Full disclosure: I hate Entourage. The series rose to heights right when I was perfectly in the demographic wheelhouse, so in seasons one, two and three, I thought it was great. And maybe it was.* I also tore through those seasons quickly on DVD so it didn’t seem anything but a fun few hours with some guys who liked to have a good time. Also: I was 17-years old.
Ever since the first half of season three when Vince fired Ari, the series has been going downhill in my — and nearly everyone else with a critical voice — opinion. I somehow made it through everything up to season five and the first few episodes of last season and finally gave up. I could take Drama’s nonsense, Turtle’s pointlessness and Vince’s aimlessness, but I was no longer going to deal with Eric’s bullshit. I’m sorry to curse, but good lord is Eric Murphy one of the most annoying lead characters on television. I couldn’t take the BS with Sloan anymore. That’s it. I was out.
…until my parents decided to upgrade their television service this summer, which brought us 10 different HBO channels. This past week, those various channels have been filled with season six episodes of Entourage and I found myself watching as I went to sleep. I probably saw four more. Still missed the final two episodes I think. And I don’t care. I still watched the SEVENTH season premiere tonight and although it’s certainly not the worst episode the series has ever done — that has to be the one about Turtle and Vince being scared of the stalker, right? — it’s yet another bland 24 minutes that accomplishes nothing and presents even less of anything substantial.
I’ll give “Stunted” this: It actually made Vince an active person, you know, with an opinion, instead of the pretty faced drone he is most of the time. I can take an episode like this because Vince having to deal with either being labeled a whimp by a big-time director or killing himself is a realistic thing a somewhat substantial movie star might have to deal with. Though this new risk-taking Vince will not last into a next episode or anything.
Turtle and Drama are off doing their own thing and that’s fine. Drama’s attempt to find a show could be interesting in an Entourage sense, but he’ll mess it up. Just like Turtle’s new business will meet some sort of disappointing, but ultimately upbeat end. Because that’s how this damn thing works. Over and over again.
One thing that particularly annoyed me about this episode was Ari’s new place. We heard on multiple occasions that he is now the biggest agent in the WORLD, someone who doesn’t have any time at all for Jessica Simpson, Ryan Reynolds — maybe this is pre-“Proposal?” — or his wife, but he can drop everything to clean up E’s mess. I understand that we’re supposed to buy that Ari feels a more personal connection to Vince than his other clients, but it feels like he has to come to Vince’s rescue because that’s what the series needs him to do. Same goes for his conversation and words of wisdom for Drama. If Ari is really one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, he doesn’t even stand there. I don’t care how much he cares.
I mostly hate Jeremy Piven, but Ari and Lloyd have at least grown over time and I’d rather them have their own story this season that doesn’t always involve coming to Vince’s aid with a last second phone call.* Don’t beat us over the head with Ari’s status and then make it seem like hyperbole when he’s still spending a good chunk of his time with a bottom-rung A-lister and his little manager. Hopefully this NFL story means better things for Mr. Gold. I can’t believe I just typed that.
*Also: I just re-realized that more than half of the scenes in this series take place with people talking on the phone with one another. Gosh, that’s annoying and weak.
One more thing: Not one funny moment in this episode.
I can’t believe I just typed 700 words on an episode of Entourage.