Dear Readers,

I now consider this blog to be my Juvenelia. Have fun perusing the archives, and find me at my new haunt, here.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Six Degrees of Separation--The Sopranos and Entourage

I have so much to say about last night's HBO line-up, including how I can never sleep on Sunday nights because every time I turn over images of Tony and Carmela burn into my head, but I will start by commenting on how many recognizable and ironic guest stars I saw last night.

  • The obvious: (Daniel Baldwin--whom I saw going into a Gap store last month--playing a Tony-like boss in Chris' gangster/slasher flick and
  • Sidney Pollack as a murder-cum-doctor)
  • Christopher's AA Sponsor, played by none other than Shooter McGavin from Happy Gillmore! Talk about dramatic range.
  • On Entourage, Vince's new "girlfriend" is the sexually abused starlet/model who turned out to be a she-male on House.
  • And Turtle's canine-loving love-interest was Joey Potter's spoiled nympho roomie on Dawson's Creek.
  • The rather stereotypical and unoriginal gay TV writer was played by the guy from Mad TV--you know, the one who plays TONY SOPRANO in the best parody ever.
  • ...And we've come full circle.

But speaking of all these blonde women on Entourage, when are the writers going to understand that by trying to make the boys' equivalent of Sex and the City, they're losing sight of everything that made the former show good? Now don't get me wrong; I have plenty of quibbles with SATC--well, actually just one big one, and her name begins with a C and ends with an "ie"--but one can't argue that the show didn't favor its characters' personal growth. While Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda may have begun as somewhat caricaturish, they became real-er and realer as the series went on. Not just through relationships, but through their jobs, their friendships, and their health. Each episode ended in fact, with some sort of internalized lesson. And despite its ample attention to its heroine's libidos, SATC did not objectify men. Steve, Aidan, Harry, even Trey and Berger were real people with souls and personalities beyond the bedroom.

I have yet to see one single fleshed-out woman character on Entourage. All we have are the ball-busters (Amanda and Ari's wife) and the blonde gigglers (everyone Vince screws, everyone Turtle and Drama ogle). And then there's Sloane, or Sloan, or whoever, who has as much personality as a low-fat, sugar-free ice cream pop.

Come on, Wahlberg et. al. Giving Johhny Drama part in a TV show should signify some sort of change in his personality or attitude, but he's still moping about chasing skirt and wishing he were as famous as his brother. Turtle's still smoking weed. E is still the most annoying character to ever grace my TV screen. Vince is still a superficial cad whose creators are scared to give him any real faults. Yawn, yawn, yawn.

Furthermore, a lot of the shallow crap SATC got away with squeezed by as acceptable because of its whole table-turning dynamic. It was novel to have women sitting around talking about the relative sexual prowess of men. But having episode after episode of young pothead guys whining about threesomes and being blue-balled is a lot less okay. Hey, I'm all about getting the characters' real perspective, but surely the male fans of Entourage would identify with horny dudes who experience some sort of emotional range beyond "girl hot, must have." The Sopranos guys are misogynists, after all, but they're misogynists with guilt, and feelings, and regret, and passions, and women in their lives for whom they actually care. And that's okay with me because it's what fiction should be--an exploration of real human traits.

That's my 2 cents, y'alls. But as a coda, can we just reminisce for a second about how Miranda and Steve are like, the best TV couple, ever? Just thinking about them makes me all mushy inside. Sigh.


  1. Anonymous7:02 PM

    I love Miranda and Steve!

  2. jumpin' shark8:46 PM

    yo TRU...actually, it would be nice to see miranda come to LA and kick those macho toddlers' asses. cancel entourage now, before it gets any more painful!