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Entourage, August 12 August 16, 2007

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August 12th Episode: “The Young and the Stoned”

Vince moves the gang into a new $30,000-a-month mansion high up in the hills, affordable due to his large advance check for “Lost in the Clouds.” While E is trying to find the place, he gets rear-ended by Anna Faris.

E feels he has a moment with the “Scary Movie” star. Faris, fresh from doing pilates, is wearing nothing but a towel. They agree to exchange numbers for insurance purposes. When E finally makes it to the new house he tells the boys that he thought a romance may have been brewing. However, when he calls her, E finds out Faris gave him a fake number.

Turtle freaks out because his supply of medical-grade weed is all gone. Vince says there’s a secret stash left. Turtle takes off for the supermarket to buy supplies for a lunch Drama promised, taking the weed with him so Drama and Vince won’t be tempted to light up without him.

Mrs. Ari gets a call from her former employer, a producer for “The Young and the Restless.” They want Mrs. Ari to reprise her role as Kendall Scott, the town slut, for the 30th anniversary. Ari is against the idea, but Mrs. Ari goes ahead with it. When Ari finds out her scene involves kissing a young, Latin guy, he totally freaks.

E tracks down Faris at her house and gets her insurance information. She warms up to him when she finds out he manages Vince. E gives her a ride to a meeting, and along the way she asks for his opinion on a script she’s about to do. E tells her he thought the script was crap, and Faris passes on the movie. They agree to dinner.

Turtle meets three hot girls at the supermarket and they decide to join the midday fiesta at Vince’s. On the way to the house, Turtle gets pulled over and the cop smells the super-potent pot. Turtle is forced to throw the last remaining bit of the stash down a sewer. Luckily, as Turtle shows the girls after the cop leaves, he managed to slyly place it on the ledge of the drain.

Ari visits the set of “Y&R” and has a heart-to-heart with Javier, the guy Mrs. Ari is supposed to kiss, letting him know not to kiss his wife. When Javier follows orders and the director calls cut, Mrs. Ari goes crazy on Ari, and then she marches over to an unsuspecting Javier and kisses him while the cameras aren’t rolling. Ari walks out. Back home, Mrs. Ari reveals she was offered a full-time role, but as always, Ari and her family are first. The couple make up.

When the whole gang reconvenes at the mansion for some smoking and skinny dipping, E tells Vince Faris has a new manager — him. Vince says it’s interesting news.

Best Part: It’s no secret I’m in love with Perrey Reeves, the actress who plays Mrs. Ari. During the scene where Ari and she discuss “Y&R,” she strips down to her bra and panties. It was breathtaking. And she’s a good actress and all that stuff, too.

Ari Quote of the Week: “Look, Javier, I can help you, OK? You don’t want to spend the of your rest of your life having fat, middle-aged women and odd homosexual men getting off to your work, do you? You have bigger dreams. Let me tell you, as anyone in this town can tell you, I am a dream weaver. You focus on what I’m saying and I’ll have you kissing Ugly Betty by Christmas. But nobody get to kiss my wife — nobody but me.”

Grade: As the season winds down, the story of Vince’s and E’s increasing separation from each other is starting to come in to play. Now that E has another client, I expect the last three episodes to be more dramatic, which is the case with every season. This episode was mostly forgettable, except for Mrs. Ari, but like always it still managed to be funny and lively. C+.

Next Week: Walsh delivers a script for “Lost in the Clouds” that is radically different than what the studio ordered. While Ari tries to deal with the situation, E visits Anna on set and learns she’s extremely high maintenance.

— Stalked by David Carrier

Entourage, August 5 August 9, 2007

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August 5th Episode: “Gary’s Desk”

E sets up an office for his new management company, lamely named the Murphy Group, but Vince and the boys think the space is too small and shabby for their friend. As E begins to do his thing, Vince, Drama and Turtle vow to find him a better desk.

