I had more or less given up on the show after the mediocrity of last season, but I was pleasantly surprised with the run of episodes that just ended. My only complaint, in fact - apart from a faint disappointment that Anna Faris isn't as good at playing herself as she is at playing Cameron Diaz and Christina Aguilera - has to do with the lack of verisimilitude on two fronts: The movies-within-the-show, and the paparazzi (or lack thereof). Obviously, Entourage is a fantasyland version of Hollywood, not the real thing, and a certain degree of implausibility is par for the course. But the show is supposed to be a mix of realism and satire, not a straightforward send-up, and it seems to me that the creators could have put a little more effort into, say, the clips from Medellin, this season's big project, which is supposed to be a flawed movie from a talented director, not a Zucker brothers version of Scarface. And the next film Vincent Chase has lined up - Silo, "a futuristic thriller set on a farm circa 2075" - sounds like something from Mad Magazine.

But that's a quibble (and movies-within-movies are always laughable - it's a Hollywood tradition in its own right). The curious absence of the paparazzi, though, is more annoying, both because it's deeply implausible that the defining feature of celebrity life circa 2007 wouldn't ever touch this fast-living band of brothers, and (more importantly) because it's a lost dramatic opportunity. I understand that you can't have Vincent Chase and his pals constantly trailed by paparazzi, because that would cut the heart out of the male fantasy the show is selling, but the role of photographers and gossip-mongers in modern Hollywood seems like awfully fertile ground for a show that occasionally seems to be running short of ideas.

Here's a snippet from Medellin:

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