Ted S. McGregor Jr. & r & & r & Entourage & r & & r & (Sundays, 10 pm, HBO) & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & A & lt;/span & re your favorite celebrities letting you down? Has Brad Pitt gotten too weird over in Africa? Are you finally realizing money can't buy the trailer park out of Britney Spears? Kind of takes the fun out of reading the tabloids. If you want a Hollywood idol you can really adore, meet Vincent Chase. Being from Queens keeps him real, and those eyes and that smile fill the seats. (Remember him in Aquaman? He killed.) You'll even love his buddies -- his entourage, if you will.
Oh yeah, Vince (Adrian Grenier) is a fake celebrity, and his fake life can be lived vicariously every Sunday night on HBO. Oddly enough, he seems more real than most "real" celebrities -- ain't Hollywood great! (Mark Wahlberg, who has certainly lived the life, is the show's executive producer.)
Vince moves his boys out from Queens to help him manage his fame -- and spend his fortune. There's Eric, the smart one who manages Vince; Turtle, the driver (really, he has a driver), whose "dude chic" fashion sense is spot-on; and Drama, Vince's older brother who was the first in the family with an acting career -- bit parts only. Played by Kevin Dillon, who also has a more famous brother in real life (Matt), Drama is the Kramer of this show, spouting twisted wisdom when he's not making an ass out of himself.
Then there's Vince's superagent (former agent at the moment), Ari Gold, played to wicked perfection by Jeremy Piven. Ari has a complicated life -- wife who hauls him into therapy, giant talent agency to run, gay personal assistant desperate for his approval -- and he punctuates every peak and valley with hilarious, curse-laden diatribes.
Wisely, the show's creators don't clutter up the fun -- massive, babe-infested parties, perfect luxury product placements, courtside seats at the Lakers, private jets to Cabo -- with too much plot. What little there is has to do with what film project Vince will take on next and whether he'll back together with Ari.
Entourage is required viewing in Hollywood, meaning this really is how our entertainment industry operates -- fueled by pot-smoking hipsters, vicious, angry agents and half-baked movie treatments. But beyond its cultural relevance, it's great TV because, in one show, it has two of the best characters on TV today -- Ari and Drama. And of course there's Vince -- the one Hollywood celebrity who will never let you down.
Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers is back on PBS starting this week. With his background in the LBJ administration, he's seen both sides of the political world; as a journalist, he asks those obvious questions the mainstream media seems to forget to ask. This is one guy we need back in the national spotlight. (PBS, Friday, 4/27, 9 pm)
In a kind of YouTube meets Survivor, mini-TV shows square off against each other every week, with the most popular (as voted by you, America) staying on the air for another week -- only to have to face a new batch of shows. Did I mention Jack Black is the co-creator? (VH-1, Friday, 4/27, 10 pm)
You thought the NFL was done until September -- wrong! For hardcore fans, the draft (when college players get picked, with the best going first -- kind of like kickball at recess back in the day) is football nirvana. Two things are certain: Mel Kiper will prove his sports geek supremacy, and New York Jets fans will boo no matter who their team picks. (ESPN, Saturday, 4/28, 9 am)
The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.