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August 01, 2011 - Image 9

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2011-08-01

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Monday, August 1, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
"In season 8,'Entourage' moves on
HBO's popular bro-show can't quite get back
to the glory days of previous seasons
By David Tao I Daily Film Editor

What is "Entourage"? For the
first six seasons, it was a com-
forting blend of fluff. For those
with Hollywood dreams, it was
a voyeuristic
fantasy about a
few New York-
ers who broke
through and Entourage
made it. For Season Eight
those with Premier
delicate sensi-
bilities, it was Sundaysat
10:30 p.m
a misogynis- HBO
tic nightmare.
And then, sea-
son seven hap-
pened. The writers added a clich6
(drug addiction) and a pinch of
drama, and it all went to hell.
Somehow renewed for an eighth
and final season, the show is wise-
ly returning to its roots, and in
the premier, we see some of what
we remember. But throughout the
episode, we're faced with unwel-
coming reminders that the show
we love isn't quite back.
Vince (Adrian Grenier, "The
Devil Wears Prada"), the show's
fantasy A-lister, starts the sea-
son leaving rehab, drawing the
"movie star on coke" storyline to
a welcome close. Meanwhile, his
TV "star" older brother, Drama
(Kevin Dillon, "Hotel for Dogs")
and his ex-weed carrier Turtle
(an almost creepily thin Jerry
Ferrara, "Brooklyn Rules"), comb
Vince's frat house of a mansion for
liquor and drugs. The people who
actually contribute to his career
are busy with their girl problems:
His manager, Eric (Kevin Con-
nolly, "Secretariat") just canceled

his wedding. His agent, Ari (the
always-enjoyable Jeremy Piven,
"The Kingdom") is dealing with
an unwanted separation.
Almost immediately, the
show brings us the kind of witty,
borderline-offensive edge that
once made it so fun. We see the
Turtle-Drama bromance reas-
serting itself, as Drama assaults
Turtle with a spray bottle of drain
cleaner and Turtle "gets rid of
the weed" by lighting one up. Ari
is still doing his superagent thing
- flinging abuse if he can afford
it and passive-aggressive sarcasm
if he can't. And Eric? He's still the
same whipped midget who Ari
calls pale as a "crack rock," taking

Only in 'Entourage' do five men eagerly await the arrival of, not a hot chick ... but another man.

himsel
Evet
norma'
off its
the ac
son w
why G

f too seriously. like a beaver on cocaine. Every-
rything's (almost) back to one knew that Grenier was a weak
L1, but the show can't shake actor, but it never really hit home
s problems, especially in until he was thrust into the spot-
ting department. Last sea- light. Now, our eyes are wide open
as a lengthy reminder of and we can't "un-see." As he stum-
renier doesn't have Vince's bles his way through some truly
atrocious lines - "sober is sexy,"
he murmurs, as he steps out of his
last Narcotics Anonymous meet-
sober really Ing- we cringe.
In a larger sense, last season
exy, Vince? did more damage than that. It
showed us, as Vince descended
re'll see how into powder-induced dementia,
that actions do have consequenc-
ng this lasts. es, turning the show's everything-
will-be-OK formula on its head.

At its best, "Entourage" depended
upon this formula, and the show
departs at its peril. Growth, char-
acter development, dramatic ten-
sion - who needs that when some
big-shot can swoop in and save the
day?
Andwhatsavestheywere!Vince
needs a job? Martin Scorsese gives
him the lead in his new movie. The
gang's flight to Cannes gets can-
celed? No problem, Kanye's on call
with the G6! Vince needs a reality
check? It's cool, Eminem can come
hit him in the face. But Hollywood
has a sixth sense for shows past
their prime. Cameos, once a badge
of honor for "Entourage," are now

few and far between. Instead of
the Matt Damons of the past, or
the Charlie Sheens they wanted
for the new season, all they can get
is Johnny Galecki, that guy from
"The Big Bang Theory" who isn't
Jim Parsons and doesn't (usually)
get Emmy nominations. And when
the cameras document Vince's
ride away from rehab, it's pain-
fully obvious that there aren't any
real graphics from TMZ.
Everyone seems to know that
the show is a few episodes away
from sailing off into the sunset.
But hey, they still might snake a
movie. Everything is going to be
just fine.

Is
lol

career (spoiler alert: It's because
he's a talentless actor whose
career ends at the season finale).
Suddenly forced into mounds
of additional screentime, he
chewed through the scenery

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