E’s first order as an independent talent manager is calling Peter Jackson’s video game company. E wants to get some lucrative yet easy work for Vince doing voiceovers. E’s phone call leads Jackson’s people to call Ari, demanding to know who Mr. Murphy is. This prompts Ari to call E and give him some choice advice. Shauna, Vince’s publicist, also offers some advice, including setting up an interview with “Variety” for E so he can announce his company.

Ari, meanwhile, preps the agency for the arrival of Mary J. Blige. Blige is coming for her annual meet-and-greet and, as Ari stresses, if the agents don’t impress she may just “hip and hop her way back to ICM.”

The Jensen twins, agents that have been with Ari — if only in limited exposure — from the beginning, are causing some problems around the company. Jeff Jensen slept with Jim’s wife, and they are now at each other’s throats. It’s obvious they can no longer work together. Ari looks at the numbers, realizes Jeff out-earned his brother three years running, and fires Jim, strictly as business.

Vince finds a perfect desk for E’s office. It’s an antique, and the salesperson claims it belonged to Robert De Niro. Vince agrees to buy the desk for $42,000, just before the salesperson realizes somebody forgot to pull the tag. The desk has already been sold. To Gary Busey.

E gets hoodwinked by the “Variety” reporter. Instead of a simple announcement, the piece turns into an expose on nepotism in Hollywood. Drama consoles him with the adage that there isn’t such a thing as bad press.

Vince, Turtle and Drama go to see Busey. The boys are no strangers to the legendary Hollywood madman. Busey’s shown up in the first two seasons, always with good results. Busey agrees to sell the desk, but only if Drama will participate in Busey’s latest art experiment. Drama strips down and lets a chanting Busey hurl blue paint at him.

Blige arrives and becomes distressed when she can’t find Jim. Apparently, Blige liked the twin because he always included hand-written notes with every script. When Jim shows up to collect his things, he tells Blige why Ari fired him, and wouldn’t you know it, Blige hips and hops her way back to ICM. Ari, in a fit of anger, fires Jeff as well.

After he discovers the desk won’t fit into E’s office, Vince takes E to a new building, where all the boys now have new, large offices. E reluctantly accepts the office space gift, right before he gets a call from Peter Jackson himself, wanting to set up a meeting.

Best Part: Busey was money as usual, but the show went to Peter Jackson. The once again portly director appeared in a New Zealand studio, where he was doing animation for a pirate video game. Jackson was wearing one of those suits with the little silver balls all over it, and the scene kept switching between real life and the video game animation of the scene. How cool.

Ari Quote of the Week: “If I were to cheat on my wife it’d be with a busty blonde or, you know, an Asian with pointy nipples.”

Gary Busey Quote of the Week: “ I painted George Hamilton white. I took 200 pounds off Dom DeLuise by painting him with vertical stripes.”

Grade: “Entourage” is a show in which the success relies heavily on an accurate portrayal of the Hollywood life. An easy way this has always been done is with cameos, and this episode had three excellent ones. All the regulars were good as well. While it was nowhere near as memorable as last week, it made sure to include everything any good episode requires. B+.

Next Week: E gets rear-ended by Anna Farris, which leads him to try to manage her. Mrs. Ari asks her husband if she can go back to work. Mrs. Ari’s old job was a starring role on the daytime soap “The Young and the Restless.”

— Stalked by David Carrier

Entourage, July 29 August 1, 2007

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July 29th Episode: “The Day F**kers”

At Urth Café, the boys discuss E’s constant tendency to fall in love. Drama claims it’s impossible for E to have unemotional sex. Vince makes the bet that E can get a girl in bed before Turtle. Drama lays down $5,000 that Turtle can get the deed done before E.

Vince and E head off to a hotel pool for afternoon drinks, hoping that Vince’s celebrity status will help seal the deal. They meet a pair of English girls that are stateside to promote their linen business. After Vince leaves to have sex with the company’s owner, a stunning blonde named Juliet, E stays and has a conversation with Heather, the company’s top sales rep.

Drama’s plan to get Turtle laid is much less sophisticated. He searches Craigslist.org, a San Francisco-based, eBay-type Web site where people offer anything. They come across an entry for a “short, cuddly, twenty-something to fulfill fantasy.” Turtle calls the number and the girl, Kelsey, agrees to meet him.

