Saturday, April 14, 2007
Mini-DVD Review: Entourage Season 3 Part 1 (April 3); Book Review: My First Five Husbands... By Rue McClanahan (April 10)
Entourage: Season 3, Part 1 (HBO, $39.98) contains the twelve episodes of the hit HBO comedy series that aired in the summer of 2006 on HBO (apparently the third season is still going on right now according to HBO, beginning with the new episodes that started earlier this week). A little introduction may be needed for those that don't have HBO or those that (like me) wouldn't normally watch an original series that airs on a cable channel: it is a series about a guy named Vince (played by Adrian Grenier) that is about to make it big in showbiz and moves to Hollywood in hopes that he will make it to the top. But he doesn't going to Hollywood all alone, he is bringing his childhood friends--his "entourage" (including his friends Eric and Turtle, and his half-brother who also aspires to be an actor, but just isn't that good, Drama)--to help him through it all. The whole series is loosely based upon the life of Mark Wahlberg, who is more infamously known as Marky Mark. The whole premise of the series is quite simple really.
Season Three, Part 1, as previously mentioned, contains 12 episode which, despite only being part of a season, is about the same number of episodes that was contained on each of the first two season sets), beginning with "Aquamom," where Vince's "Aquaman" movie is about to premiere--but who will he go down the red carpet with at the premiere?
Los Angeles is having rolling blackouts in "One Day In the Valley," could this affect the box office numbers for Vince's movie? In "Three's Company," Vince's star power goes to his head and he demands more money to do the "Aquaman 2" movie... and Eric's girlfriend wants him to have a threesome. But will his girlfriend regret that threesome? Maybe so if she knew what Eric was thinking in "Strange Days." The season (or partial season) ends with Ari (Vince's agent) possibly getting canned in "Sorry, Ari." There are many guest stars to be found within the episodes including Martin Landau, Seth Green, Penny Marshall, James Woods, and more (as an unrelated side note, check out season 2 to see Bob Saget in a way that is nothing like Danny Tanner!).
The audio and video quality of the set is superb, with the episodes being presented in widescreen format with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. The set isn't hefty in bonus features, but it does contain commentaries on three episodes ("One Day in the Valley," "Vegas Baby, Vegas!," and "Sorry, Ari") as well as a behind-the-scenes featurette for the "Vegas Baby, Vegas!" episode. The set itself comes in a nice and sturdy digipak (no outer case, but with the sturdy manner in which this is designed, it doesn't need one) on three discs. So what else can I say? Get your entourage together and head out to Hollywood (or just go to wherever you would get your DVDs from) and pick up this set!
-- Reviewed by skees53
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My First Five Husbands... and the Ones Who Got Away (Broadway, $24.95) is Rue McClanahan's autobiography--talking about her life so far chronologically in terms of her husbands and love interests that she has had along the way. The book is presented in a very personal, almost conversational tone, with Rue talking about the good guys and the bad guys she has met along the way--and there are so many of them that it is no surprise that she played Blanche on The Golden Girls.
The book starts out with her childhood and her mother (whom she actually called "Mother" for reasons she explains in the book). She then moves on to talk about when she finally got into showbiz, in the 1950s, where she began to take on some minor roles here and there on the stage in New York City. But of course, where the book really gets interesting is where she gets in to the 1970s, where she begins to become a television star. She talks about her lucky day being the day that she choked on the "luckiest chicken bone" when they decided to kill off her character Aunt Fran on Mama's Family--little did I know that she disliked that role so much! Of course, knowing what happened after being killed off on Mama's Family (getting the role on The Golden Girls), it is understandable why her character being killed off on Mama's Family was a lucky thing for her. Chapter 21 is perhaps the most interesting one in the book, where she talks all about the beginnings of The Golden Girls.
Along the way, we meet her many boyfriends that she has had along the way and all of her first five husbands (there is even a chapter for pretty much all of them) and we find out why none of the marriages ever exactly worked out as planned. She doesn't spare any details on why the marriages didn't work--and I would think some of the ex-husbands wouldn't be too thrilled about what she says, as she even talks about what life is like in bed! But she does stay open and honest the entire way through. Now, on her sixth husband, she is convinced that she has finally found the one--and only time will tell if she is right this time.
The book gives a very interesting perspective into McClanahan's life, though for those that know her best through her work on television, much of the first eighteen chapters will seem unfamiliar. All-in-all, it is a decent book that is a pretty easy read, though sitcom fans may be totally unfamiliar with everything she talks about early on (she even somewhat acknowledges this herself, although she doesn't seem to mind being known as Blanche). But on the other hand, it does give those that know her through her sitcoms a perspective on what her life was like before, and how she ultimately got to where she is today (you can't neglect the back story in any autobiography). Any true fan of Rue McClanahan--one that is interested in more than just her days as Blanche Devereaux--would enjoy this book.
-- Reviewed by skees53
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