The Husband:

No matter what your thoughts are on most of Entourage‘s sixth season, and oh man do I know a lot of people who were threatening to give up on the show this year, I think it ended on a very clear, concise note of an overarching theme that just took too long to get started. No matter what the flaws, the constant deviation away from the life of central character Vinnie Chase and his movie star woes, one remarkably poor casting decision, it wrapped up nicely, and season six came to be about the pros and cons of being impulsive. Everybody except Vince — who pretty much had no arc thanks to him already having a job to go to at the end of the season, shooting Frank Darabont’s Ferrari biopic — completely redefined their lives over the course of what seemed like a very short season, and while it couldn’t get to the heights of some of Entourage‘s best arcs, a lackluster season of this show is still an effortlessly watchable endeavor.

This was the year that we really got into the lives of “the guys,” and for better or worse, I’m glad it was able to dive so deeply. Eric, failing to get his management company off of the ground, takes a job at a bigger firm run by George Segal, gets a sweet-ass receptionist played by Brokeback Mountain‘s Kate Mara (who will definitely present some major opposition to E’s happiness next season) and already establishes himself as a dominate force against douchey Scott Caan. But his love life has become lazy, and his multi-episode back-and-forth with Alexis Dziena didn’t seem to amount to anything other than obnoxious scenes that went nowhere. And yes, Dziena sucked the life out of any scene in which she appeared, even though I can’t remember having a problem with her acting in the past in work such as Invasion and Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. But she was terribly miscast here, and her presence was only validated when E finished off the season declaring his love for Emmanuelle Chriqui’s Sloan and finally getting engaged. It took a long time to get going, but I’m fine with E’s story overall. His impulsiveness threatened to destroy two of his relationships, but it ended up working in his favor.

Turtle, meanwhile, got the best arc of the season, or at least the most sincere, in exploring his relationship with Jamie-Lynn Sigler after their canoodling last season. For the first time in a while, their relationship seemed to be built with a major dose of reality, and their problems — her jealousy, his wandering eye while studying business at UCLA, the long-distance dating problem that is part of the world of a wanted film and television actor — didn’t feel like the frat raunch fest mode that this show has a tendency to slip into. And upon their final break-up, Turtle’s impulsive decision to hop aboard a plane headed for New Zealand turned into humiliation, and here’s hoping that between this and his education, he can mature further into adulthood.

Drama’s story was the one I dreaded the most this season, because honestly I tend to roll my eyes at nearly everything he does nowadays. I’ve been sick of his shitty decision-making for seasons now, and his comic relief persona hasn’t rubbed me the right way the entire time. It’s one thing for the world to work against you, but it’s another to be the sole cause of all of your problems, whether you were an asshole in the past or an asshole in the present. His impulsive decision, based entirely around the word of somebody who could have easily fucked up his career just for kicks, to drop out of Five Towns (after his physical confrontation with that douche from Eli Stone, of course) only to see his Melrose Place audition nearly cause him a heart attack (no thanks to you, Dean Cain), was going to be the latest straw of self-destructive behavior. But for the most part, this show doesn’t like to keep its characters in hell, and while Drama suffered so much this season that he nearly quit acting, his MP audition got “the network” interested in creating a star vehicle just for him. The soul-searching came too late to really save the arc, but it’s appreciated nonetheless.

And, of course, we have the saga of Ari versus Lloyd, whose pairing finally implodes when Ari so terribly tortures his assistant that Lloyd has no choice but to up and quit, moving on over to Malcolm McDowell’s company (and Ari’s former employer). It had been a long time coming, and the only way to break what was starting to become a tedious plot device (Lloyd does something good, Ari berates him, repeat) blossomed into something bigger and better. This led to Ari making some majorly ill-advised impulsive decisions when offered the chance to buy out McDowell and merge their companies, but his final decision to give in to a few ego-bruising demands made it all worthwhile. It’s still a bitch that Ari would even consider using his wife’s television money to make the deal, and that it was originally all for spite, and maybe you shouldn’t go around shooting paintballs at your new employees to indicate that the merger equals them losing their jobs, it was an emotional change for Ari nevertheless. It was also a considerably better story than last year’s moral quandary over whether or not he should have become a studio head.

No one likes you right now.

No one likes you right now.

Yes, some of the episodes didn’t add up, and the stalker mini-story fit into what Ebert would call the Idiot Plot where everything could have easily been solved had everybody not been a complete idiot. I don’t think I hate the golf episode as much as, say, my sister does, but the fact that I barely remember it doesn’t speak volumes for its quality either. It’s a pain in the ass to have Vinnie become a non-character on his own goddamn show, though, and Entourage always works better when he’s struggling for work, but it’s not like I hated anything he was doing.

