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So things aren’t all bad for Vince and the boys on Entourage. In surprising revearsal of fortune, Turtle’s rapper Saigon is starting to blow up, and in this episode Drama is on his way to audition for an Ed Burns created pilot. Ari is on his way to becoming the biggest agency in town, finally settling his feud with old boss Terrence, for a cool $11 million bucks. And Eric? Sure he may have fallen in love with his girlfriend’s best friend during a threesome, but well, read that sentece over again and you’ll see that he just had a threesome. Hard to feel bad for the little hobbit, you know? Meanwhile, Vince is becoming a Hollywood leper of sorts. After getting fired from Aquaman 2 and losing his dream role in Medellion to Benicio Del Toro, he’s on a slowly declining slope. But can someone so pretty , really REALLY be kept down for so long? Probably not. So as this episode starts things may be turning up. What is in story for Vince’s career? For Drama’s has-been-ness? For the Ari Gold Super Duper Talent Agency? Let’s find out.The guys are on the road heading to a surprise meeting at the Ari Gold Super Duper Talent Agency. Drama is reading lines for the audition he has for the new Ed Burns pilot. Drama is feeling pretty good about the whole thing, because he and Burns go way back. It should be no problem at all to get the part. After all, he’s playing “the older Irish brother” a role he’s been living all his life. This being an Ed Burns pilot, Drama shouldn’t have to worry much further than that: He already incessantly talks without saying much, so Burns’ scripts should read like an inner monologue to him.
Lloyd is having an Asian panic attack (you know, calming himself by doing quadratic equations), because the phones haven’t stopped ringing all morning. He’s been fielding questions about the new Ari Gold Super Duper Talent Agency left and right. Ari tells him to lie, no matter what anyone says to him. Just deny, deny, deny. Ari doesn’t want to cat out of the bag, just yet.
The guys unload to go up to meet with Ari, but Drama needs to stay behind to keep running his lines. Turtle is upset because he doesn’t want to fly solo as Ari makes him wait outside the office alone. Drama apologizes, but he has to be focused, dedicated; a laser. Turtle corrects Drama – he’s not a laser, he’s a retard. This seems like a grave insult to the mentally challenged, considering Johnny “Drama” Chase one of their own, but I suppose that is HBO’s cross to bear, not mine.
There’s a big surprise for Vince. No, he hasn’t been fired again, his little indie that could, Queens Blvd. is no longer going the art house route. The studio wants to capitalize on Vince’s Aquaman fame and push the film into 1,200 theaters. Apparently, it’s testing incredibly well, and this afternoon, there is a meeting for Vince with the Hollywood Foreign Press. Get on their good side and they’ll give you a Golden Globe. Just like Sharon Stone. And Madonna. And Brad Pitt. So obviously, the award is extremely prestigious and reputable. Ari just needs Vince to smile and cooperate – the general public needs to forget that Vince was just fired from one of the biggest franchises in movie history. He’s like the Lisa Bonet of Hollywood. Oh, Denise Huxtable, how we missed you.
Back at the short bus, Drama is practicing his imaginary conversation with Ed Burns. He’s practicing so intensely, as a matter of fact, that he doesn’t even notice the cop is ticketing his car. Drama is outraged: How could he get a ticket while he was in the car? Am I reading too deeply into this or is Drama so irrelevant to society that the cop didn’t even notice him? I like symbolism – sue me. When the boys return Drama is going on and on about the principle, not the money, of getting the ticket. What are they in Communist Russia? Eric humorously points out that Communist Russia no longer exists, but all I can wonder is if it was Matt Dillon or C. Thomas Howell who starred in the Cold War era classic, Red Dawn. A quick IMDB trip later I find out its C. Thomas Howell. Great movie.
When they get back to the mansion, Drama realizes the most important thing he can do right now is make the life of the ticketing meter maid a living hell. Luckily, Vince talks him off the ledge, reminding him that he is, in fact, a laser. Drama calms down, grabs Turtle and heads off for some soothing coffee before his big audition.
Eric and Vince call Queens Blvd. director Billy Walsh to celebrate the expanded opening of the film. Of course the too-artsy-for-his-own-damn-good Billy Walsh is trying to get an injunction to stop the studio from releasing this new, unauthorized cut of his film. Billy Walsh gets the best line of the episode: “They can’t Aquamanify my movie.”
All this lying has given Lloyd a huge zit on his forehead and he is not pleased. Ari has a call from uber-agent Barbara Miller (you might remember her from last year, when she played Mandy Moore’s agent – but you’ll most definitely remember her as Mrs. Clark Griswald): She needs to meet with him ASAP. There is a lot of talk going on in town and factions are mobilizing against him. Isn’t it amazing how closely the war on terror mirrors the war on Ari Gold? Lloyd reenters Ari’s office, not speaking to him (as per Ari’s dickhead request), and passes him a post-it note. One of Ari’s former agents at Terrence’s Satanic Talent Agency has just been fired – Terrence is making everyone sign non-disclosure forms and sacrifice their first born children in order to stay with his agency. Rob, or as I most fondly remember him, Avi (“Love, she is a mother fucker, eh?”), has been fired for non-compliance. Things are bad, worse than Ari has anticipated, so he agrees to lunch with the venom-licious Babs.
