Good Character Show, Good Characters
"Entourage" is the HBO series about a rising star, Vinnie Chase, his manager-best friend Eric ("E"), his semi-washed up brother Johnny ("Drama") and their gofer, Turtle, who supplies them with weed and is himself frequently stoned. Making all this possible is their agent, the hyper mega-maniacal Ari Gold. Producers of the show include Mark Wahlberg, Doug Ellin and Larry Charles (both from "Seinfeld").
We've seen the rags to riches Hollywood story before, but what makes "Entourage" work is the fact that these guys, even Ari, are very likable. You don't mind seeing them walk into a Rolls Royce dealership, drop $400,00 on a car and then use it to go cruising for girls (guess what? they get them), in fact, it's scenes like this that make the show work. Pretty much everything is golden for these guys, there is hardly ever a downside, well, except for Johnny (played by Kevin Dillon, himself the semi-washed up brother of actor Matt Dillon) who is trying to ride Vince's wave and re-start his career, but finds a lot of dead ends, including in Episode 8 where he auditions for "CSI: Minneapolis" to be shot in Vancouver with Don Johnson.
Season One starts right off in Hollywood, with Vince reading scripts for his next movie and leading the guys on endless spending sprees and hedonistic excesses, all the while dealing with Arie's temper. And, from time to time, actual "stars" show up for shout-outs, including Ali Larter, Jessica Alba, David Faustino, Jimmy Kimmel, Sara Foster, Luke Wilson, Val Kilmer, Larry David, Scarlett Johanssen and quite a few more who might only be on screen for a second or two. And then, of course, there is the Entourage's own "entourage" of women, played by, among others, Monic Keena, Samaire Armstrong, Scarlett Chorvat, Nadine Velazquez, Charlotte Ayanna, Leighton Meester, Courtney Peldon and Lisa Donahue -- literally, the Beautiful People are never more beautiful when they're hanging out on the Strip with the Boys. Then there are the uncredited cameos, for example, including heavyweights Evander Holyfield and Lenox Lewis and, why not, former Playboy Playmates Cara Wakelin and Irina Voronina (quite memorable as the nude beach-goer in the "Reno:911!" movie).
"Entourage" has no moral, other than maybe showing us the reality of a Hollywood in which the "entourage" of a star neither works nor toils, yet shamelessly and undeservedly lives off his success. The show works because the cast is talented (especially Dillon) and in no way resembles real-life people (or maybe they do).Read full review