But last night's series finale was dripping with more gloss than usual. In fact, it was all gloss. In one of the most baffling, problematic half-hours of TV I've ever seen, everything worked out for everyone -- except the audience. We were left feeling cheated over rushed catharsis, a love story that the show didn't bother to show us and characters that reconciled without ever earning it.
The whole thing revolved around an allegedly torrid love affair between Vince and Sophia, the Vanity Fair reporter who'd interviewed him several weeks before and adamantly refused his advances on the grounds that she's a serious journalist who doesn't date her subjects.
But, as we know by now, Vinny Chase's charm knows no bounds, and they fell madly in love with each other and decided to get married in Paris after hanging out for just 24 hours. All of which would have been fine, if 'Entourage' hadn't asked its audience to just take the show's word for it.
According to Variety, HBO has ordered a pilot called 'Da Brick,' based based on Tyson's rough and tumble early years when he was coming up as a young boxer. It will be directed by Spike Lee and co-produced by 'Entourage' creator Doug Ellin and Tyson. The script was written by 'Three Kings' writer John Ridley, and will be set in Newark, NJ.
Tyson has been on a TV roll in recent months. Comedy Central announced this week he will be a guest-roaster in the highly-anticipated skewering of Charlie Sheen. Tyson also appeared on an episode of the CBS life-swapping reality show 'Same Name.' All of those appearances, however, were dwarfed by his Animal Planet reality show 'Tyson on Tyson,' about pigeons.
Now comes news that he's teamed up with filmmaker Spike Lee and 'Entourage' creator Doug Ellin to develop a drama series for HBO loosely based on his experiences growing up.
According to Deadline.com, 'Da Brick' is "described as a contemporary exploration of what it means to be a young, black man in supposedly post-racial America." The drama will be set in Newark, NJ -- nicknamed "brick city" -- in the current day.
'Da Brick' will be written by John Ridley ('Three Kings,' 'Third Watch'). Ellin, Ridley, Lee, Tyson and Jim Lefkowitz are all executive producing, with Tyson's wife Lakiha Tyson and Azim Spicer, CEO of Las Vegas' SpiceReel Prods., co-executive producing.
But apparently Sheen never made that call and now Ellin says he's run out of time. In an interview with 'Entertainment Weekly' he says "I never heard back. Looks like it will not be happening. I could have come up with some good stuff. I didn't really plan anything, but I would have."
The cast and crew of 'Entourage' are halfway through shooting the final season, and Ellin says he's writing the script for the last-ever episode. So even if Sheen calls him now, there's no way he can be fitted in.
More HBO News: 'Entourage' Winding Down, 'Game of Thrones' Premiere, 'No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency' Movies
I'm back from California, and while I try to shake jet lag, I wanted to pass along some other items from Saturday's HBO press tour executive session, besides the news I mentioned in yesterday's report:
-- Even though the impending end of 'Entourage' was expected, HBO programming co-presidents Richard Plepler and Michael Lombardo mentioned that the final season will likely consist of six episodes, and there may be a feature film in the works. "We're in a long-term relationship with ('Entourage' executive producer) Doug Ellin. I would expect that within the next couple of years you'll see him up here with another show. I think next time will definitely be the final season of 'Entourage,'" said Lombardo.
-- Lombardo at first announced that the premiere date of the highly-anticipated 'Game of Thrones' would be March 3, but then changed it to "Spring" after checking with an off-stage executive.
-- The executives confirmed that they're working with The Weinstein Company to develop two movie scripts to continue the story of the now-defunct series 'The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.' "As a series, I think this felt like a more comfortable and organic way for the storytelling to continue," said Lombardo.
Variety is reporting that Wahlberg, Doug Ellin and Stephen Levinson, the successful team behind the Emmy-winning comedy 'Entourage,' are working on a new, untitled series that follows the relationship between a political aide and his boss, the former President of the United States.
The script comes from Ben Scherwin, who will also serve as co-executive producer alongside Wahlberg, Ellin and Levinson.
