I used to really love Entourage. When the show first premiered, it was right at the crux of my production work, and I was eagerly awaiting the day when I, too, might have a show about Hollywood on television...or HBO. In fact, when I began pitching my first half-hour comedy program, I called it the baby that would have been had if Entourage and Gilmore Girls ever mated. Maybe that was its downfall, though...
Now that it has been announced that next year will be the end for Entourage, I can admit it couldn't come soon enough. What was once so fun and unique has quickly turned into season after season of the same ole crap. There is no real character growth for anyone; one episode Vince (Adrien Grenier) is up, on top of his career, the industry, and his sad little world, while the next he is "suffering." But even when he suffers, it doesn't look so bad.
Sure, Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) has become slightly more than a paunchy pot-smoker who really, really loves his sneakers. But that's about it. Everyone else still feels more like caricatures-- simple outlines of characters yet to be filled in-- now than when the show started. And that's a really bad sign.
If things were different, I would want the show to end where everyone is finally doing well, even though they all know that with in the pinwheel that is Hollywood, if you're on top today, you might do a 180 tomorrow. Instead, though, I would love to see Drama (Kevin Dillon) and Turtle finally succeeding for what appears to be the long-term. In fact, after years of living in their brother and buddy's shadow, I would love for the final moments of the series to be Drama getting a game-changing role, perhaps one that "normally" would have went to Vince. He is the next face of "insert whatever action or comic book movie series here" and as such, his face gets unveiled on Sunset Boulevard in a billboard the size of...well, the size of the ridiculous houses these guys flit between each season. It would also be a throwback to an earlier episode, when the show was still new and fresh, and Vince had his own franchise.
Of course, as his agent, that would make Lloyd (Rex Lee) a new superpower in the business side of the industry, which would threaten Ari (Jeremy Piven). As much as I think Ari needs a comeuppance, Lloyd is too good and nice and would simply send him a muffin basket or bouquet of some sort to announce he's the "new daddy in town." It would be a playful hint at a fun rivalry that is to come (off-screen or maybe in some sort of web spin-off; they're the best ones, after all!).
Turtle needs to finally strike out on his own for real and for good. Maybe he meets some girl who convinces him to do this (because, really, sprouting a backbone over night doesn't seem likely), and he gets his own place and focuses only on his own stuff. During this time, Eric (Kevin Connolly) has to go back to New York to help his mother with something, and it turns into a need for him to move back for good. I don't much care if Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui) goes with him or not; this show is known to be as misogynistic as these guys, and even when the relationships are quote-unquote good, they're really nothing to aspire to. It might be a nice kick in the pants for Sloan refuse and for Eric to have to actually make a damn choice that really means something for a change.
And finally that leaves us with Vince. I admit that at first I wanted him to die in a small plane crash. I wanted him to do one more reckless thing and have there be actual repercussions from it. But then I realized all that would accomplish was turning him into a martyr everyone would just mourn him and call him a saint and an artistic genius and all of the big, fancy terms that get rolled out when someone passes away young...whether they deserve such titles are not never seem to matter either, by the way.
But I'd still like to see him knocked down a few pegs. I would love to see him get all psyched about some role (maybe even the one Drama ends up getting), only to learn that not only does he not have it in the bag, the director wants him to-- gasp!-- audition for it. This can be an actual character turning point for him: does he think so highly of himself he wouldn't be willing to do what is required of so many "non-name" actors? And when Drama ends up getting the role, I would just absolutely love for there to be a moment where he looks at his billboard and then looks at his brother and tells him that it's okay; that Vince can come live in his mansion; that he'll always take care of his baby brother.