Win an Emmy, get fired. All in the same night.
Congrats to Jeremy Piven, whose scenery-chewing, foul-mouthed, money hungry role as Ari Gold on Entourage earned him an Emmy. He deserves it, cause let's face it, no one is more fun to watch than Piven as Ari. Whether he's screwing someone over or getting screwed, his manic antics are always fun. Plus, Piven gets props for using "fluffer" in his acceptance speech. I won't comment on the cravat.
Then, for the season finale of Entourage, Vince decided things with Ari just aren't working. Ari had a feeling, and he kicked into overdrive to try to salvage the Ramones movie for Vince. But just as it looked like he'd pulled off another coup, in the 11th hour he managed to snatch a heartbreaking defeat from the jaws of victory, thanks to Bob being fed up with Hollywood.
Here's what I love about the show. It puts all the backbiting, ego-driven, money-obsessed, consumerist bullshit of Hollywood right up front. And it puts Vince, the boys, and Ari smack in the middle of it. What's so great about Vince is that he's not above it, but he's also not defined by it. Somehow, he's still managed to remain decent, PS 154, having the time of his life Vince -- with his friends by his side, to both reap the benefits, and slap him down if he needs it. And he's gotten royally screwed for his decency and principles this season.
And then there's the counterpoint of Ari. He's a lying, egomaniacal snake and bully who'll stop at nothing to succeed. But he fucks his own wife and he never fucks over Vince. And that's enough, more than enough, to make us love him.
But now his motor mouth and underhanded tactics have screwed over Vince.
I have to say that Eric dropped the ball a bit in this episode, considering it was just last season that Eric was on the outs with Vince and Ari took the time to talk him down and advise him that he needed to be loyal, that Vinny would need him as a friend. But now with the tables turned, Eric forgets that kind turn and is ready to throw Ari overboard, with only Johnny Drama singing Ari's praises. It's only Drama on Ari's side, because let's face it, Turtle's got his Fukijamas and he doesn't really care. He's the driver for the this circus and he knows when to back off and let others do the thinking.
It was a good finale, if a bit sad. Sad to see the team broken up. Sad to see Ari giving that pathetic pitch to Vince. Sad to see Vince being a hardass about it all and turning his back to Ari. But mostly, sad because the season is over. It wasn't the funniest or best ep this season, but it was a good enough cap, and makes me look forward to next year.
And I did get a good laugh out of Ari's dead-on, nasally impersonation of Eric. Plus Rex Lee as Lloyd got a few more minutes to shine as he rounded up the gay assistants network to try and thwart Vince's pursuit of a new agent.
Piven's got the gold, but he owes a lot of that to Doug Ellin, Rob Weiss, and Lisa Alden, the writers who give him the snappy, snarky lines in the first place. They didn't get their Emmy, but if they play it smart and submit any of the past four episodes (particularly the Vegas one for Ellin's writing and Julian Farino's directing), they could hit big next year in those categories. Or, if the big guns on the show (Ellin and Farino) can step back and let go of ego, they might submit the penultimate episode of this season, "What About Bob?", written by Brian Burns and directed by Ken Whittingham, for consideration. Cause it was the funniest.
I don't expect Adrian Grenier to get any award recognition, but he was great this year. I'm not just saying that because of his impossibly blue eyes, either. I told you before, it pisses me off how good looking he is. But his affable, easy charm onscreen does position him as a Clooney for the twenty-somethings. Maybe we can see a little darkhorse Emmy consideration next year for Kevin Dillon's Johnny Drama. He had enough flash, and enough humiliation, to really pop off the screen.
Anyhow. Awards or not, this was a good season. Very well done, boys.