Entourage is supposed to be a comedy, yet its sense of humor is decidedly square. The laughs comes occasionally when the situations are over-the-top and the characters, including the guest celebs, play them so straight and seriously. Remember that ping pong match with John Stamos? That was pretty fun. But dialogue on the show rarely crackles with comedy, which has become a problem during a season that is building to larger dilemmas. There's little chance to construct those immediate silly scenarios. So what do we have? E calling Vince to wake up three seconds after calling him to wake up, culminating in a sitcom-y eye-roll. Vince going to a meeting during which he promises not to tweet anymore about tequila with, "My fingers are sealed. [Chucklesies!!!]" Billy showing off his drawings of Drama as a monkey for the animated show he wants to pitch. The audience forgets to laugh, so the characters on the show fill in the silence.
Yet while the comedy was painful, the drama in "Tequila & Coke" wasn't half bad. Last week Vince was passed out from a bender, and this episode opens with him snorting coke at a party on top of a pile of money with many beautiful women around him. Though his rise to the ranks of burnout celeb was meteoric, it's compelling to watch the consequences play themselves out. He shows up to a meeting tweaking his nuts off—a meeting that could seal his fate for the next year and a half and net him more money than he'll ever see again—and lies to the director, but worse E, about his stability. Then he takes off in his Ferrari to drive up the coast. These scenes would have been a lot better if Adrian Grenier were anything resembling an actor; he's unable to show remorse without uttering the words, "I am feeling remorse." Yet, for what it was, this storyline progressed to the appropriate level of chaos, with the promise of more.
Surprisingly, the stuff between Ari and Lizzie dipped and dived with some savvy. Ari calls Deadline Hollywood to get the jump on the story, only to learn that not only has Lizzie not given up the tapes yet, but she has left Amanda's company. Ari confronts her, and the two broker a deal: Ari will get Lizzie a job at a studio, and Lizzie will hand over the tapes. It's not that difficult for Ari to corner Dana and net Lizzie an interview with Warner Bros., though it turns out he fails, as Lenny Kravitz is too busy helping a girl prepare for her Bat Mitzvah and "having dignity" to help. Lizzie, in a rare show of trust, hands over the tapes anyways, and Ari is happy. That is, until that Deadline Hollywood piece runs sans tapes and Ari is exposed for the terrible person he seems to be if you only count his words and actions and thoughts. It's followed by an unexpected moment of pause and emotion from Jeremy Piven that, while not wholly earned, was a welcome change of pace from the screaming. (If he gets an Emmy for this episode, though, God help us all.)
Similarly, Turtle's little subplot fell flat when it went for humor—can we finally stop with Alex making fun of Turtle for not being a good looking guy?—and did better with more dramatic elements. I was a little confused as to why that tequila head honcho guy was angry with Turtle doing his job and then some, but regardless, there's something dark happening over in Mexico that's about to get ugly. And the coach from Glee is just trying to become a simple tequila salesman ever since Emma left him: Give the man his bottles.
In any case, can you believe we're far more than halfway done with this season? Things move fast on Entourage, and, hopefully, they're going to be moving much faster soon.
- I wonder if Entourage is just one giant ploy to make us feel bad for Hollywood types. They're scared of James Cameron and hate when bad things are written about them in the press. Sympathize, damnit.
- After Diddy's amazing performance in Get Him To The Greek, I believe we can all mourn the missed opportunity his two lines were tonight.
- "Give me your focus." Has no one on this show ever been seduced not in high school?