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Breaking Bad is all done and so what next? I had moved seamlessly from seven series of The West Wing to six series of The Sopranos and then six more of The Wire, ending up at BB and so my Christmas and Birthday presents taken care of for 15 years. But I need a new fix now and so had to search around a bit until I came up with Entourage, very late to the party as it has been going since 2004. It doesn't quite fall into that adult intelligent box set stable I enjoy and more E4 than Sky Arts but I finally decided to take the plunge and it looks like my next 5 years of box sets are sorted. So far its good lite fun and one I will stick with.It was created by Doug Ellin, who had done nothing of note until Entourage, and now one of Hollywood's most sort after writers after its 8 season run that ended in 2011. The original concept grew out of an idea to film Mark Wahlberg and his friends making it in Hollywood, apparently a cool and funny group of guys that would make for an hilarious fly on the wall documentary. In order to be more satirical of the Hollywood lifestyle, a fictional approach was chosen rather than a straight documentary in order to keep the content light, and avoid directly depicting Wahlberg's violent past, co-producer Eric Weinstein calling in unknown writer Doug Ellin to have a crack at a pilot. Fictional characters were created to represent Wahlbergs ?Boston Crew' and Entourage was born.Wahlberg loved the idea and became one of the executive producers very quickly to ?insure accuracy' of a young star given the keys to the Pandoras Box that is Hollywood - girls, drugs, cars and big houses galore. Adrian Grenier plays ?Vincent Chase'; effectively the fictional version of Wahlberg and the Johnny Drama character is based on actor 'Johnny Alves', Mark Wahlberg's cousin. Two other hangers-on make up Chases crew, the four let lose on Hollywood. Chase's bolshie agent Ari Gold, played by Jeremy Piven, is essentially Ari Emanuel, a partner at the Endeavor Agency that manages Wahlberg. It's very much based on a true story. Dreamy and laidback ?Vince Chase' (Adrian Grenier) is enjoying his first big movie release, the young twentysomething star of ?Head On, his giant billboard up around town. The Queens boy has dragged his two best friends and C-List acting brother Johnny ?Drama along to Hollywood for the ride, the four shacked up in a huge rented house in Beverly Hills. Most trusted friend Eric (Kevin Connolly) has given up his job running a Pizza Hut in Brooklyn to try and manage Vince whilst tubby Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) is his driver and procurer of soft drugs, Drama taking care of Vince's fitness, food and health. The four are tight and preparing to decide Vince next movie now he is ?the man', big mouth agent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) not impressed with Eric's amateur management and input so far on Vince's future career choices. When the first review in Variety Magazine for ?Head On' is bad it's up to Eric to lie his socks off to Vince to cheer him up.Between the girls and the parties the boys move towards doing ?Queens Boulevard', indie director Billy Walsh (Rhys Coiro) keen on using Vince in the lead. But every action has a reaction in Tinsel Town and Ari fears another agent is using the script to steal Vincent away from him. Ari wants him to do a franchise movie so they can all get rich and at least guarantee two more movies and build his female following. He knows how the town works and wants Eric to step down and appoint Vince a proper manager. But Vince is loyal to his boys and this is all about them and they rise and fall as friends.Johnny Drama, star of Viking Quest, is quietly jealous about his brother's success and too proud to ask for a leg up. But to keep harmony in the group Vince quietly asks Ari to set Johnny up with an agent and some auditions, Johnny deflated by the fact his agent is 22 and doesn't have an office, Drama's only job offer so far in Hollywood being a waiter. It's not bad and I have already order season two. I think its going to grow on me. It's a mix of shows. It has the gentle clever satire of Curb Your Enthusiasm with those regular, and sometimes ironic, celebrity cameos and the lighter feel of an MTV teen show by stuffing it fill of gorgeous young people and the Hollywood fantasy. The script is smart but doesn't try to alienate one particular demographic by being too pretentious or knowing. It's catchy rather than clever. It's like a Larry Sanders show for young people. If the Entourage guys have fun then we have fun! I can imagine 16-year-olds through to 50-year-olds enjoying this, that kind of show. Its like that popular young peoples bar full of beautiful people you all know in your local town or city you all want to go to so to see where it's at, but knowing you can't touch the goods. These are ordinary looking guys like you and me living our dreams through the biggest bromance on screen.The celeb cameos come thick and fast, some brief and just a phone call (Scarlett Johansson), others the center of the episode, Gary Busey particularly fun. Pi**take name dropping is the order of the day. Although A-Listers were reticent to appear in the first series as the show grew you just had to be in it or you were a no one. The soundtrack is super cool and no doubt the most expensive casting of the lot. I would say the lead character is a bit sickly and it's the likeably and dum Johnny Drama who steels the show. But there are plenty of laughs t5o be had and you can't help but like these guys. I lived in Los Angeles for a bit, even stayed in Malibu on the cliffs amongst the movie stars, and the reality is northing like the television fantasy. The beautiful people are insecure and don't want to be seen or touched and so live a rather dull reclusive life, their Mexican staff the only real people they communicate with.
