The ‘Entourage’ Guilt/Pleasure Index: French People Love Jerry Lewis, Hate ‘Medellin’

Courtesy of HBO

In Entourage’s season finale, “The Cannes Kids,” Vince and the Vincettes arrive at the famed festival for a weekend of sun, sand, and backstabbing. No wonder this is the one show we can’t stop watching–slash–can’t stop hating ourselves for watching!

Pleasure: And so we come to the end. Which means, at long last, the climactic trip to Cannes, city of (as we are reminded in an opening montage) sun, celebrities, women in bikinis, um, buildings that say Cannes on them, and women in bikinis.

The big question is whether the crew can sell Medellin, which means only two possible outcomes: The movie’s brilliant and the season ends in triumph and Champagne, or the movie stinks and the season ends in ignominy. This being Entourage, you’d be smart to bet on the former, but give the producers credit for pulling off an upset. Sort of.

The gang runs into Yair Marx, the crazy, crazy-rich arms dealer of earlier this year, who offers them $35 million for the film, sight unseen. Ari then angles with Dana Gordon to beat the offer. The scene in which they haggle, before Vince simultaneously saves and nearly sours the deal, is one of the best of the season. Between Vince’s naïve earnestness and Ari’s blackhearted swindling, it’s as though they’re struggling for the soul of Hollywood itself.

Even better news, though, is the return of Maury Chaykin as Harvey, the best peripheral character on the show — he torches cardboard cutouts like Billy Walsh, Nicky Goldstein, and Yair like so much kindling.

Guilt: Drama has a protracted run-in with a snotty French hotel manager which plays like every lame comedian’s joke about how snotty French people are. We’re even tossed a French–people–like–Jerry Lewis joke, which makes one worry that an airline-food-is-often-substandard joke can’t be far behind.

Still, Drama’s love affair with a French Viking Quest fan is, for this show, uncharacteristically sweet. And, wonder of wonders, the season’s payoff is that Medellin is boring and pretentious. It gets booed at Cannes, and all offers are rescinded — well, except a one-dollar bailout from Harvey.

The door’s now open for Harvey to shape this mess into a masterpiece, which for next season is good news (more Harvey) and bad news (more Billy). In fact, it’s hard to see where this show can go from here. The season started some interesting conundrums (Vince has no money! Johnny’s suddenly a star!) that went absolutely nowhere, as we were instead treated to Queens Boulevard 2: Electric Boogaloo. The obvious next development is a Medellin resurrection and a Harvey-led Oscar campaign. Which would set us up for the most preposterous development yet on the extended-fantasy-sequence that is Entourage: Vinnie Chase, Academy Award winner.

The Guilt/Pleasure Index:

—Adam Sternbergh

The ‘Entourage’ Guilt/Pleasure Index: French People Love Jerry Lewis, Hate ‘Medellin’