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September 05, 2006 - Image 47

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-09-05

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New Student Edition 2006 - The Michigan Daily - 7D

'Entourage' channels Hollywood as industry

By Jeffrey Bloomer
Managing Editor
When life is this good, there's
no turning back. Reductively tout-
ed as the male spin-off of the late
"Sex and the City," HBO's L.A.-
set movie-star-on-
the-rocks comedy
series "Entourage" Entourage:
hit an uncommon Complete
stride in its second Second
season, rallying a Season
cult audience and HBO
effectively trans-
forming itself into
the pop-culture manifesto of mod-
ern Hollywood.
Though bearing the same cin-
ematic aesthetic and four-friend
stronghold of its counterpart,
"Entourage" changes coasts and alot
more: Relationships take a backseat
(though they're certainly here) to
the show's more compelling interest
in Hollywood as a business, a cul-

tural epicenter and a way of life. The
show's frank writers and producers
not only tap into the ferocious beat-
ing heart of the industry but remain
in acute conversation with its cultural
backbone, channeling both its outer
and inner workings through a clan of
four friends from Brooklyn, one of
whom made it big.
"Entourage" carved new and last-
ing life for itself in its second season,
with ingenious preemptive strikes on
the part of the producers who have
a preternatural feel for the show's
weaknesses. Turtle is made into more
than the free-wheeling tag-along of
yesteryear and becomes a hip-hop
producer; Ari "Let's-hug-it-out-
bitch" Gold's airtight career begins to
slip; and Vince, not E, falls hard for a
girl. Coming off of an already strong
first season held back by its inciden-
tal, obstacle-of-the-week structure,
the producers develop the series' first
bona fide storylines that have carried
on into the new third season, which

debuted last Sunday.
Said to be modeled from sketches
of Mark Wahlberg's career circa the
Tim Burton remake of "Planet of the
Apes" (Wahlberg serves as an exec
producer), the second season follows
Vince (Adrian Griener), E (Kevin
Connolly), Drama (Kevin Dillon)
and Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) 'through
the rocky road leading up to the pro-
duction of James Cameron's "Aqua-
man" and Vince's brief re-fling with
co-star Mandy Moore (who plays a
fresh-faced caricature of herself in
four episodes). Ari's firing from the
agency also takes center stage, which
leads him to bond with Lloyd, his gay
Chinese-American assistant who the
writers steadfastly refuse to stereo-
type. ("If I was 25 and liked cock, we
might actually have something,' Ari
tells him. How sweet.)
How the producers continue to
land such a steady line of guest
stars is a puzzlement they would
do well to keep to themselves (the

second season saw Cameron, Bono
and, inevitably, Hugh'Hefner), but i
whatever they're playing at, they
are in obvious control of the medi-
um, steadily sending the show into
-the ranks of the network's very best
television. That the DVD release
has such scant features (Wahlberg
interviews the cast --hold rise back)
is regrettable but beside the point,
because with 14 episodes on three
discs, there's no real room for com-
plaint. Its exposure already through
the roof, the show may become the
smooth-edged poster child for 'GOs
pop culture, a rare industry intro-
spection of the most entertaining
order. As with Vince, there's no-
question: This one is on the rise.
Show: ****
Special Features: **
courtesy of
- This article originally Adrian Grenier in "Entourage": Vincent Chase. Grenier in the Melissa
ran Jun. 19,2006. Joan Hart vehicle "Drive Me Crazy": Chase Hammond. Fate?

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