Entourage**From boring to banging and back again

Is that all there is? The boys from Queens fade out

The finale of HBO’s Entourage went out with same whimper that introduced the show eight seasons ago.

None of the sparkling, snappy conversation between Vince and the

Drama, Vince, E and Turtle

boys, none of the firecracker energy that was the hallmark of Johnny ‘Drama’ Chase and Ari Gold, no snarky comebacks from Turtle or even a mention his wished-for restaurant was evident in this final episode.

But Vincent Chase’s wimpiness, which we have seen before, notably in the first season, was in ample supply.

No, this season we got all five boys doing their best meddling yenta imitations and a depressing mix of stories: Turtle burns their house down while smoking pot; Drama almost loses out on his next big career moves—cartoon show ‘Johnny Bananas’ and his save-the-miners movie-of-the-week, courtesy of his doting younger sibling (one more and last career bailout from the more successful half of the Chase brothers); Vince chasing after, begging and finally corralling the one woman who kept her legs shut, said no to him and meant it; Ari’s crisis of conscience due to his failing personal life and the lovely Sloan turning into a shrieking shrew whenever ex-boyfriend Eric Murphy appeared.

I really can’t imagine any non-fan of this show becoming one based on this season’s stories.  

I was similarly unimpressed with this show at its very beginning.

First and foremost, I thought that, of all the hot-looking, real-life waiters and  bartenders crawling all over Los Angeles waiting for their big break, they could have picked someone better looking than Adrian Grenier for the part of heartthrob prettyboy Vincent Chase.

On top of that disappointing pick, the writing of the first season underwhelmed me. Upon the show’s return, I decided to give the second season a chance and if it was better, I’d keep watching. Well, that subsequent season came equipped with better stories and Doug Ellin and company’s crisper writing and I became a fan.

Ari and everyone's favorite assistant, Lloyd

Once Jeremy Piven’s manic energy was channeled into his Emmy award-winning portrayal of agent Ari Gold along with the misplaced arrogance of Kevin Dillon’s pathetic Johnny Drama, this show was rescued from being just another boy’s club comedy set in the elusive stratosphere of Hollywood that most LA waiters/actors only dream of.

The great comedian Artie Lange, himself a cameo player on the show, once said of a joke that he could see it coming up the street in a cab. Likewise, Entourage is in a taxi of its own and its destination is last-chance movieland. Per rumored reports,  a movie will be made and, more than likely, will resolve tonight’s cliffhangers:  is Vince’s marriage successful or does he return to being the nicest philanderer ever to walk the streets of LA; Ari’s conflict to keep his word to his wife or take his dream job as CEO of the studio with paramour Dana Gordon in the number two spot; whether Eric and Sloan patch up their coupledom now that there’s a baby involved and will Johnny and Turtle ever emerge from Vince’s shadow.

With so many great episodes between the first and this final season, it really has been full circle for Entourage.  Sunday night’s finale left a great big ‘meh’ in my heart as the series did at its start.

Here’s hoping that Entourage will not go the Sex and the City route: bad $10 a pop, two-hour-plus movies with the same situations replayed over and over again.  (At least the Entouragers recognize and appreciate their good fortune. The bitches from SATC whine continually in the face of theirs.)

That would be a huge mistake because, under the umbrella of why pay for the cow when the milk is free (or at least included in my cable subscription), HBO will replay the Entourage movie ad nauseum just as it has the SATC films. And that certainly begs the question, why pay extra when that $10 can go toward an icy cold Cosmopolitan?


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