Ari drops his daughter off at the private school, where she stayed enrolled despite her father’s wishes, and he has a run-in with the head administrator, Andrew Preston. Ari’s son has been turned down by every private school in the city, and Ari believes Preston has something to do with it. In retaliation, Ari hires a investigator to follow Preston and try to dig up some dirt.

Back poolside, E and Heather are getting along reasonably well until Sloan shows up. The former couple share a few awkward moments and E leaves. Back at the house, he calls Sloan. She reminds him that he was away for nine months — six in Colombia and three in Paris — and that they are broken up. E wants to have dinner. Sloan says she’s met someone.

Turtle meets Kelsey, another stunning blonde (played, I’m pretty sure, by Travis Barker’s wife), and she wants him to pick up something at the dry cleaners and meet her that night. The item that Turtle and Drama pick up at the cleaners is a large, pink, fuzzy bunny suit. Drama lets Turtle in on his knowledge of the Furry community. Furries, in case you might not know, are a subculture of people who enjoy dressing up like animals.

Ari can’t find any suitable blackmail material on Preston. Instead, he has a revelation. He wants to be a model father. He goes to Preston’s house and pours out his heart, explaining he wants his son to have a proper education and to not be punished for something his father did. Preston explains he has a son working in the mailroom at one of the smaller agencies. The two fathers make an agreement: Preston’s son will have a desk at Miller Gold come Monday, and Ari’s kid will be attending private school.

A race to win the bet is on. E decides to sleep with Heather after his conversation with Sloan. Turtle and Drama arrive at Kelsey’s house, but Turtle can’t go through with wearing the bunny suit. Drama grabs the suit and says if he’s losing $5,000, then at least he’s going to get him some. The last shot, a special treat even by “Entourage” standards, is a full-on, rabbit-on-squirrel sex scene.

Best Part: Ari’s emotional scene with Preston is indicative of the greatness of Jeremy Piven, and here’s to hoping he’ll win a second consecutive Emmy for the role. But a Furry sex scene is just too great.

Drama Quote of the Week: “That’s not mean. ‘Mean’ is when I made Jess Mancini ride her bike home after I [had anal sex with her].”

Ari Quote of the Week: “No questions, Lloyd. Not until you stop dressing like Paula Poundstone.”

Grade: This may be my favorite episode ever. Definitely the funniest. Everybody was on their A-game, pitching jokes left and right that never missed. And it had the perfect mix of dramatic elements, with the Ari plot, which genuinely tugged at the heartstrings. A+.

Next Week: E starts his own management company, and Vince and Drama want to buy him an antique desk. Unfortunately the desk already has been sold. Because the episode is named “Gary’s Desk,” I assume former multiple-time guest star Gary Busey is the purchaser. Ari welcomes Mary J. Blige to Miller Gold for her annual meet-and-greet, but he has to deal with firing someone on the same day.

— Stalked by David Carrier

Entourage, July 22 July 25, 2007

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July 22nd Episode: “The WeHo Ho”

Vince and Eric ponder “Lost in the Clouds,” a mountain-climbing movie pitched by Dana Gordon, former VP of productions at Warner Bros. The current deal includes the entire “Medellin” team, right down to Walsh directing and E producing. E has had his fill of the madman director, especially since Walsh accused him of leaking the “Medellin” trailer on YouTube.

Ari uses his agenting powers to at least mend the relationship to speaking terms. However, he has a much larger problem at the agency. Lloyd’s boyfriend, a Finish Line salesman named Tom, has left him. Lloyd, an emotional wreck, declares a leave of absence until he can get his boyfriend back. Ari loses it, too, thinking about how hard his job will be without the watchful eye and constant support of Lloyd.

Walsh and the boys visit Gordon to discuss “Lost in the Clouds.” Despite Walsh’s antics, Gordon like him. But during the meeting, E’s fury builds.

