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Joining ‘Entourage’

Jun 12, 2006  •  Post A Comment

The buoyant boys of “Entourage” are back for season three, and yours truly is back on HBO’s invitation list, so all’s right in The Insider’s world.

If you missed last night’s season opener, catch a rerun (remember it’s not TV with only one chance to watch, it’s HBO, with many, many, many telecasts). There is no better cure for the blues or blahs than “Entourage,” which takes viewers along for the ride with a hot new star and his longtime crew. It defines feel-good TV with its sweet-hearted take on the bounty and booty that comes with the sort of fame Mark Wahlberg has experienced. In the first two episodes of the season, moms (Mercedes Ruehl and Patti D’Arbanville) and geeks (Samm Levine and Adam Wylie) rule, and those plots lend everything a particularly nice warm glow.

It earned raves from the crowd that waded through the never-ending rain in New York to get to the screening that was the very definition of eclectic.

It was reassuring to see former Court TV Chairman and CEO Henry Schleiff still making his nighttime rounds. Wraithlike mafia princess Victoria Gotti crawled over a solo Russell Simmons to get to one of the few remaining seats just before HBO Chairman and CEO Chris Albrecht said not even his mother and godmother could get good seats.

There was the usual extended HBO family contingent. “The Sopranos” was represented by screen sibs, dressed-up Jamie-Lynn Sigler and dressed-down Robert Iler.

“The Wire” contingent-including on-screen cop partners Seth Gilliam and Domenick Lombardozzi, and Michael K. Williams, who played complicated antihero Omar-was dressed up. Indeed, they were almost raffish, with Mr. Gilliam and Mr. Lombardozzi (who will guest star on “Entourage” as another old pal) in pinstriped dark suits and Mr. Williams in a straw hat and a mint-green baseball-style jacket with a pastel pinstripe. That may sound like it didn’t work, but The Insider promises it did.

Louis C.K., whose comedy-with-a-studio-audience, “Lucky Louie,” debuted last night on HBO, was dressed down.

The pinstriped “Entourage” cast and its entourage for the most part carried the fashion flag, starting with star Adrian Grenier, also in pinstripes and a great haircut. Kevin Dillon’s brother Matt Dillon made the screening a family reunion. Co-star Kevin Connolly’s girlfriend Nicky Hilton wore a dress so shiny that The Insider’s sweet arm candy, Bobby, murmured “Jiffy Pop.”

James Woods and his latest sweet very-young thing, Ashley Myrick, put a new twist on life imitating art imitating life. In the “Entourage” season opener, which finds “Access Hollywood’s” Maria Menounos as herself on the red carpet, Mr. Woods plays his hilariously hyper self and Ms. Myrick plays his decorative gal pal Tiffany.

At the post-screening party at Buddha Bar, the couple was in constant motion. Jeremy Piven, who plays the arrogant Ari and who was rudely portrayed on Page Six in that morning’s New York Post, was engaged in a long conversation by New York Daily News gossip Lloyd Grove, who himself has often been rudely treated by Page Six.

Sensing that she was waiting in vain for a “hug it out, bitch” moment, The Insider stepped back into the misty night, only to find a very heavily decorated-and drunk-soldier tradin’ fightin’ words with an “Entourage” partygoer. A security guard tucked the soldier into a cab before anyone could suggest that they hug it out.