Monday, July 25, 2011

‘Entourage,’ Season 8, Episode 1, ‘Home Sweet Home’: TV Recap

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“Entourage” began its eighth and final season with a bang Sunday night. Creator/writer Doug Ellin has established a web of compelling new story lines.
Vince is getting out of rehab for his substance-abuse addiction. Johnny Drama is freaking out and sweeping the house of all traces of drugs, even Advil, and steering Vince (Adrian Grenier) clear of Tic-Tacs. Drama wants to throw Vince a sober-only party to welcome him home. “Do you know any sober people?” he asks the guys.
Ari is freaked because Vince wants to direct his own feel-good movie, which Ari belittles as a Lifetime cable knockoff. Drama warns the guys not to disillusion Vince even though, clearly, nobody is pleased at the prospect.
As ever, Ari is still dumping on Eric, Drama and Turtle. When Vince, who is easing back to civilization, asks the guys what’s new, Ari cuts him off by muttering that nothing is new with them. In the best line of the episode, Ari (Jeremy Piven) snarls: “They’ve been frozen like Ted Williams!”
Ari is desperate to reconcile with his beloved Mrs. Ari, following their traumatic split at the end of last season. But she stuns him when she says: “I’ve been seeing someone.” He storms out of her house.
Meanwhile, Sloan hates Eric (Kevin Connolly) and their wedding plans are in tatters. She even returns his $30,000 engagement ring — through the U.S. mail, no less.
At least, Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) is wearing his beloved New York Yankees cap, so all is right in the world.
E gets no relief anywhere. He is perturbed that Vince called all the guys, but not him, to pick him up when he gets out of rehab. Eric and his business partner Scott at the agency have picked up right where they left off last year. Scott is irritating Eric by trying to win over Vince, E’s best friend and his meal ticket.
The high points center on Johnny Drama, whether he is chewing out the guys or a thoroughly sober Billy Walsh. Drama is insecure that his new co-star on the animated television show “Johnny Bananas” is upstaging him. Kevin Dillon, who plays Drama, can do more with a grimace than most TV actors can do with a page full of dialogue.
“I want to get back to where I was,” Vince says. As they move forward to episode No. 2, Vince is determined to make his movie. Uh-oh.


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