“The All Out Fall Out”
September 21st, 2008
From those who had seen screeners of the start of Entourage’s fifth season, it was this episode that in Alan Sepinwall’s words, that “gave [them] some faint hope that “Entourage” might be at least decent again.” A blisteringly paced half hour, it gave us two interesting, funny, and well-balanced storylines that interweaved in numerous recurring characters along with introducing yet more tension into our already complicated situation.
What it represents first and foremost, though, is that Entourage is a show still capable of being complicated without being bogged down by it – seeing as Eric loses sight of the script he’s selling for his new clients, or as Vince plummets further into bankruptcy, doesn’t feel tonally inconsistent with the sheer absurdity of Ari Gold’s feud with Adam Davies which involves human feces and male strippers. The show is at its worst when either of these two elements overpowers the other, but through some shrewd guest casting and some smart touches, “The All Out Fall Out” is, indeed, a harbinger of hope for Entourage.
September 9th, 2008
For those who read the blog on a regular basis, it seems like the early part of this week is more or less all teen soap operas, all the time – and that’s without me having much to say about the second season of Greek, which I do plan on commenting on at some point in the future (perhaps tonight’s episode, yet unwatched, will do the trick). However, for now, I want to comment on The CW’s newest entry into the field, their choice for a lead-out from 90210. Coming from Rita Mimoun (late of Gilmore Girls, Pushing Daisies and Everwood), this is a series that is definitely not a much buzzed about debut, not does it carry with it any of the same concerns over sexual content.
Instead, it is something very different: a show that, unlike 90210, is taking time to establish its own identity as opposed to simply throwing fascimiles of genre archetypes into a pot and hoping things work themselves out. There are points where Privileged becomes a bit too precocious for its own good, but Mimoun’s time on former WB/CW dramedies has served her well: for every small moment of dialogue that’s a bit too quippy, there is a moment of well-placed exuberance, or heartfelt honesty, that ground the show in something quite compelling. The scenarios here are not “Remember that summer when we met?” but rather complex family conflicts, romantic tension-filled friendships, and just the right amount of characters for us to follow in the early going.
I’m not saying that the show is perfect, but after watching 90210 kind of just flop around earlier in the evening it’s kind of nice to see a show that, for its pilot, completely understands what it wants to be, how it plans on getting there, and what it was about The O.C., Everwood or Gilmore Girls that not only kept people watching, but that sucked people in to people, places, ideas.