How much can we ask from a show like Entourage at this point? It gave us a couple of really funny years (though some of you revisionist historians out there might argue that point), and now it's coasting a bit–mostly, it seems, because of a lack of any really grabby storylines. There's no romance this season (yet) and Vince's lack of a job is just starting to heat up. They're setting some things up, clearly, but it's taking a while to arc, as they say in Hollywood.
At least the Johnny Drama drama is over. His French web-girlfriend is behind us, but what is there for him to do now? We found out tonight in one of 2.5 pretty funny scenes–but I'll get to that big show-closer in a bit. First, some of the other plot-making Vince, it turns out, is broke. We're not entirely sure how he got broke, considering he was in the highest grossing film of all time, Aquaman. But his mobby business manager tells him he needs to file Chapter 11. Vince has too much pride, so he turns to Shauna to get him a personal-appearance gig. He's offered $200k to act as a last-minute replacement for Zac Efron at a sweet 16 party, but first he has to go meet the parents. Drum roll, please
It's Kevin Pollak and Fran Drescher. Okay, take that drum roll back. The whole scene fell pretty flat, with Drescher as the horrible Hollywood mom who wants Vince to appear on an iceberg as Aquaman for the entirety of the party, and Pollak as the rich-asshole dad willing to spend a million bucks on his daughter's party. Vince turns down the offer and the boys head to the strip club so the producers of Entourage can get their mandatory titty count in. (Eight titties, guys, well done!)
Meanwhile, in Ari Land, Mrs. Ari buys him a Ferrari for their anniversary. This leads to a pretty ridiculous car chase with Adam Davies, Ari's nemesis at his old agency. The car chase then leads to a series of cruel pranks between the two, involving human shit, male strippers, and Internet porn. None of this is terribly funny, but when Ari shows up at Davies' office to duke it out, an actually great scene pops off: Ari bitch-slaps Davies, demanding an apology. Davies, taken aback, actually apologizes in front of his entire office. Solid.
In Eric's sub-plot, as predicted, the movie he wanted Vince to do is getting traction all over the place. Ed Norton wants to do it, and he's going to take it to a studio and make some major changes (leading to what will surely be problems with the two yokel screenwriters, Giovanni Ribisi and Lukas Haas). I sure hope this subplot goes somewhere decent, but for now it's all setup. Eric bitches out Ari for insisting that Vince do a bigger movie, but Ari throws it back at him. Those two need a bitch-slap fest. Or a room.
In this episode's second funny scene, we see Ari taking a meeting with a new client, T.I. Turns out the only roles the rapper is being offered are drug dealers and, umm, rappers. But he wants to do the script "about a black supermarket checker who falls in love with an elderly Jewish woman." (And yes, there are love scenes.) It's a total throwaway joke, but it brought home the fact that the Hollywood parodying that really buoyed the first two seasons has largely gone by the wayside.
So, onto the big party scene. What could've been pretty hilarious in theory was instead just okay. The birthday girl was pretty funny, spoiled, and sorta Goth-ed out, and she tongued her lips when she met Vince, before telling her parents, "I will go fuck this whole party if I fucking want to!" (Yep, that could've been a real outtake from the patently evil My Super Sweet Sixteen.) Vince, who agreed to new terms for the party–no ice throne, just a song–is pleasant and drunk, and Johnny is unpleasant and really drunk. When it comes time for Vince to sing, Drama joins him, making everyone laugh–until he pukes on the giant cake. C'mon, it provided a small laugh–which is what Entourage is good for at this point, a few small laughs. And it usually delivers those.
-- I can't decide if Ari demanding human feces for his delivery to Adam was funny or not.
-- Great line from Shauna: "Stick to chili festivals, Drama. You're as far from sweet 16 festivals as a wet dream."
-- And semi-great line from Lloyd, who seems to have settled into a too-comfortable relationship with his boss: "Just close your eyes and think of pussy!"