(S06E12) "Sorry - he Jason Bourne'd me." - Drama
Huh?!? Was that really an Entourage season finale? It was so... good. It was as if every conversation I've ever had with my buddies after another season of Entourage and all of the "man, I really wish they had done this or included that" requests were jammed into this episode. Maybe Entourage should have double-length installments more often.Anything to ensure that Ari always walks around with a paintball gun.
(S06E11) "E, I've had most of this town, so it was bound to happen that our trees would dabble in the same forest at some point." - Drama
One down and one to go in Entourage's sixth season - a season I should point out that started off incredibly strong and ended up flopping around like a dead fish after those first few stellar eps. However, last week's installment, "Berried Alive," redeemed much of what had been bad and for the most part, "Scared Straight" continued that trend.
With that in mind, there's at least a little excitement going in to next week's finale because we really don't know what's going to happen on a few fronts.
(S06E10) "I'm everywhere Lloyd." - Ari
Poor Lloyd - we knew this would happen. If there's one thing that Hollywood's newest agent should have learned, it's that you don't cross Ari Gold. Yes, Ari gave in and told Drama the truth - Lloyd will do a better job representing Drama - but he did it for Drama. Not for Lloyd. He's already cut Lloyd off from Coakley (and presumably NBC as a whole) and it's not crazy to imagine that Ari will continue to erect more walls in his former assistant's way. However, I've got some theories on how this may play out.
(S06E09) "If that's a personal call you're on Lloyd, I'm gonna waterboard you." - Ari
Ari has always been mean to Lloyd. He treats him like crap, makes him do chores rather than his job, and constantly insults him. However, at the same time, Ari has always been nice to Lloyd too. He's given him one helluva job opportunity to learn underneath him and to some extent, I can understand Ari's plan to toughen Lloyd up a bit before a bump to junior agent occurs.
We know what Lloyd is like though -- he can only take so much. So it was only a matter of time before Ari pushed too hard. On a day when Ari stole Zac Efron from Adam Davies, there should have been a celebration and instead, Ari treated Lloyd worse that we've seen in ages. It's about time this plot went somewhere.
(S06E08) "I'm glad you finally admit the last five years of your life were all fantasy provided by me." - Ari
Because I've been such a big proponent of this season (despite what I'm about to say, I still say this has been the best season since the third), I'm starting to think that everything has been a fantasy up until this point when it comes to Entourage.
There are so many solid plots going on this season and every time I think that something big is gonna happen, it falls flat and leaves me disappointed.
(S06E07) "That's not what this is for." - Lloyd, upon seeing Eric's "gift" and message for Ari
Eric taking Murray's job offer may be the best thing that's ever happened on Entourage. It's opened up this whole new dynamic on the show and honestly makes things a lot more interesting.
Granted, it does push Vince even further into the background of the show, but that's been a steady trend for a while now. I'll put up with anything to get Bob Saget back.
(S06E06) "Listen, from here on, I swear, if one of my friends so much as jerks off, you're gonna be the first to know." - Ari
I don't want this review to come off sounding like I'm annoyed with how this season of Entourage has gone (so far, it's already better than last season and I loved this episode), but I really don't see what direction it's headed in.
Going into this season, there was a lot of speculation that landing a role in Marty Scorsese's latest flick would finally nab Vince the attention, and Oscar, he's been longing for. After the premiere, where all we heard was how amazing Gatsby was, there hasn't been a single mention of that plot. Instead we're getting a lot of smaller mini-arcs that just don't seem to tie together.
(S06E05) "No, we're up for it, but is this gonna be like the old days when you try to pay me back in personal training sessions and shit?" - Mark Wahlberg
Seems like the dynamic of Entourage is really shifting lately, huh? Over the past two or three episodes, Eric has moved to the head of the class, taking over the biggest parts of each half-hour. I'm not complaining, but earlier in the season I did wonder what the result of Vince's success would be. Now we know.
(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.
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