I'm a bit of a latecomer to entourage, only really giving it a go within the last few months after having watched the occasional episode on ITV 2. A friend of mine bought the box sets of seasons 1-5 so I have begun working my way through them and i've found that I love it!
Entourage is another of the American HBO channel's successful exports following the likes of other successful shows such as the Sopranos and Sex and the City. In a way it is kind of the Sex and the City for guys! There's lots of money spending, flash cars and hot girls and plenty f lads talk and more or less has a special guest star in each episode!
The show follows the actor Vincent Chase and his career which has its high points and low points but the main focus is not so much on his career however, but his three friends, Eric, Johnny (Drama - his older brother) and Turtle. Eric 'E' Murphy is his manager and probably the more level headed of the group, Johnny Drama is a failed actor who is constantly trying to get a job but never has much success and is one of the funnier characters in my opinion and then there is Turtle who is always trying to pull the girls but usually with less success that the rest of the group.
The best character probably in the show is Vince's agent, Ari Gold played by Jeremy Piven. He is the funniest in the show - a bit of a workaholic and the way he talks to his wife and family is hilarious - as is the way he treats his staff!
I found that it took me to watch about 3 or 4 episodes in a row to be able to get into the series properly and to be able to relate to the characters. The best two are definitely Ari and Drama but they are all good in their own way. Season 1 probably isnt one of the better ones - it definitely improves as each season goes on. Im currently half way through season 4, have season 5 waiting and looking forward to getting season 6 soon!
HBO are without a doubt best known for their brilliant drama shows such as Oz, The Wire, The Sopranos and Six Feet Under, but one of their more successful offerings is the lower-key Entourage, a show that has a glossy guise but is in fact very intelligent and offers plenty of slick and entertaining insights into the crazy film industry. It has also recieved a lot of attention for Jeremy Piven's excellent performance as the agent Ari Gold, and has won several Emmy awards as a result.
Season one introduces us to all of the key players, beginning with hotshot actor Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier), who frequently has to jostle between starring in paycheque films and artistically competent fare. His friend and also eventually his managed is Eric Murphy (Kevin Connolly), frequently referred to as "E" throughout the series, sometimes neurotic and quite sensitive about his height after numerous insults from Ari. Chase's other friends include Johnny "Drama" Chase (Kevin Dillon), Vince's older brother and also his chef. Drama starred in a cult fantasy show called Viking Quest a few years ago which has earned him a small following, but largely he is a minor character actor. Finally, his childhood friend known as "Turtle" (Jerry Ferrara) also lives with them in the house, serving as a general assistant to Vince but basically just freeloading off of Vince while providing little in return.
The jewel in the crown, though, is Ari Gold himself, the ruthless, high-strung but brilliant agent who cuts savage deals and will be your best friend if you get on his right side, or your worst enemy if not. Piven's portrayal made him a household name, and he is far and away the best thing about the show.
Combining glamour with smarts and some fun in-jokes about Hollywood, this first season sets the tone that is consistent throughout the show's run. Well worth a watch.
Entourage joins a long line of shows that have come out of americas hit factory, HBO. They (a cable tv channel) are behind hit shows like the Sopranos, Curb your enthusiasm, Sex and the City and Flight of the Conchords. Entourage is set to join that list (many would say it has done already).
The show follows the starlet Vincent Chase as his career as a movie star evolves until he becomes the cream of the A list. The focus is not so much on his career however, but the his group of three friends, Eric, Johhny (Drama - his brother) and Turtle. Eric is his manager feels unfulfilled being employed in such an informal way, whilst drama, a failed actor, wants to get a job, whilst Turtle wants girls.
The star of the show however, is Ari Gold. He is vinces agent. The character is quite literally indescribable, and you have to watch the show to get a real picture of him.
Whilst season one is not the best of the five (season six just started a couple of weeks ago), it is still full of entourage goodness, and sets you up for the rest of the show.
Entourage is the programme that follows the life of Vincent Chase (Adrien Grenier), a young upcoming star in Hollywood as he tries to make it big in the glamorous movie world. While he has his fair share of good times, it just wouldn't be the same to experience it by himself so he brought along his 3 friends: Big brother Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon), Manager Eric aka E (Kevin Connolly), and Turtle (Jerry Ferrara).
Series 1 of Entourage focuses on Vince after he has just completed his first major successful film. This gives the viewer the chance to 'know' Vince before he makes it big so the character will grow as the series continues. His agent, the highly stung but highly entertaining Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) and his assistant Lloyd (Rex Lee) are also introduced as key characters.
The appeal of the programme is that it gives the audience a chance to see just what it could be like to be one of the young in demand stars of Hollywood. Of course it wouldn't be possible to create this atmosphere without some quality special guest stars so the producers managed to bring in a varied but celebrated list including Jessica Alba, Ali Larter, Lennox Lewis, Jimmy Kimmel, Luke Wilson, Scarlett Johansson and more! For a debuting programme to bring in such star power is a testament to the creators.
Personally, I love this programme. It's funny, slick, glamorous and just a very good way to be entertained. Unfortunately each episode is quite short. They only last around 22 minutes each, which makes it seem like we're missing out on a few minutes each week! Series 1 is also only 8 episodes long but its still worth buying.