Hug it out, bitch

Entourage is quickly becoming one of my favorite TV shows. It's worth watching if for no other reason than it features two of the funniest characters on the ol' boob tube today: Jeremy Piven as super-asshole agent Ari Gold, and Kevin Dillon (Matt's brother) as out-of-work actor and professional hanger-on Johnny Drama.

I've read some bad reviews of the show, most of which strike me as misguided in lamenting Entourage's supposed "missed opportunity" of not exploring the darker side of life in Hollywood. As best I can figure, these people are fans of Six Feet Under and The Sopranos who were looking forward to more of the same. And while that may not be a bad show idea -- a high-drama, sensitive look at the dark underbelly of life in L.A. -- it's not even close to what Entourage is all about.

This is a comedy, people. Maybe you've been thrown off because there's no laugh track, or because each episode's humor doesn't revolve around a simple misunderstanding that gets blown into ridiculous proportions, a la every sitcom ever created. But with a dearth of funny material on TV these days (we now live in a universe where Two and Half Men is a commercial success) we should be thankful, I think, for the laughs we get when Ari rants at the assistant of a low-level studio exec who won't return his calls: "Tell Dana I'm going to take the pictures from Cancun and start a web site. It'll be called i'm-a-hollywood-whore-dot-com and there will be no registration and no fee and I'll take out a full-page ad in the L.A. Times promoting it. Tell her I want a fucking call-back!"

Or when Ari tells his Asian assistant Lloyd that his outfit makes him look like "Michelle Kwan in drag."

Or when Johnny Drama, who is constantly asking his more succesful brother for bit parts in his movies, says you have to play "gay or retarded" to win an Oscar and that he'd "definitely take it in the ass for an oscar." Prompting Turtle to announce: "You'd take it in the ass for a guest spot on The Hughleys."

Maybe it's not high-concept, or even highbrow, but it's funny. And it captures something authentic about the kinds of exchanges guys of that age have, in the same way Swingers did. The difference, of course, is that the characters in Entourage actually are living the high life in their Hollywood mansion, with nearly constant parties and Laker floor seats and run-ins with various celebrities (including guest spots by Gary Busey and a pot-smoking Bob Saget). And as ridiculously as the characters may behave, there's a part of every guy who knows that if someone had given him millions of dollars when he was 22 or 23, he would have been no better.

1 comment:

TMC said...

Not only is Two and a Half Men a success, it's being hailed as the successor to Everybody Loves Raymond, as the best sitcom on TV. And I can't even believe Raymond was the best damn show on TV.

The only shows I watch (besides football coverage) are Family Guy, The Simpsons, Cheaters, and anything related to Man vs. Beast.