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“Entourage”: Great to see Ari and the gang again

Entourage

Entourage gets its fifth season off to a swell start. The first two segs, sent out this week by HBO, breeze by in what feels like about 10 minutes.

There’s a clear story arc building for our stubbly hero Vince, who’s south of the border licking his wounds (with tequila and bikinis) from the devastating reviews that are still rolling in on “Medellin” in the season opener.  Ben Silverman’s cameo as himself comes in the first seg, and if you look closely you can also see his NBC Entertainment lieutenant Teri Weinberg by his side.

You don’t have to look closely to spot Endeavor’s Richard Weitz. He pops up early on in the opening seg and nails the part of an MGA agent offering Ari Gold a little post-“Medellin” empathy.

As always, “Entourage” really belongs to Jeremy Piven’s Ari. By the end of episode two, Piven has pretty much clinched his fifth consecutive Emmy nom for the role he seems born to play. He’s greatly aided by punchy writing and directing in both segs, “Fantasy Land” and “Unlike a Virgin,” from series creator Doug Ellin and helmer Mark Mylod.

“Entourage’s” 12-episode run begins Sept. 7.

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