We finally find out the true nature of Drama’s past with Ed Burns. At first I assume it’s going to have something to do with a party at Corey Feldman’s house, tequilla, a midget and a pet Golden Retriever, but it just seems that Drama passed up on Brother’s McMullen to do a three episode arc on 90210 as Tori Spelling’s sexual harasser. I don’t know, most people would call Drama stupid, but I say congratulations. Sure, Brothers McMullen propelled Ed Burns to fame and fortune, but it’s also the concrete foundation of the worst career in Hollywood, and who would want to be a part of that? I mean, okay, fine, let’s not consider Brothers McMullen a cheap 90′s rip-off of any far superior Woody Allen film. Let’s say that it’s even a passably good film. And She’s the One? Okay. Fine. Slightly better than mediocre. But those two films are a decade old at this point. Why is Ed Burns still someone who can make or break Drama’s career, and not say, someone he is in competition with for has-been of the decade? And with that Umnata’s rant of the week comes to a conclusion.
Vince and Eric get to Walsh’s house not knowing what to expect from him. He’s house sitting and wants to show them the new studio cut of Queens Blvd. We don’t get to see much of it, except the Technicolor ending (the original was shot in black & white). Vince and Eric are equally dismayed about the new cut of the film. Billy wants them to sign his injunction and join him in the fight against the man. It’s just like Empire Records, except without Liv Tyler to make it appealing. Eric trying to be the voice of reason suggests that they call Ari and ask him what to do. Finally, looking for the advice of someone who KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. Eric is realizing what Vince doesn’t seem to care about: They can’t afford to piss off another studio.
Ari meets Babs at the lunch, where he is immediately ambushed (“I always knew you liked Dick, Babs. Didn’t know you were a cocksucker”). The heads of each of the talent agency families have joined together to tell Ari that he’s getting a complete talent embargo from them. Ari assures them, after making some hysterically outlandish accusations of anti-Semitism against Terrence, that he’s not interested in any of their agents or clients. He only wants Terrence’s. Terrence inquires how he plans on getting this great new agency off the ground? Certainly not with his money. Terrence has yet to sign any papers to seal the agreement they had made to part ways amicably. Terrence will gladly spend another $50 million dollars making sure that Ari doesn’t get a dime from him.
At the coffeehouse, on his way to his audition, Drama is causing quite a stir. No, he’s not the most famous celebling in the joint (I’m pretty sure Frank Stallone is working behind the counter), but he’s in a rage. When Drama hands over his buy 9 get 10th coffee free card to the cashier, he is informed that they no longer accept this as a currency. This pretty much sends Drama in a caffeine-deprived frenzy. He ends up cockblocking Turtle who has to leave the girl he was talking to outside to go in and calm Drama down. Drama has completely pulled a Falling Down on the coffee shop and Turtle basically has to drag him out, reminding him of the huge audition he has to go to. Of course, when Turtle and Drama get back outside their car has been towed. This leads to some problems of getting Drama to his audition on time. He and Turtle jump into a cab and get to the audition late. When Drama gets up there the place is empty. He’s missed his big chance.
Vince and Eric have taken this to the studio, having not been able to get Ari on the phone for advice. The new cut of the film is testing through the roof, according to Doc Hollywood‘s girlfriend. 82% Great ratings at the screenings. Vince and Eric argue some nonsense about Queens Blvd. being an art film – it’s only good if everybody hates it. We get a nice sense of what it must be like to be in one of these meetings, discussing approval ratings and director’s cuts. It’s depressing and suddenly I feel bad for making fun of Ed Burns. Then I remember that he was married to Christy Turlington and that feeling of guilr subsides.
Ari has called a meeting of the Gold Standard (I guess it’s better than Ari Gold Super Duper Talent Agency, but whatever), having all of his agents meet with him. He tells them that the Gold Standard Talent Agency starts today – with just one small hiccup: No one will get paid for about six months. He channels his best Jerry Maguire and asks who is with him. Of course, Rob is with him, but that doesn’t count because he’s already been fired. The rest of the agents in the room, have to leave their cushy jobs to join him, and for no pay? Doesn’t look good. In slithers Babs, who wants to chat with Ari. She wants to be partners – he doesn’t have enough money, she has too much – and she believes in him. They start debating shares down to 51%/49% in favor of Ari with her name goes on top. Welcome to Miller Gold!
Drama has started licking his wounds in the car ride home. Turtle is telling him that he needs to get his temper under control. Drama knows he’s right, maybe he’ll even go to the court mandated anger management class. Just then he gets a call from Ed Burns, apologizing for having to bail on him. Drama wasn’t late for the audition; the audition was cancelled, unbeknownst to Drama. So Burns just wanted to call and offer Drama the part. He only wanted to meet with him to be able to do it in person. Drama passing on Brothers McMullen all those years ago, was the best thing that ever happened to Ed (and the worst thing to happen to us), because he had to put himself in the role and became the star we all know and barely remember. Thanks a lot, Drama.
Everyone converges at the Hollywood Foreign Press Conference for Queens Blvd. Much to my surprise Vince’s publicist, Shauna is there. I can’t tell if she is still pregnant or not, but why do I expect that to be explained to us when they never even mentioned the fact that she was 8 months pregnant for the first half of the season. It’s now time for the big reveal. Vince goes up to start fielding questions and calls Queens Blvd. a masterpiece. A masterpiece that will never be seen…
Oh Vince, there you go: Two Studios down, five to go. At this rate John Lasseter won’t even let him voice the new and improved version of Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story 3. Usually this is where I would deride Vince for his lack of Hollywood savvy, and I still do. But I’m starting to feel kind of shallow and vacuous for willing Vince to have less morals and more business sense. What do you think? Should Vince have just sucked it up and played ball with the studio on this one? Or was he right for sticking with his artistic integrity?