Monday, April 09, 2007

Brian and HBO, back together again

Last night, HBO decided that they finally wanted to put some quality Sunday night programming on the air again. They must have figured that they had given their customers the old screwgie long enough and it was time to put something on that was actually good. In case you missed it, last night was the season premieres of both "The Sopranos" and "Entourage" back to back. Well it wasn’t so much a season premiere with "Entourage" since they’re calling this the 2nd half of Season 3, but it was a new episode after a long layoff nonetheless.


"The Sopranos" started off with a seemingly meaningless weapons arrest of Tony at his home in New Jersey. The local D.A. quickly dropped the charge, and my first thought was that it seemed pretty pointless to arrest him in the first place for something so trivial and small. But then we learned that the charge was dropped locally so that the federal government could pursue it further. Interesting. I was reminded of how Al Capone was finally incarcerated 80 years ago; not for something major like murder, but for tax evasion. Could it be that Tony’s eventual demise this season is for something trivial as well? I guess we’ll see. The episode also focused on a quick weekend vacation for Tony and Carmela at Bobby and Janice’s lake house, Bobby inexplicably beating the crap out of Tony in an escalated Monopoly fight (who hasn’t been there before?), and Bobby killing someone for the first time, leaving behind a boatload of evidence in the process. My final grade – B+. Not great, but not bad. Then again, the first episode is always the slowest, so this bodes well for the rest of the season/series.

Immediately following "The Sopranos" was a new episode of "Entourage". The Producers are calling this episode 13 of season 3 even though episode 12 aired all the way back in August of 2006 (again, the HBO screwgie). If you remember, episode 12 ended with Vince firing Ari, and we’ve been left hanging ever since. On Sunday night, we jumped forward a little bit. Details as to how Vince found a new agent (who turned out to be that girl from "Son-In-Law" by the way) were skipped over and instead focused on Vince’s relationship with his new agent, as well as his new relationship with Ari as a friend and not a business partner. I give the girl from Son-In-Law at most five episodes before she’s brushed aside and never heard from again. It’s unfortunate really, since she still looks as good as she did back then. The episode also focused on Vince’s birthday party (kind of), but that was more of a back-drop to allow Ari and his new agent to come face-to-face in a non-frontation (I’m making up words now), all but assuring the audience that there’s no way Ari is gone for good. It’s tough to grade an episode like this since nothing really happened. But since nothing happened, I’ll give it a generic C and wait impatiently for next week.