Warning, this article contains spoilers
Entourage was a comedy-drama that followed the exploits of up-and-coming movie star Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) broadcast over 8 seasons on the American network HBO.
Like most other shows from that network Entourage featured its fair share of swearing, sex, drugs and many other things that you’d be sent to hell for. The shows premise was based off Mark Wahlberg, post Marky-Mark career, and his early years as an actor with characters in the show being based off of his real life Entourage.
Entourage appeals to audiences because it looks cool! It features cool music, the Hollywood backdrop and more bikini-clad girls then you can shake a stick at. But the Hollywood lifestyle depicted in the show is a backdrop to the main themes of male camaraderie and loyalty, with the relationships and chemistry between the main characters being the heart and backbone of the show.
Although the show revolves around Vince, top billing goes to Kevin Connolly as Vince’s best friend and manager Eric “E” Murphy. Eric is the quintessential nice guy, compared to others, of the show. For me, it was a lot easier to relate to Eric because he was the easiest character to connect with, seeing as I myself have no common ground with the shows movie stars. Eric could easily have been portrayed as a weak minded character with no backbone, but Connolly brings in a great performance as Eric. Looked down upon by many of the more powerful characters, Kevin Connolly brings determination to his role as Eric tries to do right for himself and his friend, in a bid to earn respect from others and succeeding to receive it from the audience.
Adrian Grenier does well as Vince, although I feel the writers couldn’t decide who they wanted him to be. At times, he earns our respect, caring about his craft by choosing respectable indie film Queens Boulevard on top of high paid and badly written blockbuster Matterhorn. Other times, he’s a typical Hollywood pretty boy, relying too much on the work of others to sort out his life whilst he sleeps with the 3rd girl that episode.
We also have Johnny “Drama” Chase (Kevin Dillon), Vince’s older brother, once a big TV star, whose since been forced to small roles in his brothers films. Drama is probably the most pathetic character, but Kevin Dillon brings a great sense of likeability, enough that we still laugh at the characters misfortunes, yet still care enough to want to see him succeed. It helps that in reality Kevin’s the less famous sibling of Matt Dillon (though nowadays, Kevin may actually be the more famous one).
We then have Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), who to me was the weakest character in the show. Aside from being driver and general dogsbody, Turtles role in the show was just to mooch off the assets of his famous friend, get high and make the odd pussy joke here and there, which soon started to tire. It’s not as if Jerry Ferrara was a bad actor, he did deliver some funny lines and moments especially when paired with Kevin Dillon, but the character didn’t really hold my interest. He was given more to do later on, but I felt the character was not strong enough for his own story arc, with his moments often disrupting the flow of better stories and characters.
Another of the shows weaknesses were the plots. I’m not saying the entire narrative of the show was terrible as there were some good stories in the shows early years. I was interested in the path Vince and the other characters had to take in order to secure the next movie. But saying that, there are only so many times you can tell the “Oh no, Vince can’t do the movie because of [insert reason here]” storyline and after a while the show started to become repetitive in its storytelling. Also, you do start to tire of Vince as the show goes on, it’s hard to sympathise with a character who gets upset over not being involved in a movie, even though he still has loads of money, a large house and any girl he wants at his feet.
Luckily Vince became addicted to cocaine! OK, out of context that sentence sounds horrible, hear me out. After a near death experience on a movie set, Vince becomes an adrenaline junkie, which leads to drugs and soon sees him spiralling out of control.
Finally, we had a decent story, where the golden boy sank low and fought some real demons. Series 7 upped the stakes and Adrian Grenier was able to sink his teeth into a truly harrowing story that had devastating effects. Having gone on about the show for a couple hundred words, it’s amazing I’ve not mentioned its best part: Jeremy Piven!
As super-agent Ari Gold, Jeremy Piven stole the show. Ari was outspoken, offensive, and absolutely hilarious. Piven played the role perfectly, with every line of dialogue he said, or rather shouted, being pure comedic gold. Throughout the series, we got a look in on Gold’s personal life, mainly consisting of hilarious exchanges with wife Melissa (Perrey Reeves) in couples therapy. However, the underlying marriage problems built up throughout the show, exploding in the series 7 finale when Melissa filed for divorce. Jeremy Piven portrayed Ari’s decline from Hollywood super agent to pathetic divorcee perfectly, proving he had both dramatic and comic range as an actor, showing a vulnerable side to the character. Ari’s story was now being told separately from the main Vincent story arc, becoming a lot more engaging to watch, however at times it did overshadow the rest of the show.
Right, let’s wrap this up. I very much enjoyed the show, but I enjoyed it more for its comedy, one liners and its characters. In terms of plot, the show had its moments but nothing overly memorable. To me, the memorable aspects of the show, that I have enjoyed and shall miss dearly, were the characters. This show had some of the best characters on T.V and they shall be sorely missed.
David ParkerPin It