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Star – Jeremy Piven
Genre – TV Boxset > comedy
Run Time – 8 x30 minutes
Certificate – 18
Country – USA
Series Awards – 14 Golden Globes
Amazon – £4.99 DVD £10.99 Blue Ray
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So series 8 and its all over for Entourage for me as the final disc was ejected from my DVD player. It’s been an enjoyable journey and starting to watch series one three years after it had wrapped up on HBO meant I had still to indulge in the show long after most had finished with it along time ago. I didn’t really know much about it when I discovered it in 2013 other than it was about Hollywood and had those knowing celebrity cameos in it when thy play an exaggerated version of themselves for laughs. It’s a sort of cross between Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Larry Sanders Show and if you liked those then you will get enough from this although Entourage clearly aimed at a younger male audience as there are lost of gratuitous sexy ladies and naughty bits in it. In fact it’s a fantasy of how we men think Hollywood and fame is and pretty much every sexy female extra in Hollywood used in the show. It’s way over the top. The reality may be very different as the moment famous people step out into and uncontrolled public situation it can go any way and they end up cowering in their homes or behind tinted windows in fear of that criticism. Tom Cruise can’t just go buy a paper or chill out in the park.
The basic set up is four guys – two brothers and the two childhood friends of- head to LA from Boston to help bubble permed Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) achieve his dream to be A-List movie star, and maybe get some fame to rub off on them, especially hot women. Vince brother Johnny is a B-Movie actor and is already set in Tinsletown. We picked up their lives in series one, just as Vince breaks big and the friends begin to enjoy the hedonism of Hollywood. It’s based loosely on the life of Mark Wahlberg and his crew of mate’s hellraising in their early days in Hollywood, the actor co-producer on the show.
Kevin Connolly ... Eric Murphy (96 episodes, 2004-2011)
Adrian Grenier ... Vincent Chase (96 episodes, 2004-2011)
Kevin Dillon ... Johnny 'Drama' Chase (96 episodes, 2004-2011)
Jerry Ferrara ... Turtle (96 episodes, 2004-2011)
Jeremy Piven ... Ari Gold (96 episodes, 2004-2011)
Rex Lee ... Lloyd / ... (79 episodes, 2005-2011)
Perrey Reeves ... Mrs. Ari (74 episodes, 2004-2011)
Debi Mazar ... Shauna (50 episodes, 2004-2011)
Emmanuelle Chriqui ... Sloan (31 episodes, 2005-2011)
Rhys Coiro ... Billy Walsh (27 episodes, 2004-2011)
Beverly D'Angelo ... Barbara Miller (25 episodes, 2005-2011)
Constance Zimmer ... Dana Gordon (21 episodes, 2005-2011)
Vince is out of rehab and drug free and sober. He pitches a film idea to his friends about the Chilean miners, but is not well received amongst the boys and his obnoxious but loyal agent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) killing it pretty early on.
Eric (Kevin Connolly) and Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui) have split up, mainly because Eric refused to sign a ‘prenup’ , and took over Murray Berenson's (her father) agency with Scott's help to create the "Murphy Lavin Group". Ari is also apart from his beloved Mrs Gold (Perrey Reeves), going through an unwanted trial separation, but wanting to get back together. But Ari is devastated when he learns his wife is seeing a chef at a fancy LA eatry, Bobby Flay. Hurt, Ari begins seeing his old flame Dana Gordon (Constance Zimmer).
It’s finally going well for Vince’s dufus brother Johnny (Kevin Dillon), his new animated TV show, Johnny's Bananas, a potential hit in the making. Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) has blown another business opportunity over a tequila franchise and then burnt down part of Vince’s house when he accidentally throws out his joint onto the drapes forcing the group to move into am expensive hotel.
Vince writes a script for the Chilean miner movie with help from tempestuous director and friend Billy Walsh (Rhys Coiro). Billy thinks Drama would be great in the lead, rather than Vince himself, which Vince agrees to. He wants to make his big brother a star. Ari makes his agent and ex PA Lloyd (Rex Lee) the head of the TV department.
