Friday, September 05, 2008

Sepinwall on TV: 'Entourage' season five review

In today's column, I review the new season of "Entourage" -- and, surprise, surprise, I didn't hate it. It really takes until the third episode to get going comedically, and I still don't know if it's actually, you know, good (not that it ever was, really), but it's a vast improvement on season four.

As with "True Blood," I don't have much more to say about the premiere for a separate blog post, so I'll probably put up some kind of open thread on Sunday night for people to comment on both the HBO shows.

18 comments:

bobviegas said...

"If you tell your audience over and over that everything will work out just fine in the end -- often with Vince and company doing absolutely nothing to earn their latest happy ending -- it sucks all the comic and dramatic tension from the show and turns it into a slightly scripted episode of 'Cribs.'"

That pretty much nails it. I'm always kind of confused when people tell me they really like Entourage. The only appeal for the viewer would be to live vicariously through some of the most vacuous characters ever committed to the screen. The show seems to capture the sense of entitlement and inexplicable fascination for celebrity that my generation espouses, and I find it disturbing.

It's also kind of sad to know that the writers have to opportunity to add substance to the show in this season. We've seen these four characters act like morons for four seasons with no repercussions. Vince's standard of living should be affected by these bad career moves, and that could lead to some interesting writing regarding the true nature of his relationship with his brother and buddies. Yes, they were all good friends in Queens when the times were "tough" (not being a millionaire is considered tough by this show's standards), and they've been living the good life for years. Should the money go away, would they still be able to have the same relationship, without any resentment? It could be like a pathetic analogy to the allegory of the cave, which would be better than the drivel they've put out in past seasons.

Two other things that I know will continue to annoy me in this next season:
1) If Ari were as good an agent as they make him out to be, he would diversify his client roster and not focus so much on one actor who's made terrible decisions and cost Ari tons of money.

2) Turtle and Drama's continued lack of introspection and dignity. They're always treated condescendingly in exchange for mooching off a millionaire. They're pathetic.

Yet, one way or another I always end up watching this show. How does that happen?

Alan Sepinwall said...

And yet I got at least one commenter on the NJ.com blog telling me that I'm missing the point of the show by asking for there to ever be consequences for Vince.

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of what you said, but I think the show was actually pretty great in season 2. That was the one time the show stopped being about frat boy wish fulfillment and actually focused on the business side of things as Vince tried to land the lead in Aquaman and Ari was squeezed out of his agency. If they'd spend more time focusing on the behind the scenes of how things work in Hollywood the show would be a lot better.

Art Fleming said...

Has anybody ever stopped watching that show? The consensus seems always to be that the show is awful yet noone seems to be able to stop. I think the appeal of that show is the same as of the hills: pure wish fullfillment plus a beautiful look. Also, when was that show funny? I personally never laughed. But of course im gonna continue watch it.

Adam said...

It's all about consequences. Sex and the City moved from amusing to compelling once the women's choices actually mattered.

That said, nothing for quite some time has beat their Vegas episode with Seth Green and Drama's masseuse.

Chip said...

For lack of a better way to put this...I think you should just chalk Entourage up to a show you don't like and stop reviewing it. "It was never a great show, maybe even a good one..." Entourage is one of my favorite shows on tv and while I'd admit season 4 was the weakest to date I still enjoyed it. You're expecting too much from it, remember this isn't an Aaron Sorkin show, although when its at its best its brilliant (Season 2). just stop watching man

Anonymous said...

Art: I stopped. I think it was the episode that ended in furry sex that did it; that one was sufficiently hateful and stupid that it made me feel like I needed to take a shower afterward.

Art Fleming said...

Well, then i applaud your strength!

Chip said...

Anonymous you're crazy that ep was hilarious and one of the better episodes of the season

Anonymous said...

It's Entourage---it's the According to Jim of HBO. No one watches it, everyone says it's lazy and dumb...yet it never goes away.

Chip said...

According to Jim...wow...is the Sopranos to Roseanne or Lost to Threes Company

Fernando said...

I love Entourage and yes season 4 was the weakest (the furry sex episode completely jumped the shark) but if you look at is as less about Vince and more about Eric (his best friend/manager) it shows a pretty 3-D character. E has always been the heart of the show (look no further than the order of the opening credits). While Drama and Turtle have always mooched off of Vince's success, E always wanted to stand on his own, or at least just use Vince as a crutch and not a wheel chair.

E was never content with not contributing, he fought too be Vince's manager, he reads all the scripts, fights with Ari over the direction of Vince's career and is always looking for love and not just a one night stand.

And although he is a playboy, Vince has always been about integrity in the work. Outside of Aquaman, all the movies that he's done have been longshot indie movies that he really loved and cared about. He could have easily been in recycled Hollywood crap, but like he says, he'd rather do a play.

P.S. Drama finally getting an respectable acting gig in season 3, was one of the best payoffs in television. VICTORY!!!

Anonymous said...

From Jan:

I kind of stopped watching it partway through last season. It just didn't have the pull that other shows were having on me, and you can only watch so much TV. I was glad to hear it's looking better this season, though, and I plan on giving it another chance.

Anonymous said...

I realize the show isn't like According to Jim---pretty obvious even to someone who doesn't watch either show much. I was referring to its cockroach-like ability to survive despite having little redeeming value.

Anonymous said...

I want to add two redeeming qualities for Entourage---Jeremy Piven has a good hairpiece. You've got to give him that. And it keeps Kevin Dillon employed and off the streets.

Turin said...

I see everyones point. Yes the show could add drama (no pun) and Yes they could give consequences. Yes Ari could diversify - all fine but- thats not this show. Entourage is simply for 20 - 25minutes of mindless laid back humor where everything works out. No one dies, cries etc... Its just enternainment and you should actually lower your bar for this one and find its funny and enjoyable! I like Buggs Bunny too but I dont complain that its morally corrupt of that Coyote couldnt catch Roadrunner! If you want serious drama watch Law and Order. Pull the stick out guys!

Turin said...

YES the "FURRY" episode was laugh out loud funny!
Vince - I love his laid back attitude
Ari - LHIOB! the BEST character on TV! Even Loyd!
Eric - not my favorite - not much personality and not laid back at all
Turtle - I think we all know him dont we!? everyone's best friend! Do yo know a Turtle?
Drama - he is our angry side - always funny even if his antics are stupid and mindless.

Guys on this blog gotta relax! Didnt you ever have any fun?! Dont you wish you could be these guys!?

Can anyone tell us where Vince and Turtle stayed in Mexico for $79 per day and got all the chicks and fun?! Im goin if you can tell me where!

LHIOB!!!!!

Anonymous said...

you guys are ridiculous... entourage rocks. It is about the ideal life that every guy dreams of, regardless of age.