One of the many things I love about Entourage is it’s nutty random cameos. This week boasted Snoop Doggy Dogg and, none other than, Bob Balaban, the king of funny (Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, Seinfeld - as the NBC exec in love with Elaine). From script to script to script, this episode was packed.
In the mall, the boys shop with Johnny Drama for his first day back on the set of his tv series. It's kind of like the first day of school, with mommy (Vince) providing the credit card. I loved the Pretty Woman reference from Turtle, too. Johnny notices a guy with this pothead hat that he must have. When Turtle and Johnny arrive at the non-descript address of the store where he can pick one up, they notice the smell of “fine herb.” It turns out that the store is really a medical marijuana facility, and in order to even buy a hat, they need a prescription.
The timing of lines and scenes are always spot on with this show. At the same time Turtle and Johnny are getting their contact high, E and Vince skip over to meet Billy Walsh for lunch. They bump into Snoop near the bar, who tells them how much he likes the Medellin trailer he’s just seen on YouTube. Ten paces further into the restaurant and we get an angry Billy who blames E for leaking the trailer. E thoroughly denies it; Vince defends E to the hilt and we end up with a testosterone match on a restaurant table. Personally, I think Ari or Lloyd posted the trailer. Actually, maybe it was Billy, and he just can’t remember because he’s a whole lotta crazy. What do you think? I also actually laughed out loud when Snoop spoke to E as though they were old buds. Seems like an unlikely pair, but I guess that’s Hollywood.
The best comment of this episode, which I’m sorry I didn’t think of myself, was that E has a Napoleonic complex. Poor little guy ended up with ripped Ralph Lauren at the end of that scene. I don’t think we get enough emotion out of E. We do get a lot of short, to-the-point lines that I suppose a “suit” should deliver, though.
Cut to Drama, who is so desperate for the pothead hat that he actually goes to the doctor, the fabulous Bob Balaban, to get a prescription. Mind you, I am pretty sure that Drama didn’t smoke pot on this show. Bob tries to coax a disease out of Drama so that he can justify the prescription, which Drama doesn’t seem to get at first. He’s too concerned with his own improvisational acting skills, which stink. “What’s so important about the hat?” Dr. Bob says. They settle on anxiety as the disease of choice. I think Kevin Dillon’s acting is good in this scene, but that’s likely because Bob can make watching paint dry seem funny. With Turtle in tow, the two go back to the facility and Drama gets his hat. (Turtle also buys some marijuana.) Later on, Drama returns to the set of Five Towns and shows off his hat. Everyone thinks it’s cool, mainly because they think he has drugs. Calling Turtle. Turtle shows up to save Drama’s reputation, again, and the cast and crew play a strip card game involving pot smoking. Drama ends up smoking way too much, and Turtle, like the good friend he is, acts as a graceful “guide” when Drama bugs out.
Meanwhile, Ari learns of a new film, “Lost in the Clouds,” and busts into his old flame and nemesis Dana Gordon’s office to plug Vince for the lead role. Dana tells him that Heath Ledger is about to sign as the lead, and shortly after, Ari engages Lloyd for a stealth operation of sabotage. Ari sets up lunch with Heath’s agent (and Ari’s old assistant), Josh Weinstein, and purposely brings Lloyd, his “gay card” to make this new film seem unappetizing for Heath for various reasons. The next thing we know, Heath backs out of the film and unfortunately, the director backs out too because he only wants to work with Heath.
Ari also sets up an interview for Vince, E and Billy with Elvis Mitchell (who really is a film critic) about Medellin. Billy and E pretend to patch it up for the interview but throw digs at each other, which Mr. Mitchell perceives as good chemistry. Elvis pulls away in his car and Billy tears off his “Suits Suck” shirt to pick a fight with E again. Vince acts as referee and E and Vince race off in their convertible where E vows never ever to work with Billy again. Ari calls a second later and tells them that not only did Vince get the part in “Lost in the Clouds,” but E is on as producer! Then he drops the bomb that he sold Vince and E to the studio as the “Dream Team,” which includes Vince as lead, E as producer and…tada...Billy as director. Argh.
It seems like Medellin is a success based on the trailer. I can’t wait to see what happens at Cannes. I don’t know how I feel about Lloyd getting more comfortable with Ari. I kind of miss his anxiety. I wonder if he will get sick of being exploited. However, he is getting a thicker skin, which I’m sure you need in Hollywood.
Fun fact: did you know that there’s an actual talent agency in LA called Endeavor, which was started by Ari Emanuel, the real life Ari upon which the luscious Ari Gold is based?