I used to explain my pilot-turned-novel, “Stars in their Eyes” (available now at amazon.com :) ), as an "Entourage meets Gilmore Girls," meaning that it was set in Hollywood, around an actor, but the story was told through witty banter and rode the line between being about the industry and about the relationships. However, after catching an early screening of this season’s premiere of Entourage, I’m afraid I must find a new marketing tool. The boys are back this Sunday at 10, and this time they’re not having the cushiest of times. If you remember the fourth season’s finale (and not many people do because it was so lackluster), Medellin finally screened for Cannes-- to walk-outs, yawns, and just general disinterest—and now, though it is a year later (at least for us), the boys are still talking about it. In fact, despite the ever-evolving nature of today’s television (line up the seasons of Weeds, for example, and see how much the Botwins go through!), Entourage has remained at a standstill since the second half of its third season. For characters in perpetual states of adolescence, the moment is perfect for change, and yet none occurs.
Though Drama had glimpses of success and Turtle got more than an eye-roll from a girl last season, Ari is still the one-note, screechy-voiced yeller; Eric’s “other clients” still take a backseat to Vince; and Vince himself just can’t let go of his pet project—no mater how badly it has gone. The show in general appears to be stuck in a loop, reverting to the cyclical rise and fall we have seen season after season. Whatever happened to the standards of “It’s not television; it’s HBO?” Are the writers and producers so caught up in the glitz and chintz they of fame they received after the first few seasons that they have started living their lives as frivolously as the characters to whom they give voices? At least that would explain the superficiality and lack of interest in doing any actual work: the tonality of events between the reel and the real is cyclical, and d-bags beget other d-bags… sadly the guys have Entourage have officially crossed into d-bag territory. Not even their oddly clingy pentagon-like relationship can save that new fact.
It doesn’t look like Entourage will ever be anything more that a fluff piece: twenty-two minutes of admiring shiny, sparkly toys that only a few rich and privileged get to experience to become a deeper look at the cost, and perhaps the definition, of friendship. Even with Vince’s fall from grace, it doesn’t look like the boys will ever face consequences or be forced to branch out on their own and make something of their lives. They may dabble, but they always come running back to the golden boy’s side… even, as the season premiere depicted, when he’s buried in the sand. And with all of the insanity that surrounds so many real life celebrities playing out across tabloid covers and TMZ, the stakes are much higher for drama-- as well as just plain entertainment-- and let’s face it: it’s just not fun to watch someone fictional self-destruct in the same way (however implicit as it may be) over and over again.