Ari takes matter into his own hands by visiting Tom at Finish Line, pleading for the estranged couple to get back together. Tom tells Ari Lloyd cheated on him. Ari, ever quick on his feet, covers for Lloyd, saying the two were at the “Bourne Ultimatum” premiere on the night in question. Another problem solved.

Drama and Turtle head out to meet Turtle’s cousin, Ronnie, a fellow with a notorious past. Ronnie has a history of shady business deals that always turn to gold. Turtle and Drama look to get in on the latest scheme. Ronnie lays it out for them: A game-worn Sandy Koufax jersey is up for sale, and Ronnie has inside information that Koufax is on his deathbed. Insuring them the jersey will soon triple in value, Ronnie gets the duo to agree to put up half the money.

At the auction, Ronnie has a sudden change of heart and backs out, leaving Drama to take over the entire $62,000 price tag. While picking up the jersey, the auctioneer tells Drama Sandy couldn’t make it himself because his dog has been sick for the last month. Sandy, though, is in perfect health. Drama is livid.

Back at the office, Ari tries to finish the deal for Vince. E decides to sit out as producer because of his hatred for Walsh. Still, E voices his concerns that Vince shouldn’t do the movie. Vince, however, goes against the advice of his newly-returned manager and tells Ari yes.

Best Part: The lengths that Ari goes to insure Lloyd’s return provide valuable insight into the character. Who knew he could care so much?

Ari Quote of the Week: “No, I don’t tell you what I like. My old assistant is supposed to tell you what I like, and then he is supposed to seamlessly train you so that the only change in my life comes when I have to write out a Christmas bonus. Get out of here, Glen. Anywhere but here, or I will kill you. I only want Lloyd and I will get him myself.”

Grade: The scenes with Ari and Lloyd were as good as anything in the history of the series. The rest of the episode, however, was pretty stale. And I thought the Sandy Koufax dying angle was unnecessarily morbid. Still, the episode flew by and it was funny most of the time. B-.

By the way, “Entourage” has been nominated for seven Emmys, including Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Supporting Actor for Jeremy Piven (Ari), and Outstanding Supporting Actor for Kevin Dillon (Drama).

Next Week: Drama and Vince make a bet on Turtle’s and Eric’s love lives. Ari and the wife deal with sending their son to public school.

— Stalked by David Carrier

Entourage, July 8 July 9, 2007

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July 8th Episode: “Sorry, Harvey”

E and Ari have a heated conversation about how to confront Harvey Weingard over their decision not to sell “Medellin.” E decides to tell Harvey himself, despite the producer’s notorious behavior.

Ari arrives at a cemetery to meet M. Night Shyamalan. Ari’s there to receive the new, highly top-secret script for Night’s next movie. The auteur demands Ari read the script that night and be ready for a quiz in the morning. Night even had Ari’s name printed largely on every page, in case the script should happen to end up in the wrong hands.

Drama, Turtle and Vince hatch a plan to get Drama’s new condo a 90210 address. By taking out the mayor of Beverly Hills, a balding, overweight schmuck, and getting him laid, they think they can secure an annexation.

E’s dinner with Harvey does not go so well. Harvey berates the servers, threatens to kill a former assistant two tables over, and generally acts like an insane person. E, whose pride will not allow him to admit he’s afraid of Harvey, starts to break under the pressure of delivering the bad news. E calls Vince and demands that he help. E and Harvey leave to meet Vince and the boys at the nightclub.

Drama manages to find a hot girl for the mayor, making it seem like the plan will work. However, a bouncer at the club has some disturbing news for the gang. The leggy gal with the mayor is actually a post-op transsexual. Drama sucks it up and tells the mayor. The mayor says he’s doesn’t care what she’s got under that dress, and that Drama will still get his new zip code.

E finally admits he’s scared of Harvey. Luckily, Harvey gets thrown out of the bar before anyone has to tell him about “Medellin.” Drama, perhaps feeling the vibe of telling the truth, decides to blurt out to Harvey, while he’s being dragged away, that he’ll have to bid for the movie at Cannes, just like everyone else.

