Tuned In

TV Weekend: Entourage, Offtourage

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HBO photo: Michael Muller

Also debuting on HBO Sunday: the fifth season of Entourage. The last season was a big misstep, diddling about while Vince’s movie Medellin was in post-production and wasting time on dumb plots about she-males and rimjobs. (Um, is that an inappropriate reference? If you actually know what it means, you’re probably not likely to be offended, right? If any teachers are using Tuned In as a classroom aid and want me to take it down, let me know. I promise not to identify you to your principals.)

With the convention and post-vacation catch-up on my plate, I’ve only watched two episodes of the four HBO sent out. Is the new season better? Not exactly, not much, not yet. But you can see how it could get good again. Whereas season 4 was rudderless, the new season has a propelling storyline: Medellin has bombed, Vince’s career is in the tank and he needs (and for once in his life wants) to work to come back. And because Vince is trying to get the eye of the tiger—and is reconciled with agent Ari—the show doesn’t need to flail for excuses to shoehorn Jeremy Piven onto the screen.

Most important, the second episode finally confronts a basic question that the show has always inexplicably ignored: Is Vince actually a good actor or not?

Alan Sepinwall, who did watch all four episodes (brownnoser!) says they’re an improvement. I’ll check back Monday and see what you thought.