TV Recap

The Cashing Couch

On ''Entourage,'' Vince and E learn that the financing for their movie comes with conditions; plus, Drama fights for a movie role, and Turtle takes it slow with his new girl

Adrian Grenier | SIXTY MILLION DOLLAR MAN Vince may have to work for that big check
SIXTY MILLION DOLLAR MAN Vince may have to work for that big check

''Entourage'': Play for pay

This week was all about Hollywood myths. Girls in Hollywood can't be sexy and sweet. Big-time directors in Hollywood are forever surrounded by beautiful women. Every lady in Hollywood — married or not — wants to bed a movie star. Some are more true than others, but who cares, since Entourage is back in fine form spinning the tales of excess that surround our motley quartet of boys.

The opening scene began with a sad shot letting us know the boys' hillside mansion had sold. The housing market in the United States may be cooling, but it apparently took only a few days to unload a multimillion-dollar estate. (My plea for a cameo: Posh and Beck move in! Posh's reality show this summer appears to be a train wreck, but let's be honest: Who doesn't sneak a peek at a train wreck while driving by?)

Things started off looking rosy for Johnny Drama. Lloyd called while Drama was exercising (didn't gravity boots go out of style in the 1970s?) with an offer from director Brett Ratner for a juicy role in Rush Hour 3. But Johnny only wanted the part if it was substantial. ''Johnny Drama don't shine shoes no more'' was his quaint way of pointing out that he was now a big TV star. Ah, but pride goeth before a fall, as Drama quickly learned when he arrived at Ratner's palatial estate during a photo shoot filled with stunning models. (From reading the tabloids, I get the feeling Ratner's house is actually like that all the time, but I was impressed that the director was a good enough sport to mock his image and didn't mind coming off like a bit of an ass.) Yep, Brett's hapless assistant Scott had misread the credits on Five Towns, and Ratner had meant to offer the role to the 17-year-old actor playing Drama's little brother on the show. How awkward. But not as awkward as Drama's refusal to leave the premises without a part, since he had already told everyone at work his good news. (''Are you retarded or something?'' asked Ratner when Drama started squatting.) When Lloyd reminded him that it was good karma to be happy for his costar, Drama whined, ''I don't need karma. I need to be in Rush Hour 3.''

Drama's buffoonish bravado paid off. He impressed Ratner with what in L.A. is called chutzpah (Webster's definition: ''supreme self-confidence; nerve; gall''), and he got a role as a bus driver. Of course, Drama not only agreed to pay for his own passage to Paris to film but didn't even care if his scenes never made it out of the editing room. ''As long as I'm listed on IMDB,'' he said, ''we are all good.'' Yes, in this age of high technology, making it into the Internet Movie Database is a better résumé builder than actually appearing in a film. Still, Drama proved he's a true Hollywood player by working the classic Tom Sawyer move of ''I'm doing you a favor.'' He convinced his young Five Towns costar that he'd worked hard to get him a role in Rush Hour 3. And how could the newbie repay him? Why, ponying up the dough for the trip to Europe. Well, done Johnny Drama. Play smart — not hard.

Turtle also made some Hollywood moves, but of the romantic kind. His one-on-one time with Kelly was scuttled when her parents and two young brothers returned home early from an excursion to the aquarium with the best reason: Kelly's brothers had thrown a snow cone at a sea otter. Totally realistic! I was once booted from Disneyland because a friend gave a noogie to either Chip or Dale. I still can't tell them apart. Moral: Leave animals, real or dressed in costumes, alone while at amusement parks, kids. But Ice Cube came to the rescue in the form of one of his movies. (Was it Friday? Are We There Yet? I couldn't tell.) It put Daddy right to sleep, and Kelly and Turtle escaped for an hour to grab some grub. The pair had some nice bonding moments — Turtle removed his hat for Kelly, she planted a kiss on him for letting her drive home — and they began the type of negotiations every couple has at the start of a relationship: Turtle wants her to assure him that Rufus won't try to kill him, and she wants to know his real name before they go all the way. As Kelly rightly put it, ''Do you think I'd have sex with someone saying, 'Oh, Turtle!'?'' Sounds like a fair trade to me. Do we like seeing the softer side of Turtle? Or is he better just trying to scam and be a player?

And in the never-ending saga that is Medellín, Ari took Vince and E to meet a Middle Eastern money man to try and raise $60 million for the budget. While Ari wasn't sure how the M.E.M.M. created his fortune, what was immediately clear was that his wife had the hots for Vince. But the woman ran hot and cold depending on whom she was dealing with. Vince felt the fire, and E felt the ice. Tact was not her strong suit; upon meeting E, Mrs. M.E.M.M. told him, ''You have very tiny hands.''

But she did know what she wanted, inviting Vince to a ''creative meeting'' at a hotel bar. Yes, the casting couch does still exist, but at least according to Entourage, it's not gender biased anymore. The meeting went poorly since Vince, worried he might succumb to temptation, dragged E along ''just to make sure everything stays appropriate.'' (''You know I have a thing for Eastern Bloc women,'' he said.) Mrs. M.E.M.M. was infuriated and insulted that Vince believed she wanted sex — even though she did! But that made it even ruder for Vince to bring a chaperone, didn't it? She stormed out, smacking E in the face with her purse. My personal favorite moment of the night. Hey, Vince, is there anyone you don't have a thing for? Tenth-grade Spanish teachers, Mandy Moore, your agent? Vince you are Manho.

And tonight Vince may have made it official by taking cash for sex. There's no such thing as a free lunch — or dinner in this case. As dessert, the M.E.M.M. presented Vince with a check and also informed the superstar that whatever his wife wants, she gets. And she still wanted Vince. So Vince had a choice. Make monkey love to another man's wife or lose the funding for his dream project.

What do you think? Did he do it? (Admittedly, the previews for next week kind of gave away the answer to this one.) Was the portrayal by Assaf Cohen and Branka Katic of Mr. and Mrs. M.E.M.M. too over-the-top or a sly spoof? Where are the boys going to live now? And where is Sloane? I miss her more now that Amanda is gone. Bring back the smart and sexy women of Entourage!

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Originally posted May 18, 2007