It’s been nearly five months since the “Sex and the City” finale left HBO without any Sunday funnies. So go ahead. Humor us.

The new series “Entourage” and the return of “Da Ali G Show” prompt smiles and sometimes even uproarious laughter as follow-up acts to the so-far disappointingly dour fourth season of “Six Feet Under.”

The gut-busters mostly are from “Da Ali G Show,” particularly when his clueless Kazakhstan journalist character, named Borat, visits two elderly members of Jackson, Mississippi’s Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine.

“Entourage” is more dramedy than comedy, even if that wasn’t the intention. It’s basically a Left Coast, male-centric “Sex and the City,” with pretty boy Adrian Grenier (“Drive Me Crazy”) heading the cast as rising young Hollywood star Vince Chase.

His buds are three boyhood pals from Queens. As in “Sex and the City,” they have ample time to eat and drink in various clubs and restaurants while chatting carnally and usually graphically.

The show seems sophomoric at first, but gradually graduates to an interesting look at Hollywood’s fast-lane ups and downs.

The third episode, climaxed by Vince’s triumphant appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” is a small, near-perfect triumph in itself.

It holds out great promise for the five remaining episodes in this short-flight first season.

The four principal characters are basically likable despite their base-level needs and instincts.

They’re kids in a candy store, inhaling all that Hollywood has to offer before their expiration dates run out.

‘Ali G’

The second season of “Da Ali G Show” begins rockily with Sam Donaldson striving to play along when asked about “the Waterworld scandal” by his be-goggled, befuddled interviewer (Sacha Baron Cohen as “wanksta journalist” Ali G).

Cohen is better served – and better disguised – as the suited, shorthaired Borat. He’s reminiscent of Peter Sellers’ Inspector Clouseau, a painfully sincere bumbler who gets smashed on wine with the Mississippians on Sunday night before addressing an Oklahoma city council meeting next week.

And as Ali G in Episode 2, he asks veterinarian George Washington, “Why was there so many sick animals in Vietnam?” Actually there weren’t, he’s told. “But why then so many Vietnam vets?” Ali G wonders.

Cohen’s third and less-used character, “Australian fashionista” Bruno, has a graphic encounter Sunday with a “gay converter” named Pastor Quinn.

Ed Bark writes for the Dallas Morning News.

“Absolutely not, because it’s forbidden by the word of God,” Pastor Quinn says after Bruno asks him if he’d like a lap dance.

Alas, Season 2 of “Da Ali G Show” will have just six new episodes. It shows that Cohen abides by an old show biz axiom no matter what character he’s playing: Leave “em wanting more.


10 p.m. EDT Sunday, HBO. Starring Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Jeremy Piven, Debi Mazur. Created by Doug Ellin. 30 min.


Second season premiere, 10:30 p.m. EDT Sunday, HBO. Starring Sacha Baron Cohen. Created by Sacha Baron Cohen. 30 min.


(c) 2004, The Dallas Morning News.

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Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

AP-NY-07-14-04 1506EDT

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