Entourage (2004-2011)

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Created by: Doug Ellin
Starring: Adrien Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrera, Jeremy Piven, Rex Lee, Perrey Reeves, Debi Mazar and Emmanuelle Chriqui

There’s nothing like rediscovering an old favourite, and if you’re anything like me oftentimes life gets in the way of a great TV show.  That was the case with Mark Wahlberg’s brainchild, Entourage, a series whose merits I recognized and whose characters had me gasping and howling but for some reason or another I stopped watching after season 2.  About a month ago, as I curled up on the couch looking for something to watch, I was happy to find Entourage in its entirety (all eight seasons) available to rent or to stream and once I started watching I simply couldn’t stop.

The show chronicles the rise and fall, work and play, of a young Hollywood actor turned celebrity and the boyhood friends who ride his coattails.  It is comedic, dramatic, luxurious and teeming with celebrity cameos.  While Vincent Chase might be the “star”, it’s the supporting cast that really breathes life into this 30min dramedy.

What I liked: Chase is performed by Adrien Grenier with the sort of laid-back cool you expect all celebrities to have but few probably do.   E., Vince’s manager, played with charming humility by Kevin Connolly, is the moral center of the show, which makes his lapses all the more enjoyable.  Johnny Drama, a washed-up actor and Vince’s older brother, is played with priceless egotism by Kevin Dillon and Jerry Ferrera’s Turtle makes a nice comic foil to Drama’s hilarious outbursts.  However, what really makes the show unforgettable is Ari Gold, Vince’s uncompromising agent.  Gold is played with such crass cunning, fierce anxiety and unapologetic coarseness by Jeremy Piven that he deservedly received a Golden Globe and five nominations for his performance.   It is a show celebrated for its daring, enjoyed for its characters and dialogue and followed for the life we wish we had.

What I didn’t like: The show relies heavily on its characters as the plot doesn’t change or move forward all that much.  They’re either successful or not at any given moment in the show but watching these characters deal with it all is what kept me loading new episodes.

My rating: Get warm, crack a beer and escape into the lap of luxury.

IMDB: 8.7

Metacritic: Season 3 (first available rating): 73%

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