One week after an innovative and exciting season premiere, in which a documentary crew chronicled Medellin's impressive on-set turmoil, Entourage transports the whole crew safely — and, for this viewer, sadly, — back to L.A. Good-bye, jungle mania and creative meltdowns! Hello, Drama worrying about partygoers soiling his new sofa! No wonder this is the one show we can't stop watching–slash–can't stop hating ourselves for watching.
Episode: "The First Cut Is the Deepest"
Pleasure: As ostensibly brilliant director Billy Walks holds Medellin hostage, Ari warns Vince and E about "The Gigli Effect": that Vince can't get work until the industry's assured Medellin isn't a colossal turkey. When Vince and E arrive to pressure Billy to screen the film, we get one of the more memorable Entourage images in years: Walsh squealing out of his warehouse editing studio on a motorcycle, with a can of film hung around his neck, through a forest of dangling film strips. Turtle and Drama, meanwhile, are doing what they do best — which is, not much. We're treated to them toddling through Costco buying chicken wings and baby wipes for Vince's welcome-home party. When Turtle grumbles as Drama enlists him to move the sofa, Drama drops the episode's best line: "Quit whining, you pussy. You're boxing my cutlery after this."
Guilt: The enjoyment level of any given episode of Entourage is inversely proportional to how many scenes involve Turtle and Drama hanging out together. As foils to straight men E and Vince, they're funny and necessary; as fugitives from a buddy comedy strolling the aisles of Costco, they make you stab at your DVR's fast-forward. Ari, meanwhile, is left to dangle in this episode, racing around to uncover why his son isn't being accepted into a tony private school. Let's hope when HBO finally comes to its senses and gives Ari his spinoff, You've Got Gold, the producers will come up with better story lines. And given how long this show teased out the will-they-or-won't-they-shoot-Medellin plot, we may be stuck with the is-it-or-isn't-it-a-good-movie story line for a while. This episode concludes with E and Vince having seen a print, and disagreeing vehemently over whether the film is any good. Which seems weird: Could the movie have changed that much since they watched the dailies back in Colombia?
Also, in case you were wondering if you'd ever like to see Anthony Michael Hall make a cameo as guy who pees off a hotel balcony, this episode answers that question: You don't. —Adam Sternbergh