I don’t want to like this show. Corporate guys like this show. Hollywood guys like this show. It’s all one big inside joke to them. But you know what? It’s a great show.
It’s got a Seinfeld-esque quality to it, and I don’t mean that in the sense that it’s hysterically funny and true to the lives of most people. It’s neither. The show makes you laugh out loud at situations, but it’s because you know you’re not anything like these four hoodlums, and you can’t imagine ever behaving like them. They’re self-centered, self-indulgent, and co-dependent—and it’s absolutely terrific.
At first, I wasn’t that impressed with Adrian Grenier. He reminds me of Pete Sampras (okay, and John Travolta), and it just made me bitter that he wasn’t either of them. But then I started to think about his role in The Devil Wears Prada, and I realized that he’s playing a totally different role. His puppy-dog eyes stay in the picture, but his attitude is completely different in both projects—his eyes just distract you from the subtly brilliant acting he’s doing. In Prada he’s the sensitive boyfriend you could never imagine leaving. In Entourage, he’s the dick movie star who uses women like disposable plastic bags, but when he’s with them, he treats them like gold. He oozes naivete, whereas in Prada, he’s the only one who really knows what’s going on. Vincent Chase a brilliant role, and he plays it perfectly. I’m oddly curious to find out what happens next to him.
Kevin Connolly and Jerry Ferrera are both terrific as E and Turtle, respectively. They seem like true friends of Vincent’s, and that’s a difficult chemistry to pull off on the infant season of a show. Connolly acts big, partially because he’s a short guy and he has to, but he does it with a non-prickish confidence. And Ferrera is basically acting like himself, but again, it’s genuine. He is the bitch of the foursome, and he doesn’t seem to mind it one bit.
The real masterminds, however, are Kevin Dillon and Jeremy Piven. I know that, like, everyone in the world is aware of how awesome these two are on this show, but I want to add to that dialogue, however redundant it may be. SHIT. Jeremy Piven is a brilliant actor. He is such an asshole in this show, such a believable asshole agent, that I want to create my own awards show and announce him as the winner. He walks with such a characterized air, an air that only Ari Gold (and not Piven himsef) could carry, and his facial expressions are so controlled and perfect, it’s a wonder he’s not given more roles like this. Wait, maybe he is. I don’t know. I just know that I want to see more of him. And SHIT. Matt Dillon better step aside, because his little bro is way funnier. And cuter. And could possibly play Gob’s long-lost twin in the upcoming Arrested Development movie. I digress. Johnny Drama is the most hilarious part of the whole damn show, and without him, it wouldn’t be a comedy. Enough said. This man has the accent, the demeanor, the hotheadedness, of a frustrated actor. It’s so impressive.
And the guest stars! My god. It’s so cool to see how involved Hollywood got in this project — it was like television had finally hit home for them, and they were just paying their dues to a project they actually respected. The show definitely gives you a Hollywood education — you learn how it works, how much weed they smoke, what managers actually do, what people actually say and who actually screws who on a regular basis. I’m so into watching this show — but duty calls. Gotta run the gamut for the ol’ 9 to 5.