After dinner with the wife, Ari drives the wrong Lexus home, a product of a valet mix-up. This forces him to drive an hour away to get his car, and the Night script, back. On the way home, Ari gets caught going 140 down the highway and spends the night in jail. Night is there at the agency in the morning, just as promised. But this time the director has a new version of the script that he demands Ari read, right then and there.

The morning after Drama’s triumph over the forces of zoning districts, Turtle finds something interesting on the Internet. TMZ.com caught part of the mayor’s late-night adventures, most notably his girl’s male genitalia, via a Britney Spears-esque in-car leg spread. Drama’s new address might have to wait on an incoming media storm.

Drama Quote of the Week: “That Barbie might be a Ken. She has balls, Your Honor. Transformer. Hermaphrodite. Something ain’t right.”

Best Part: Although I really dislike the guy’s movies and general attitude, I have to admit M. Night Shyamalan was pretty clutch as a guest star. He poked fun at himself, which is always a nice, and funny, thing for celebs to do.

Grade: I suspect this was an episode designed to break up the overall story of the season. It was fluff, but that doesn’t, however, mean it wasn’t funny or memorable. And it goes down as the first “Entourage” episode to include full-frontal male nudity. A first, even if it was kind of crazy. B+.

Next Week: Drama tries to get a prescription for medical marijuana, just so he can get a stylish trucker hat from a hip weed bar. E and Walsh butt heads over a leaked “Medellin” trailer. Ari meets with Dana Gordon about a new movie for Vince, but an existing offer with some unnamed high-profile star causes Ari and Lloyd to do some dirty work.

— Stalked by David Carrier

Entourage – ‘Malibooty’ (July 1 episode) July 5, 2007

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Sundays, 10:00, HBO

During breakfast at Drama’s, where all the boys are now living, E decides to visit Walsh to discuss some changes he thinks need to made to “Medellin.” Drama has good news. He met an old flame, Donna (played by Lisa Rinna), who just happens to have a hot friend that supposedly gave Charlie Sheen the time of his life. Drama and Turtle go to meet them, with Vince in tow. On the ride to Malibu, Vince strikes up a conversation with a brunette in a convertible and ends up going his separate way to another beach house for some afternoon fun.

E’s meeting with Walsh does not go well. Walsh submitted “Medellin” to the Cannes Film Festival without any cuts. E panics. He doesn’t think the film will make it in without serious alterations. Ari suggests selling the movie to Harvey Weingard, the thinly veiled Harvey Weinstein character from Season 2, so they can cut the movie to their liking.

Vince’s day goes from memorable to legendary when the brunette takes him to Dennis Hopper’s house. Vince talks Hollywood with Hopper, and the two go in on a soccer bet for $100,000. Apparently, Hopper loves soccer.

Donna’s friend, the one that’s interested in Turtle, turns out to be a real barker. But after much begging from Drama, Turtle decides to take one for the team. When both girls guarantee the boys they’re sure things, the foursome head for the nearest hot tub.

While Vince’s adventures in soccer gambling hits a rough patch, E visits Harvey. The foul-mouthed mogul decides to buy “Medellin” based on the strength of a trailer Walsh gave E.

In the hot tub, Donna pulls a 180 and takes Turtle to bed instead of Drama, leaving the older Chase mortified. Back at the house E tells Vince about Harvey’s $25 million offer. Continuing with the reversal-of-fortune theme this episode seemed to have, Vince tells E Cannes accepted “Medellin,” and that they shouldn’t sell it yet.

Ari Quote of the Week: “Walsh is your boy. You gave him final cut, even though I begged you not to. Now you have to live with it. Or kill him. Actually, that’s a good idea. Kill him, then kill yourself. Could you imagine the outpouring of love and sympathy when Vince loses both of you. I could have him back on top in three months.”

Best Part: I thought the scenes with Dennis Hopper were weak, which is weird considering it’s Dennis Hopper. Instead, I’d have to say the hot tub scene was the best, especially when Turtle leaves with Donna, and Drama gets his pants ripped off by the she-monster.