Turtle has a new idea to start a new company after he sells his stock from Avión tequila, selling East Coast Brooklyn ribs in West Coast California. Johnny begins recording Bananas with co-star and loud mouth Andrew Dice Clay (himself). Dice pushes Johnny and Eric to ask the network for more money but they turn him down. Staying true to his word, Dice leaves the show before it airs. Johnny is not happy with his replacement, director Billy Walsh. Show producer Phil Yagoda (William Fichtner) has to get Dice back on board or the studio will fire them all.
Vince meets with volatile producer Carl Ertz (Kim Coates) at Carl’s house. Ertz offers to produce the TV movie for Johnny, but in return wants Vince to star in the film Taxman. After realizing his mistake and feeling bad, Ertz runs off to the bathroom to get high and subsequently kills himself. After the shooting, Vince is required to take a drug test by his parole officer as there was cocaine in Ertz's house. Worried he will fail the test he has to risk a lot and cheat the LA cops.
Vince falls for beautiful Vanity Fair writer Sophia Lear (Alice Eve). He opens up to Sophia only for the article to call him an "insecure womanizer". Ari realizes that he might lose his share in the Agency he runs with a costly divorce and desperate to win his wife back to put things back together again. Eric has also not given up on Sloane.
The show stopped being really good about four or five seasons ago as the celebrity cameos dried up and the scripts got more soap opera and less smart but I stuck with it as I felt part of the journey and enjoy the characters, especially Ari Gold, one of the great TV characters of all time. Jeremy Piven is simply brilliant and although he is merely peripheral in the final two seasons his is still highly watchable.
Vince and the boys are still loveable on screen but deep down they know the series had gone on too long and the material had tailed off and so should have done no more than six seasons, the way Prison Break just went on and on. Interestingly the actors had no idea this was the final season until they saw the scripts for the final fairytale episode. Cleary typecast at this point there may not be life for them after the show as they had become soap characters for 8 years and did very little film work during that run. The door is left slightly ajar in the final scene for an Ari Gold style spin off though, the way they did with Braking Bad and the bent lawyer chap. Sadly a rather poor Entourage (2015) movie is all we have seen since..
There are funny and clever moments still but few and far between. You can sense the best writers have moved on and left to further their careers during the eight series and up to creator Doug Elin to park the ship in the HBO dry dock for decommissioning. It was rather sad for it to all ends as you got to love these guys and you know that there may not be much more of this clever and knowing style of TV where celebs send themselves up. But everything has to so to an end and this Hollywood fantasy had become exactly that. When you see a series drag on you understand exactly why John Cleese did just one series of Fawlty Towers. There is only really one great season in the total number of seasons you make.
Imdb.com – 6.1/10.0 (13,435votes)
Rottentomatos.com – 43% critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – 54% critic’s approval
=Hollywood Sunset: Farewell to Entourage=
A nice goodbye from cast and crew as they talk between themselves about the 8 years of a cracking show.
=Directors commentary on two episodes-
NY Daily News –‘"Entourage" heads into its final eight episodes starting Sunday night and to be honest, it's time’.
The Mail –‘Entourage looks as though it still has enough juice -- comedy, drama and Drama-wise -- to make its last season a keeper’.
Newsday –‘We've been here before, but there's pleasure in the return trip. It feels like a reassuring final season’.
Philadelphia –‘I can't disagree with those who insist the show passed its sell-by date a few years back, but it doesn't mean I'm not still fond enough of these guys to keep watching’.
Hollywood Reporter ‘-Look, you've had your fun, Entourage. Those viewers who thought the party got old? They don't need to hug it out’.
Slant Magazine –‘Without a compelling storyline since the fourth or fifth season, Entourage feels like it's stuck around this long solely out of habit’.
Red Eye –‘We shall see if the boys become men by the end of this eight-episode season. But I doubt it’