It’s Not TV... It’s HBO

No, come to think of it, it really is TV. It’s just better than most of the rest of TV.

After watching Blow Out last night, I caught a couple of season premieres on HBO that I thought were worth calling attention to. The first was the new series Entourage, which (if last night’s premiere is any indication) gives a pretty entertaining look at the life of Hollywood hangers-on. It also features some fine work from Jeremy Piven, of whom I’ve been a fan ever since I caught him in the short-lived sitcom Pride & Joy; here, as a Hollywood agent, he manages to be funny without going too far into caricature (as was sadly the case in the still-enjoyable Old School).

The other discovery was Da Ali G Show, now going into its second season. Having only a passing familiarity with it, I wasn’t particularly expecting to enjoy the show, but after catching a promising interview with creator/star Sacha Baron Cohen on The Daily Show, I thought I’d give it a look-see (as I had done with two new Comedy Central series, The Graham Norton Effect, and Crossballs, neither of which is making my watch list). Happily, I was pleasantly surprised; Cohen’s array of characters had me... if not rolling with laughter, then at least chuckling in near-continuous amusement. This episode’s encounter between “Kazakh journalist” Borat and two Mississippi wine-tasters is not to be missed. And I was pleased to see that Sam Donaldson — with whom I was able to chat a couple of years back after an introduction from David Bradley — managed to keep not only his composure but his sense of humor throughout.


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