Grade: This was an excellent episode. From the return of Harvey to the scenes with E and Ari, every moment echoed the greatness the series had years ago. It seems that this fourth season is going places. And with the looming disaster with Harvey on the way, it could get exciting. A.

Next Week: E is forced to tell Harvey they won’t be traveling to Cannes together. Drama takes the mayor of Beverly Hills out for a night on the town, in the hope that he can get a 90210 zip code.

– Stalked by David Carrier

Entourage, June 24 June 26, 2007

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June 24th Episode: “The First Cut is the Deepest”

Vince and the boys arrive back in the states after shooting “Medellin,” ready and eager to get back into the normal swing of things. As part of the welcome back, Drama and Turtle plan a party at Drama’s new condo.

E is anxious to line up another job for Vince but Ari alerts the duo to a looming dilemma: Walsh hasn’t shown the movie to anyone. The best offer Vince has on the table is playing Jughead in an “Archie” live-action. The public has to see “Medellin,” and it has to be good.

E and Vince track down Walsh, who’s holed up in an abandoned warehouse filled with strips of film hanging from the rafters, and demand to see the first cut. Walsh is acting more eccentric than usual, including wearing the reel can around his neck, and he ultimately bolts the warehouse on his motorcycle, denying the boys their screening.

Drama’s OCD comes to the forefront during the preparations for Vince’s party. He removes the chandeliers so no one can swing off them. He puts out a basket for people’s shoes so they can’t sully his new carpet. But the kicker is the combo lock on the bathroom and the portable toilets in the hallway.

Ari and his wife have problems of their own. Their son, Jonah, hit another student with a ruler during a school evaluation. Now, Jonah may not be allowed into the private school despite the $200,000 in tuition Ari pays for his daughter to attend. Ari goes on a mini-tirade before the headmaster tells him that the reason Jonah will not be allowed to attend is Ari himself. The cursing at soccer games and the constant bad attitude have caught up with Ari.

Vince and E make a brief appearance at Drama’s party, and the shindig eventually moves to Vince’s hotel room. Once there, Drama’s nervousness about the guest’s cleanliness goes away, even as Anthony Michael Hall pees off the balcony and everyone is thrown out.

Walsh finally gives Vince and E a look at the movie. They both tell Walsh it’s amazing. However, on the ride home E tells Vince he lied to Walsh. E thinks “Medellin” sucks.

Ari Quote of the Week: “I teach my son to never let people just take things from him. It’s my Israeli blood.”

Best Part: I’ve been patiently waiting for a high-profile, memorable cameo to show up, and that bastion of 1980s teen movies, Anthony Michael Hall, delivered it. Hall did exactly what I imagine he does in real life: He showed up, mumbled something, and then peed off a balcony. Classic.

Grade: One of the better episodes in recent memory. I loved the moments with Ari and his wife, which showed more of their personal relationship than we’ve seen before. Rhys Coiro, the guy who plays Billy Walsh, is becoming more and more a star player in the series and he should be nominated for an Emmy for his work in the last two episodes. A-.

Next Week: Walsh submits “Medellin” to the Cannes Film Festival, despite the work E thinks needs to be done to it. Ari suggests selling it to a major company based on the strength of a great trailer. Drama runs into an old flame.

— Stalked by David Carrier

Entourage, June 17 June 18, 2007

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June 17th Episode: “Welcome to the Jungle”

The fourth season premiere takes a different approach from what viewers are used to. The episode from beginning to end is a behind-the-scenes on the making of “Medellin,” complete with interviews from all involved, including Ari. It was a little weird, and kind of hard to paraphrase, but it was interesting, to say the least.

Pre-production begins on set in Colombia, where Walsh and E butt heads almost immediately. Walsh wants 1,400 extras for one scene. Walsh wants rewrites. Walsh needs to recast half of the film.

As a first-time producer, E finds controlling Walsh a little stressful. Things get worse when Walsh becomes infatuated with one of the Colombian actresses and accuses Vince of trying to sleep with her.

