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September 11, 2007 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-09-11

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, September 11, 2007 - 5

pretty. So tired.

Bidding
fairwell to
a friend
I'm writing on behalf of a friend.
Just a few years back, my friend was a
young face in the world of premium televi-
sion. Its first season was a brief eight episodes
long, and it didn't attract much
attention outside of industry
types, but it was different and
seemed to have potential. By
season two, it found a healthy
audience and developed into
a borderline-great show. The
acting was never very special,
but it was difficult not to get
sucked into the lives of its five
titular characters.
Unfortunately, my friend is PASSMAN
having some problems. What
was once the life of the party
has been sadly relegated to DVR filler. Like the
Jerry Rice of Sunday evening television, my old
friend has become a shell of its once-great self,
and someone needs to tell it to put the Denver
Broncos jersey down.
My friend's name is "Entourage," and it's time
for it to go.
"Entourage's" problem is hardly uncommon.
It has gone past the point of its ideal con-
clusion and now persists in a conspicuous
state of uselessness. It's not completely
bad; it's just becoming unnecessary. You
don't really need to see itcon a given week.
You don't really need to see it ever.
The show would have been much better
off if it were plotted out in a three- or even
four-season are, with a definite endpoint.
Instead, it just seems to be rambling on,
adding frivolous plotlines that are dropped
and picked up at will.
Isn't Johnny Drama supposed to be on
a successful TV show now? Why does he
still embark on easily interchangeable side
stories with Turtle in almost every episode?
Shouldn't he be, you know, working?
It's side plots like Drama's TV gig that
have bloated "Entourage" beyond capacity.
Because it's only 20-something-minutes long
each week, there's only so much that can be cov-
ered in a given episode. After Vince hit it bigwith
"Aquaman," his career become inherently less
interesting and other characters had to pick up
the slack. Even when new spin-off plotlines are
created, they're often ignored for episodes at a
time, only to be inexplicably revived weeks later.
And when they're not ignored, there's rarely a
compelling reason. E's burgeoning career in the
business has become a greater focus, but it lacks
the dramatic tension that we felt for Vince early
on. Even if E fails now, you know he's goingeto be
fine because he still has Vince. And no one even
likes E in the first place.
"Entourage's" creative team should have
taken a hint from "The Wire," which will end
on its own terms with its fifth season this Janu-
ary. That show set out to tell a story, knew how
it was going to end from the beginning and has
delivered an incredible narrative so far. "Entou-
rage," on the other hand, is pumping out more
and more episodes each year with no satisfying
conclusion in sight.
The show has reached a pointcwhere its season
finale cliffhangers have become more predict-
able than the end of a family sports movie. Was
anyone remotely surprised when Ari was rehired
after being fired at the end of the first half of sea-
son three? He's the most popular character - of
course he's coming back. Does anyone have any
doubt that Vince and his boys will make it out of
the "Medellin" situation just fine, even though it
flopped at Cannes? Of course they will.
I realize many people don't care - they just
want to be entertained. If watching Drama and
Turtle go to a dog park is entertaining for some
people, I envy you. Personally, I'm looking for a
little more, even in a half-hour show that's mar-
keted as a comedy.
And as a comedy, the show is still pretty good.
It has always teetered between amusing and
funny, and that hasn't changed. But even though
it's comparatively lighter than other premium
channel dramadies like Showtime's "Weeds,"
Ari's one-liners and Drama's ridiculous com-

ments aren't enough to make the lighthearted
drama a must-watch show anymore.
Like a beloved pet that needs to be put down,
it's sad to see the show in its current form. It's
probably too late to save my old friend, so maybe
it's just time for "Entourage" to go.
-Everyone likes E. He's so nice! Tell
Passman at mpass@umich.edu.

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