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October 22, 2014

Entourage: Running on E

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Aug 3rd 2009 8:00AM
Kevin Dillon as Johnny Drama on HBO's 'Entourage.'
(S06E04) "Wow, you pay for that or is there someone out there that would actually bang you for free?" - Ari

This is shaping up to be a helluva season for Entourage. Only four episodes in, and it feels like a completely different show than we're used to. Rather than wallowing in endless "woe is me plots" (every character on the show has been guilty of them in the five previous seasons), things feel fresh and the characters are growing up. Plus, instead of making me constantly laugh, Entourage is making me do something I never expected -- think.

Look at it this way - like a few of the characters on the show, Entourage itself is going through a bit of a mid-life crisis. Who do you want to be? What do you want out of life? Pretty deep questions considering the frat humor history that Entourage is known for.

Maybe it's too early to do this, but a third of the way through the season seems appropriate enough to grade some of the characters, so here goes:

  • Ari - B+ : The only reason I'm not giving him something in the A range is because I want to see where this is going. The situation with Andrew, Marlo, and Lizzie is hands down some of the best material that Jeremy Piven has been given to work with yet, and I love the position it's putting Ari in with Mrs. Ari. Sure, he gave Andrew the family man speech we've heard Ari preach in past episodes, but convincing his wife that it was Andrew who twisted the words to meet his own desires will be the true test. No matter how it ends up, this is already better than any past feud Ari's had with Adam Davies or Josh Weinstein.
  • Eric - C+ : Eric is probably the one character I'm least pleased with right now. He's gone through numerous mini mid-life crises before, and this most recent epiphany to re-valuate his career and close the doors on his management business doesn't really come as a surprise. However, if what I'm reading about in future episode synopses plays out, then this might be the season when Eric finally arrives.
  • Drama - B+ : As much as a man-diva as he's ever been, Drama's rant to Ed Burns about hiring a name actress for Five Towns was honestly a big moment, I thought. He truly does want this show to succeed, and let's be honest -- some random model won't make that happen. He may be delusional and think he's larger than life when he isn't, but Drama means well, and I'm praying that his pipe dreams finally pay off big. Turtle asking Jamie-Lynn is the first step. Now we just have to see how Drama handles it on screen.
  • Turtle - A- : He's not behind the wheel of an Escalade, so already it's a step forward. I think (at least I hope) that Turtle's embarrassment at having Jamie-Lynn as a sugar-momma works as a bit of foreshadowing so that by season's end, Turtle is the one picking up the tab. All that being said, we know he's not the brightest bulb, and I hope that any scenes with him in class aren't too heavy on that fact.
  • Vince: A++ : For the most part, he's alone all the time. His next few films are already lined up, and the Enzo Ferrari bio-pic is delayed so he has 12 weeks off. He's got money. Gatsby is killing at the box office, and Vince has gotten excellent reviews. We've never seen Vince so successful, and now he has no one to truly share it with. Eric has some free time now too, but not as long as Ashley is in the picture. We got a taste of it in this episode (bringing home the waitress, discovering Facebook), but I'm really looking forward to other ways that Vince will spend his free time.

What did everyone else think? Agree with my grading? Think someone deserves lower or higher? And what about Lloyd? Personally, Ari's "test" for Lloyd has gone downhill for me each week. It went from being a chance for Lloyd to really grow as a character, and instead it's just turned into another week-to-week novelty.

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amanda

oooo, I need to disagree. I think this season is the worst so far, with the most recent episode being only marginally better. I especially (but respectfully) disagree with your Ari grade. His storyline with Mrs. Ari is ludicrous and grating. I actually just wrote about this in my blog (which is how I saw your post). If you're interested, here it is:
http://judgmentalobserver.wordpress.com/2009/08/18/3-reasons-why-its-time-to-put-entourage-out-to-pasture/

August 18 2009 at 3:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jimmy

I like the David Schwimmer storyline. He never has to act again, but if he gets the right script, it could be significantly bigger than The Comeback.

August 03 2009 at 8:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ceti

Good to see Timothy Busfield on TV again

August 03 2009 at 11:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gt

i think you should grade on a bell curve with some characters getting d's...but this season is really turning into the e and ari season. e's girlfriend is distracting in her scenes. every scene my wife and i are like, really, they cast her? at least no more sloan.
and sorry, i dont care about the tv agent storyline.

August 03 2009 at 10:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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