Vince spends the majority of the episode in his Pablo Escobar makeup, which reminded me of a cross between Ron Jeremy and Andy Kaufman. Vince also uses his powers of relaxing persuasion to bring Walsh back from the edge of insanity during the troubling shoot.

Turtle and Drama stay on set, presumably to try to hook up with chicks. Drama also attempts to get into the movie at all costs, which he eventually does, in a hilarious moment.

A minor side story involves the crew hiring Academy Award winner Stephen Gaghan to write the ending, only to pay him and send him home after Walsh stays up all night writing the ending anyway.

Best Part: Drama’s cameo in “Medellin,” as an unnamed, mustachioed commando, was another highlight in his lackluster career. Almost as good as Drama’s time in the spotlight was seeing Perrey Reeves’, who plays Mrs. Ari, name in the opening credits for the first time, meaning her role will only grow. That makes me happy.

Drama Quote of the Week: “Well, whenever you’re about to shoot, you get butterflies. But if you prepare to take care of your instrument, what can go wrong? Tony Danza taught me that.”

Ari Quote of the Week: “When a director falls for an actor on set, all bets are off. When he doesn’t get her, bet you have a problem. When someone else gets her, bet the house.”

Grade: OK. So, I loved the idea of changing pace by having a mockumentary episode. It allowed the actors to show a different side of their characters. Ari had to tone down himself to appear in the documentary, so we got to see his tamer side, which rarely ever shows up. Drama played himself up even further for the documentary. And it was killer to finally see more footage of a Vincent Chase movie. But flashy lights and fireworks do not make a great episode. I don’t know where this fits in the canon. I’ll have to ponder its place in the “Entourage” universe. B.

Next Week: Drama throws Vince a party at his new condo. Walsh refuses to show anyone the first cut of “Medellin.” Vince gets frightening news from his business manager: He’s broke.

— Stalked by David Carrier

Entourage, Season Finale, June 3 June 4, 2007

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June 3rd Episode: “Adios Amigos”—3rd Season FinaleLast time, Vince was about to make a cool $60 million by sleeping with the wife of a rich prince. Apparently, Vince turned down a hot girl for the first time in the history of the show, and he and Vince must now find a new financier for “Medellin.” Luckily, Ari calls with the news that Nick Rubenstein has just gotten access to his enormous trust fund and is eager to make a picture.

The boys have sold the house to help with the movie, which leaves them at a crossroads. E has Sloan to fall back on, and Vince can afford a hotel for as long as he needs one. But Turtle and Drama are forced to go apartment shopping. After checking out some dives, Drama gets a call from Shauna Roberts, Vince’s publicist, demanding that he find a place that will not reflect badly on Vince. Drama and Turtle head to Beverly Hills.

Nick Rubenstein is willing to spend $25 million, not near the budget the studio had estimated. E thinks they need to find a director who has a vision and can stretch a dollar. Billy Walsh, who directed Vince in “Queen’s Boulevard,” is the obvious choice. Unfortunately, Walsh, who’s always been a little crazy, is now directing porn. However, they manage to convince the high-strung auteur to commit.

Drama falls in love with a condo that’s way out of his price range. Acting on a whim and the hopes that “Five Towns” will become the next “Seinfeld,” Drama spends $1.5 million.

The trials of producing immediately put a strain on E and Sloan’s relationship, and things get worse when Walsh demands more money from Rubenstein. After an agreement that includes Walsh gets final cut, the boys celebrate. But bad news comes when Walsh decides his first act as director is to shoot the whole movie in Spanish.

Best Part: Vince and E’s visit to Walsh’s new porn day job is the most insane set the show has ever shot on. There are several naked chicks, taking the show’s reputation for highlighting its female extras to new levels. There is also a naked male midget. ’Nuff said.

Drama Quote of the Week: “Viking Quest convention, ’99, a guy from Orlando offered me $50 to photograph me banging his wife while wearing my Tarvold costume.”

Ari Quote of the Week: “They shot ‘King Kong’ in New Zealand but that monkey still climbed the Empire State Building.”

