(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.
(S06E02) "Who would've thought I'd be the only one guaranteed to have sex tonight?!?" - Turtle
I know I've said it before, but one of the things that I've always loved about Entourage is how the writers behind the show seem to have this uncanny knack for re-creating exact conversations that I've had with my friends before. I know I'm not the only one out there who's had a laugh with their buddies trying to figure out how exactly did Seth Rogan get laid in Knocked Up? When Turtle made his final point ("His ugliness is oddly fascinating."), it was like deja-vu for me.
Then they went and killed the moment when Vince got that nudie pic of Sloan's friend. That never happens to me or my friends.
(S06E01) "Can we drive with the airbags deployed?" - Drama
The boys are back, and as I mentioned in my Early Look review last week, everything we knew about Entourage finally seems to be evolving. Some of it's logical and some of it's forced so that the story progresses, but all of it makes sense. Entourage was due for an overhaul if you think about it, and what could be more perfect than seeing what life is like for the guys when they aren't constantly worrying about Vince's career?
You think Turtle would have ever had time to smoke a J in a hot tub with Jamie-Lynn Sigler if Scorsese hadn't called Vince? I don't think so.
Like many shows before it, Entourage has officially reached a point where the title of the program doesn't exactly make total sense anymore. Think season two of Prison Break after they had, you know... broken out of prison. In this case, we've spent five seasons watching boys become men, and much like the tagline for Entourage's sixth season plainly spells out, "life changes, friends don't." What exactly happens when Vince no longer has an entourage?
The show gets a helluva lot more interesting is what happens.
I've talked at length in the past about how much I've loved all the creative taglines Entourage has featured over it's previous five seasons. They're short and witty, yet the brevity always gets across the point of the season too. The latest promotional campaign for Entourage's upcoming sixth season is no exception:
"Life changes. Friends don't."
When we last left Vinny and the boys, they were gearing up for Marty Scorsese's Great Gatsby re-imagining and it began with moving home to Queens. Speculation seems to be leaning towards Vince finally getting his due and being recognized for what's sure to be a stand-out performance in a Scorsese classic.
As one of the few hits that's currently keeping HBO afloat, Entourage is still only a modest success - it's recent fifth season premiere hit a three-year low. Despite the lackluster ratings, HBO still gave the greenlight to a sixth season much earlier than expected... because, well, they don't have much else going on right now.
That being said, I'm a huge fan of the show and have been since it began. Yes, I'm one of the few that actually tuned in for the mostly ignored eight episode freshman season. I honestly don't see HBO pulling the plug without a true series finale at this stage in the series, but weirder things have happened and I want season six to roar back. So if you watch the show, great - glad to know you weren't part of that "three-year low" I mentioned. But if you used to watch Entourage, or never have, then this will be good for ya - the only six episodes you need to watch to know just what the heck is going on in the world of Vincent Chase.
(S05E12) "She's treating me like she usually treats Johnny." - Vince
Things certainly weren't looking good for Vince. But in true Entourage style, something always works out. Despite the fact that this was one of the strongest episodes of the season, I really wish it had ended differently.
(S05E02) "No indies E! Think of it like the Holocaust - never again!" - Ari
Ever since the beginning of Entourage, I've been waiting for this episode. As much as I love Vince, it's been a long time coming for his "I'll do whatever the hell I want" mentality to finally come full circle and bite him in the ass. His career is in the toilet, Ari even admitted that his worth as an actor "remains to be seen," and E is officially taking his own career more seriously. If Vince wants a comeback, then it's going to be up to him and I love that it's been set up that way. Up until now, his failures have been a direct result partly because of his reliance on Eric and partly because of his own laissez-faire, "what will be will be" attitude. If he screws it all up now, it's his own fault.
(S05E01) "Our next film is Medellin - the ultra-violent story of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar starring Vincent Chase in a fat-suit in bad make-up that makes him look like the love child of Jiminy Glick and a case of Twinkies." - Richard Roeper
Ouch. It's been six months since Cannes, Medellin is getting a straight-to-DVD release, and people are still talking about it. One of the worst films of the year. I can't say that I'm surprised. Considering how last season ended and what we've come to expect from Entourage, this felt less like a season premiere and more like just another episode. Vincent Chase can only stay down and out hidden in Mexico for so long before the allure of his almost dead career came calling.
The fifth season of Entourage returns in just a little more than a month on September 7th, and HBO has been running a short promo for a few weeks now. Don't get too excited though. For a season that's going to feature appearances by Jeffrey Tambor, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Tony Bennett, Phil Mickelson, Fran Drescher, and Bow Wow (there's even more that I'm not listing), you'd hope for a small taste of that in the promos. Nope. Business as usual - parties, cars, girls, and lots of Drama. Don't take that as me not being excited though. I read that this season is going to feature a Johnny Drama melt-down on The View. That right there is reason enough to tune it. Video is after the jump.
That's good to know -- especially in these dog days of summer TV -- but if you want to know what's going to happen next, read on. Both Jerry Ferarra and Kevin Connolly, Turtle and E, got a little chatty with OK! magazine's Oliver Coleman.
If you don't want to know how things are going to unfold in season five, don't read after the jump.
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