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5 reasons to watch Entourage (again)

Comeback: Entourage will play from Season One onwards this evening on FX and FX HD at 8 p.m.  

A lot of people will disagree with the following: Entourage is one of the best television shows. The show chronicles the acting career of Vincent Chase (modelled on the life of Mark Wahlberg and his posse) and his friends: Eric “E” Murphy, Johnny “Drama” Chase, Salvatore “Turtle” Assante, and rude agent Ari Gold. Yes, it’s not quality content like The Sopranos or Six Feet Under .

It won’t pass the Bechdel test; we didn’t even know one character’s name till the very last season and the hordes of women the protagonists bed is just plain unbelievable. But whatever’s good about Entourage is so good, you can’t help but get addicted. Entourage is returning to our television sets and here’s why you need to tune in.

Middlebrow for the win

Before there was the Castle , White Collar and Body of Proof variety of mid-brow television, there was Entourage in 2004. Now, some would say it’s the male equivalent of Sex and the City , but that’s really undermining the influence Carrie Bradshaw and her girls had on a generation of women.

Entourage didn’t rile up men to embrace their sexuality or ambitions, it just presented us with an amusing albeit indulgent look at how a male fantasy would play out if it was never reined in.

The friendship

While shows like Happy Days , Wonder Years and well, Friends , tugged at the heartstrings trying to convey a message about how friendship lasts forever, Entourage represented a far more superficial but real version of things. When your film bombs and you’re on the verge of bankruptcy, only your true friends will stand by you. The protagonists’ unwavering love and loyalty (perhaps what coined the term bromance) won’t stimulate those tear ducts, but will definitely encourage you to take a stand for your family, blood and otherwise.

In fact, the cast members are great friends off-screen too. Before the Entourage film released last year, executive producer Mark Wahlberg alluded to financial greed on the cast’s part causing delays. In reply, Adrian Grenier, who plays Chase, released a statement hinting that some actors received lower offers and the delay in signing was only to acquire a fair deal for everyone.

The cameos

In Hollywood, apparently, every actor has had a role on Law and Order before making it big. In Entourage ’s case, they managed to snag every established bigwig out there.

The show boasts of actors like Jessica Alba, Luke Wilson, Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Peter Dinklage and more. Sidenote: Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who played Meadow on The Sopranos , guest-starred as a love interest for Turtle which bloomed into a real life romance. That’s not all, musicians like U2, Lenny Kravitz and Kanye West; directors like James Cameron and M. Night Shyamalan also made appearances. But perhaps the most memorable one was when Chase started dating adult film actor Sasha Grey for a few episodes.

The ugly truth

At that time, in 2004, all we had to see about the American film industry was the glamour. Entourage though, broke through the façade and showed us everything: from the drugs to the backstabbing to the sexual depravation that went on behind the scenes. And what really goes into making a big-budget or even an indie film, right from pitches to haggling for money and script battles.

Ari Gold

And last, but most definitely not least, there’s the beloved foul-mouthed, angry, abrasive Ari Gold (Jeremy Pivens). Gold’s character very quickly superseded the main protagonists in popularity. He initially started off as a loathsome sleaze, eventually peeling away his layers to reveal an incredibly dynamic personality. Whether it was the depth of his belittling speeches, inner softie persona, loyalty to his wife or heart of gold, the agent won over every single viewer.

In addition to his rants and camaraderie with the four main guys, Gold’s love-hate relationship with his gay assistant, Lloyd, often borders on bigotry, yet is fun in an evil way. Piven’s portrayal of the character often had him confused about whether he began to live the role in his real life. In fact, Wahlberg’s real-life agent, Ari Emanuel, who the character is based on, insisted that Pivens play the role.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 7:28:53 AM |

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