Grade: This was a mixed bag. As a season finale, it was pretty weak. The mini-finale from earlier in the season was much better. But the return of Walsh as a high-profile character was well worth the wait. Ari wasn’t very busy, which is always a shame. B.

In Two Weeks: It’s extremely weird that the fourth season starts two weeks after the third ended, but welcome to the new HBO way of doing things. What’s even weirder is the supposed format for the season premiere. It’s reportedly a behind-the-scenes documentary with commentary by Ari, with plenty of fourth-wall breakage.

All of this seems to be confirmed by the sneak preview HBO gave. Whatever — I’m game for anything that can bring freshness after the at-times disappointing second half of Season 3. Anyway, E and Walsh predictably clash on the set. Vince deals with impending bankruptcy. Drama and Turtle chill on set in Colombia.

— Stalked by David Carrier

American Idol Season Finale, May 23 May 24, 2007

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Tuesday’s recap: Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis performed three songs apiece — their own personal favorite, one they hadn’t performed on the show and the winner of “Idol’s” first-ever song writing contest. It was called the most evenly-matched “Idol” finale to date.

Wednesday: What a cram-packed show it was! If you were one of the 160 million people watching, you know that after two hours of performance fillers, Jordin was named American Idol for season six.

The evening was filled with performances by the likes of Gwen Stefani, Green Day, Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, Joe Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Hicks, Ruben Studdard, Barry B and Doug E. Fresh, Tony Bennett, BeBe and CiCi Winans, Carrie Underwood, Bette Middler, African Children’s Choir and the top 12 Idols from this season.

More than 3,000 people packed the Kodak Theater. Lots of famous faces and former “Idol” contestants could be spotted in crowd as well.

Although the show was so very long, there were enough commercial breaks to allow me to move around. Everyone wants to advertise on America’s No. 1 show, I guess. I wonder how much an advertising spot cost?

Ryan Seacrest presented three lucky — maybe I should say desperate — people with “Golden Idols” from the first round of auditions earlier in the season. I say desperate because they had to have agreed to come on the show to accept the awards, if that’s even the right word. The categories were Best Presentation, Most Original Vocal and Best Buddies.

Best presentation went to Margaret Fowler. You remember — the lady who dressed like a fowl in her yellow BIG Bird outfit. She kissed Ryan right on the lips Wednesday, knocking him to the ground. She is about three times his size, which really doesn’t say much.

Most original vocal went to Sholandric Stallworth. I didn’t remember him until I saw him. He sang with an extremely loud, but not nice, voice that really carries. Ryan asked him to sing without a mic on stage — and he did. The people in the rafters said they could hear him.

The Best Buddies award went to the odd couple of Jonathan and Kenneth. They were the two that met in line at an audition. One was pretty heavy, while the other was small. The smaller one had huge eyes, and Simon called him a Bush Baby. They showed a picture of a Bush Baby while he was on stage. It was not nice, but oh so funny.

The whole Golden Idols thing was one big exploitation, but, hey, they agreed to be subjected to it. Jonathan and Kenneth ate it up.

Clive Davis made an appearance, presenting Carrie Underwood with an award for selling her six millionth album, which is huge, being she just broke out last year. I could see dollar signs in his eyes as he spoke of the many Idols he has helped launch careers for. It’s unreal how much money this man is probably making off these talents.

Sweet, sweet Sanjaya. You know he was there, hair and all. They did a parody comparing him to great leaders and ground breakers like John F. Kennedy, Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. It was a joke, obviously. I really hope he gets it. But I really don’t think he does.

We’re laughing at you, Sanjaya, not with you.

He performed with Joe Perry. I felt sorry for Joe. First, he has to take second stage to Steven Tyler, now Sanjaya with his hair blowing in the fan? Poor guy. It’s OK, though — Joe Perry later got a chance to play his guitar with a real singer — Kelly Clarkson.

At the end, all the former “Idol” contestants performed a tribute to Sergeant Pepper, which was very cool.

Episode grade: B+

Final thoughts: Bring on season seven!

— Stalked by Stephanie Schell

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