But admit it, you really liked the episode where Zac Efron and Frank Darabont make some surprising (fake) revelations about themselves, the Aaron-Sorkin-visiting-Gary-Cole-in-jail episode was a better episode than it had any right to be, and Matt Damon outright stole the season finale.

With the show’s evolution comes the fact that we can’t simply see the same stories over and over again, and while showrunner Doug Ellin (who I didn’t realize played the asshole TV director until about an hour ago) doesn’t always know how to structure an episode as well as, say, James L. Brooks could, and he still has a bit of an emotional disconnect from his characters at the oddest times, he’s realized this fact. The stories may not be working at a 100% success fate, but in this day and age, I’ll settle for 75%. Besides, do you remember the first season, where nothing happened? That’s how you should weigh all seasons of Entourage, because it’s not the plot that matters, but the characters. Disagree if you wish, but I always look forward to another summer and another season.

But goddamn it, I wish they would have showed us at least one scene from Martin Scorsese’s Gatsby. We can all agree on that.


The Husband:

Is it strange that while I could not care less about two of the central medical cases despite even the presence of Aaron Sorkin mainstay Joshua Malina, I thought this was a pretty damn great episode? Can I love one portion of it so much that it outweighs all the negatives surrounding it? Am I just being overly defensive about a show that people have been complaining about for three seasons now? Hell, I’m a Meredith defender, a character that nobody seems to like.

I don’t know the answer, but that doesn’t ignore the fact that I flat-out loved this here episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

While Joshua Malina has to do a fecal transplant with his wife (wha-what?), Sloan deals with a sleepwalker and his terrified daughter, Dr. Hunt finally stops being all evasive and tells Cristina that she’s beautiful, and Izzie actually have full-out intercourse with Denny the ghost (seriously, if she’s not going crazy or doesn’t have a brain tumor, then what the hey?), the interns once again suffer the wrath of their crazy overlords in various ways. This week, continuing to feel that they are not being taught and that they are woeful surgeons, they test out administering an epidural on one of their own when they get the idea that, hey, let’s take this here anaesthetized fellow intern and take out his appendix. He’s not going to need it, and it would be a great lesson! The male intern (obviously) disagrees with this decision, but new intern and old Meredith friend Sadie decides to donate her own body so the other interns may learn. When Lexie, who came up with the idea in the first place, backs out at the last second, Sadie decides to make the first incision on herself.

Yeah. Big oh noes.

As this is a prime-time network soap dramedy, the appendectomy doesn’t go as planned and Sadie starts hemorrhaging, so the interns bail on the body leaving Lexie to look for help from a resident or two. Enter Lexie’s estranged half-sister Meredith and Cristina, who fix the problem but not without a few close calls. When the dust settles, the two residents, acting under orders from the chief, rightly puts all of the responsible interns on probation. Meredith is best when she is no-nonsense, and this situation was no exception. The way she chewed out her underlings was fantastic, and a bit of the show’s former glory came out, radiant and glowing. There’s the Meredith I know and love and that all of you should love, too. Sure she may be whiney, but I’ve never thought she was more whiney than anybody else on the show. (Except Bailey. She’s the muthafuckin’ man and cool as a cucumber.)

Can someone explain to me why routine surgeries are always going horribly wrong around here?

Can someone explain to me why routine surgeries are always going horribly wrong around here?

The best part of the episode, though, came in the same scene when Karev tells all of the interns that they have lost his respect forever, so an intern calls Karev out for being a hypocrite, since he still has respect for Izzie even after she accidentally killed Denny in s2, leading to a physical altercation between Karev and the asshole intern.

“She was trying to save a man’s life. You almost killed a friend for fun. There’s a difference.”

I mean, hey, Karev is going through quite a tough time with his romantic relationship with Izzie. He doesn’t know that she is banging a ghost (to full orgasm, apparently), but he’s still willing to put up with her crazy, saying that if they are to break up so soon after getting together after seasons of will-they-won’t-they, she’s going to have to be the one who breaks it.

I’m just so confused. I really don’t see what all of you hate about this show that you used to love. Is it just that it’s becoming tedious? That’s why I like all the new cast members. Is it romantic overload? Believe me, I don’t have issues with that.

But count me in for the rest of the season. I like it so much that I’m not even willing to DVR timeshift it. It’s my Thursday show, dammit.