ENTOURAGE created by Doug Ellin and Mark Wahlberg, with Adrian Grenier, Jeremy Piven, Kevin Dillin and Jerry Ferrara . Premieres Sunday (April 8), 9 pm, on Movie Central and 10 pm on TMN. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Attention, all you pretentious Michael Bay-bashing, Criterion-collecting cine-asses who think you're too good for a little prime-time Hollywood popcorn. Yeah, I'm talking to you, the ass hat whose 42-inch plasma screen has never known the joys of My Super Sweet 16 or Flavor Of Love. Yeah, fuck you. TVs were made for watching TV. That's where the name comes from.
Thing is, you probably do watch TV, but you won't admit it. If you do watch, you watch Entourage. (And if you don't, you should.)
Hollywood loves to navel-gaze, from Sunset Boulevard to Barton Fink. And rarely has the view been as addictive as this HBO dramedy.
Full of showbiz insider lingo ("pitch meetings," "pay or play" deals) and celebrity cameos (Mandy Moore, James Cameron, Bob Saget), Entourage is like flipping through Entertainment Weekly.
It's about rising star Vincent Chase (played by Greek shepherd boy look-alike Adrian Grenier) and his pussy posse from back in Queens. Vince is an actor. The upcoming second half of season three has him continuing to chase the Pablo Escobar biopic, Medellin, while living the Hollywood high life: money, mansions and movie premieres.
The series is loosely based on the experiences of exec producer Marky Mark Wahlberg (Turtle, the show's resident potheaded horndog and aspiring Russell Simmons, is based on Wahlberg's pal Donkey, for example).
It's The Player light, with Robert Altman's Hollywood satire recast as a glossy babes-and-bling-heavy Justin Timberlake video starring a bunch of almost B-listers The Devil Wears Prada's Grenier, Matt Dillon's kid brother Kevin, John Cusack sidekick Jeremy Piven who play womanizing, party-hopping wannabe A-listers. Call it The Playa.
Like so many Hollywood stars (I'm talking about you, Orlando Bloom), Vincent Chase has little going on beneath his good hair and great smile. But the show's not all surface and superficiality. Entourage, which has often been compared to Sex And The City (different sex, different city, same dating game) is at its core about male friendship.
These four best buds may rag on each other. Comic scene stealer Dillon's Johnny "Drama" Chase, Vince's half-brother, bears the brunt, whether over his sputtering acting career, his flailing love life or his girly-man calves. But all of them are ready to come to each other's defence, in true "bros before hos" fashion, with Kevin Connolly's Eric at the keep-your-cool core.
Entourage also operates on another more subversive level. Sure, it satirizes everything Hollywood, but it also takes a very clever poke at its celeb-hungry viewers. Its smart dialogue and continuous name-dropping and star-spotting are its way of skewering the people who understand the dialogue, get all the references and recognize all the cameos.
What the show seems to be asking is, What kind of Us Weekly-weaned loser can recognize real-life über-producer Joel Silver sitting courtside at a Lakers game with Piven's über-agent Ari Gold? He's on screen for just a couple of seconds, speaks not a word of dialogue and is never referred to by any of the characters. He's simply an extra, no different than the guy munching popcorn behind him.
Yet the guy with the plasma screen and subscription to American Cinematographer knows who he is.
So hug that out, bitch!
WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEK
Friday, March 30
FALCON BEACH (TEEN SOAP) Manitoba's answer to The O.C. wraps up its juicy second season.
8 pm on Global
Saturday, March 31
There's Something Out There: A Bigfoot Encounter (DOCUMENTARY) Sasquatch. That's all you need to know to decide whether this doc's for you.
7 pm on CTV