Entourage really gets rolling in Episode 3, writes Tim Appelo:
In Entourage’s third episode, Season 7 hits its stride. Though it’s named “Dramedy,” after that odd comedy/drama blend exemplified by 1987’s addictively irritating “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd” (about an Australopithecus Ally McBeal, Blair Brown), that’s just because the screenwriter who looks like he’s going to save Johnny Drama’s sagging career is an Emmy-hogging relic of that era. The once-rich writer lost so much on the market, Lloyd and E lured him out of early retirement to write some pages to unleash Drama’s inner clown.
The writer wears a Hawaii shirt that barely contains his bulging belly, so naturally the proposed show is about two brothers at the Maui Four Seasons. How could anybody in Entourage-land not know Drama’s gift for comedy, especially bromance comedy? Hey, how long did it take Hollywood to catch on to Candice Bergen’s comedy chops? She had to lose half her youthful beauty first, so they could stop being dazzled and actually see her act. Drama delusionally thinks he’s still a youthful beauty, which is why he’s perfect for the part. “You’re incredibly funny, Johnny, even though you don’t mean to be,” he’s told. Because he doesn’t mean to be.
It’s a galvanizing last chance for Drama – that’s not a banana in his pocket, he’s just excited to see a tantalizing glimpse of peekaboo success. And Turtle is down to his last chance too. His bimbo-limo business is losing cash faster than he’s shedding cellulite (good career move, by the way). In a solid scene, his marvelously mafia-evocative accountant Marvin (Paul Herman, Beansie from The Sopranos) tells him it’s time to find something else fast. The bimbo-limo thing felt like a dramatic limbo, so whatever’s next, it’s apt to be better.
The bromantic dramatic point is, Turtle and Drama are growing up careerwise, and Turtle and E are outgrowing the random grabass love lifestyle. And Vince isn’t. His new bad ho-courting bro is Scotty, played perfectly by Scott Caan, who’s got just enough of his dad James Caan’s aggression, plus a sweaty sense of desperation he may have acquired spending 15 years trying to work his way out from under his dad’s shadow. He’s doing it now, so if you tuned out Entourage you have to tune in now and not miss Caan’s ascent. Scotty knows just how to play Vince – by sucking up to him while mocking his own suck-uppery, like obsequiousness was cool. “Truth be told, I’d suck herpes out of a girl’s ass for you,” he tells Vince.
By playing a skydiving daredevil who’d break any rule for Vince – except he openly competes with him for strange party-girl butt — he convinces Vince he’s still the young rebel. And boy, does Vince revert! He’s like a kid on a Schwinn again, only now he’s risking real damage. E is horrified by his new Harley “– with air bags,” Vince taunts E (and he’s also taunting him by contemptuously showing up late for their lunch). When Vince urges E to leave his ball and chain and home and come play with the truth or dare bimbos, he warns, “Life is passing you by, buddy.” Ominously, it’s their age-old buddyhood that’s in peril of passing away.
I hate sports, so Ari’s plan to buy an NFL team excites him more than me. But being a football hero suits Ari, and I dig his new dramatic arc. Scott Caan is coming on, but Jeremy Piven is still the sweaty-desperation king, wiping his lip like Nixon, or a Warner Bros. gangster. When his son points a toy gun in the kitchen, Ari says, “No no, Jews don’t carry guns, buddy, you know that.” His son retorts, “The Jewish Army does.” And Ari is the general.
He’s also right about his colleague Barbara, who was right to tell Ari not to suppress his young TV agent just because she shtupped his best friend and ruined his marriage, and Ari’s wife wants her gone. Now Ari’s gotten what he wants, and he’s about to find out it’s not what he wanted at all, I’ll bet. “Barbara,” he says, “Is it just me or would you look great in leather pants and a ball gag?” She would! Ari doesn’t wear the only balls around this office.