*By Tim Freeman*
After six seasons, HBO’s hit television series “Entourage” has officially passed its prime. The focus of the show in the most recent season has shifted from glitzy Hollywood lifestyles to sobering, relationships.
This transformation is completely against the show’s original premise and betrays loyal fans.
Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), Vince’s high school buddy, and Eric (Kevin Connoly), each have relationship issues that dominate the show. Both of these end towards the last episodes of the season, but not without an unnecessarily drawn out process. Turtle, who is dating Jamie-Lynn Sigler (playing herself), originally from “The Sopranos,” needs to choose between his girlfriend and an attractive college student who he goes to school with. Eric, on the other hand, is still in love with his ex-girlfriend while dating another girl. He spends a portion of each episode agonizing over insignificant relationship issues, while the ex-girlfriend makes random appearances.
Another unfortunate development of season six is that the protagonist changed from being Vince, the superstar playboy (Adrian Grenier), to Eric, Vince’s best friend and manager. With Vince as the focus, the series revolved around the Hollywood business and the movies. Now, the focus is on Eric’s managing career and his romantic interests.
During the season, there was virtually no mention of Vince’s film projects. The season begins after the movie remake of “The Great Gatsby” becomes a box office success, making Vince a huge star once again. He has already chosen his next movie, but the project gets delayed until the end of the season. As a result, Vince’s plot line is uninteresting, and the show is left to deal with the trivialities of the other characters.
Although there were many distasteful developments, the best character managed to stay as entertaining as ever. Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) is still Vince’s short-tempered, witty and degenerate agent. His personality and dialogue make every episode worth watching, despite the aforementioned shortcomings. His relationship with his homosexual secretary Lloyd (Rex Lee) is absolutely hilarious because of Gold’s quick wit and banter.
Entourage has taken a turn for the worse in its new season, but the show is still salvageable thanks to a few existing sources of comedy.