Entourage returned in style Sunday night (for its season 3.5 premiere) and there were once again plenty of great quotes, hidden (and not so hidden) cultural references, and a slew of fine hip-hop to boot.
First of all, the whole not-so-subtle metaphor of Ari as an ex-girlfriend was taken to such extremes, it was hard not to get caught up in each awkward moment between him and Vince. You just know they'll end up back together, but for now, seeing Jeremy Piven play Ari as a manic, rejected lover is going to be fun (while it lasts).
New agent Amanda (played by the delicious Carla Gugino) is feeding Vince 'nice' scripts, and they're zeroing in on an adaptation of Edith Wharton's The Glimpses of a Moon -- which is, appropriately enough, about a poor couple living the high life mooching off their wealthy friends. When Amanda gives Ari the line of the night ("Want me to walk you to your car? This town's not safe for a bitch.") you can already see into the future that the tables are going to be turned soon enough. I just hope it's done without a mysogynistic streak that the show sometimes falls trap to.
Did the billboard for Drama's new TV series (The Five Towns) look at all familiar? Probably not, since no one but me seemed to have been watching NBC's The Black Donnellys anyway, but the Irish brothers drama is an obvious reference to the series from Paul Haggis, who, by no coincidence, is directing Vince's dream project, Medellin (Haggis appeared on Entourage, episode 305, "Crash and Burn").
Music-wise, since much of the story is about Vince's birthday party, the selection is party-centric. Great new hip-hop from Yung Joc and Twista is sprinkled between recent classics from Brand Nubian, Outkast, and N.E.R.D. The sounds of having fun ... we know that will have to change somewhat as the series goes on.
Playlist: Entourage - Episode 313
1. "Slow Down" - Brand Nubian - Vince and Eric walk into Amanda's office
2. "Hear Me Coming" - Yung Joc - Amanda and the Boys enjoy the Lakers game
3. "Back Door Man" - Black Oak Arkansas - Guys head to Vince's party in the limo, pass Drama's billboard
4. "B.O.B." - Outkast - The gang arrives at Vince's birthday party
5. "Give It Up" - Twista (w/ Pharrell) - Amanda and the boys talk at the party
6. "Lapdance" - N.E.R.D. - Vince tells Amanda he wants to wait for Medellin