entourage’s "Queens Boulevard." It played a big role in this episode. Vince and Walsh (the director) refused to sanction the release of the film unless it was put out in it’s original black and white format. No word yet on whether or not the film will actually be released in the world of Entourage.
But if you’d like to see the whole scene in color (past episodes have only given us Vince’s "I am Queens Boulevard" line), now you can. It’s a little cheesy, but definitely worth seeing if you’re a fan of the show. Now all we need is that scene from Aquaman with Vince running down the pier?
Posted on August 19, 2006, in Entourage and tagged Adrian Grenier, Ari Gold, Doug Ellin, Entourage, HBO, HBO ENTOURAGE, Jeremy Piven, Jerry Ferrara, Johnny Drama, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Mark Wahlberg, Sloan, Steven Levinson, Turtle, Vinnie Chase. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.