Closing on a classic

By JON GARELICK  |  April 10, 2007

Well, we know the answer. And as Ari dangles a long-deferred Colombian-drug-lord movie in front of Vince to get him back, he has a meltdown. Symptom: he’s become compassionate. When he’s unable to fire an agent, his partner in the agency (Beverly D’Angelo) berates him: “You’re not you — you’re soft and weak and nice. It’s disgusting!” Reeling from couples therapy with his wife, Ari is trying to break clean from Vince and can’t do it. Shrink Nora Dunn sees this as progress for the “lowlife narcissistic grunt I’ve watched berate his wife in my office for the past year and a half.”

The arc of the first five episodes comes to a head with Ari and a host of other Jewish agents and producers attempting to broker a deal for Vince during Yom Kippur — a true Hollywood transgression. (“No wonder there’s no traffic,” marvels Johnny Drama.) But Ari’s soul baring is a beautiful thing to see. After arm-twisting gay Asian assistant Lloyd into giving it all for the agency with a high-priced gay TV writer they’re trying to nab, he has a change of heart. When he comes to Lloyd’s rescue, he utters words to live by: “We may be whores at my agency, but we’re not pimps!”

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