TV Recap

The Fall of Saigon

On ''Entourage,'' would-be rap impresario Turtle loses his one client to a bigger player; plus, Eric meets a legendary producer

Jerry Ferrara, Entourage | SHELL GAME Turtle's written contract with Saigon was trumped by a handshake and a shakedown
Image credit: Jerry Ferrara: Claudette Barius
SHELL GAME Turtle's written contract with Saigon was trumped by a handshake and a shakedown

''Entourage'': Turtle gets outmuscled

I had a feeling that Turtle was gonna get screwed. And honestly, it's a good thing that he did. If Turtle actually landed Saigon a major label deal, it would definitely upset the fragile emotional balance within the Entourage crew. Turtle is a natural mooch, excellent driver, and convincing second banana. But as a money-making manager? Nahhh. And thanks to Saigon's unexpected defection, Turtle will have to get back on the Vincent Chase gravy train.

When our freshly dipped Turtle stepped into the office of record exec Sammy Kane — nebbishy character actor David Paymer doing his best Jerry Heller — he was expecting the best day of his life. After Saigon didn't show, it took some Columbo-style sleuthing by Johnny Drama to flush him out. The ensuing confrontation at the Hollywood Standard — one of two prominent hotel cameos this week — was a typically Entourage-ian nudge-nudge inside joke. Just replace Saigon's ''old'' manager Bunky (Hassan Johnson, in the second appearance by a cast member of The Wire this season) with the famous barrel-size music-biz intimidator Suge Knight. Then replace Johnny Drama with Vanilla Ice, and you've got a knowing re-creation of an alleged (then recanted) 1990 incident in which a certain intimidating executive dangled a particular white rapper over a hotel balcony while demanding that the rapper hand over half the publishing for his biggest hit. In the end, Turtle capitulated, but he still got $40,000, which should keep him stocked in New Era caps and fresh-out-of-the-box Nikes for a few months.

Movie buffs who missed the Suge Knight-Vanilla Ice reference could spend the episode enjoying the welcome appearance of Martin Landau as Bob Ryan, a distinguished if dejected old-school Hollywood producer who shows up at the blindingly white, hyper-modern Miller-Gold agency begging for a meeting. I'm no Peter Bart, but even I could tell that Landau's washed-up, name-dropping, past-his-prime producer with a Versailles-style estate in the hills was a riff on Robert ''The Kid Stays in the Picture'' Evans. After being tricked into an endless lunch with the reminiscing, fading player at his mansion, filled with Roman Polanski's Picasso and naughty home movies of Candy Bergen, Eric actually finds a good idea. That would be a Ramones biopic called I Wanna Be Sedated, which, come to think of it, actually is a good idea. First Aquaman, now this? In the real world, the flick would be Oscar bait. Maybe Doug Ellin should quit Entourage and start pitching movies full-time.

On the other hand, after Queens Boulevard, should Vince really be signing on for another outer-borough-themed movie? If this trend continues, soon enough Vinnie Chase will be playing that other Queens icon, Mr. Met.

Some questions for next time: Is Vince really falling for his Book Soup pickup Nicole? I have a bad feeling that she's gonna pull a runaway bride and become his first celebrity stalker. Will the Ramones movie actually get made? And is Ari more interested in decorating than being an agent?

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Originally posted Aug 14, 2006
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