Ruminations, etc..

Musings, rantings, and pie.

Posts Tagged ‘HBO

Odds and Ends pt 1

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1. I don’t want to turn this blog into a site for my rants and random hectoring (too late), but texting while driving is one of the worst ideas in the long sad history of bad ideas.  Seriously, who does this?  I don’t care if you put your phone on the wheel and text with your thumbs, you still have to pay attention to what you’re writing.  It still distracts you from the road. You’re driving, Sunshine; things happen suddenly that requires your attention.  More so than typing “LOL at ur joke.”  Lord, what will humanity do without that little interaction.  And yes, I have used my cell phone while driving.  But that was when I was young and full of beans.  I no longer do it.  I’ve learned my lesson about distracted driving, and I did it without splattering a family of four. And yes, I know it is possible to multitask, but if you think texting while driving is a good idea, I’m concerned about your ability to task, let alone multitasking.

And to paraphrase Kurt Cobain, sorry to sound so cravenly PC about this, it’s just the way I feel.

2. This week I hope to get my vampires post done and a post examining the early 90’s counterculture through a Sonic Youth video.  Along with other bits of random detritus.   The vampires thing is taking longer than I expected.  It went from being a humorous piece to a serious look at a cultural phenomenon. However, doing a serious piece would require me sitting through the Twilight “Saga” and baby, life is too damn short.  So I’m going

I had no funny ideas using pictures this morning, so here's a picture of Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth

back to being snarky.

3. Lebron James is a serious egotist.  And Cleveland should complain to the league about tampering.  Something nefarious went down, and if Stern wants to protect the integrity of the NBA (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!), he should do something about it.

4. New York will win five games next year.

5. I might — might! — elucidate some of my thoughts on last night’s Entourage episode.  My complaints last week must have been addressed. This week’s plot line featured Vince getting a haircut and *gasp* him not asking permission first! Too bad TNT trademarked the slogan “We Know Drama” cause HBO’s coming back hard on the drama baby!

The Problems With Vince: Reviewing Entourage Season Seven, Episode 1

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I watched the season 7 premiere of Entourage last night.  Man, did that show turn into garbage.

There are several problems with this show, chief among them is that there’s no conflict.  No real conflict, anyway. The characters don’t really have any problems or obstacles to overcome, and as a result the show is boring. It’s the basic rule of storytelling, right?  The audience wants to see the main character overcome obstacles, and in the process of overcoming those obstacles, the audience gets to know the character and begins to like and care about the character.  So what was the big obstacle in last night’s episode?  Whether or not Vince would do a stunt.  Way to shoot for the stars guys.

Mark Wahlberg's response to my thoughtful criticism.

Last season stunk, but there were a some seasons — three, four and five — that were actually interesting and had some compelling storylines.   (Compelling for a 22 minute TV show based around Mark Wahlberg’s life, anyway).   In those seasons, the characters weren’t on top of the world. Ari Gold was trying to get his own agency started after getting pushed out of his old agency; Vince and E were trying to get Medellin film made; and when Medellin flopped, they needed to resuscitate Vince’s career. Those are good obstacles for these characters.   It created some interesting individual storylines and some interesting drama.  In short, it was good storytelling.

Season five actually had some potential. Vince’s career was in the toilet. He needed to learn some lessons about how to play the Hollywood game, and he needed to learn how to be an actor.  He had to grow as a person, which could create some interesting stories and themes.  At the same time, E was trying to grow into his own person as well, both personally and professionally.  I’ve often thought that this show was about E, and the wreckage of Vince’s career would give E an opportunity to, perhaps, become a player in Hollywood. And that could lead him to rescue Vince the same way Vince’s career got E out of the pizza parlor.

These guys can't believe how bad Entourage has gotten either...

Or maybe not.  Maybe Turtle did something big and helped Vince out.  It doesn’t matter.  Now, before I cross into the seedy world of Entourage fan fiction, the point is that there  was some potential to develop some challenging obstacles and to allow the characters to grow. And all that potential was destroyed with that stupid deus ex machina phone call from Martin Scorsese.

Look, no one is expecting this show to delve deep into the human experience and mediate on deep themes of life, love and friendship. This show doesn’t have to be “deep,” but I don’t think it’s too much to ask for decent stories.  And at this point, it seems like that’s beyond the creators of Entourage.

Written by B. Michael Krol

June 28, 2010 at 10:50 am