ENTOURAGE The Complete Fifth Season DVD Review

     July 9, 2009

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You would think that after five seasons of a show about an actor that’s the next “big thing” and his buddies that mooch off/help his career would get tired and worn out, but as this season proves Vince and the gang still have a few tricks up their sleeves.  This season has just the right amount of golden Ari blow-up moments, random gratuitous nudity, and celebrity cameos like Martin Scorsese, Stellan Skarsgard, and Seth Green to name a few, that I’m down to stay another season with this Entourage (that might be the cheesiest thing I’ve written in recent memory, but true nonetheless). My review is after the jump:

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I have yet to be bored by a single episode of this show, which is insane because it is pretty much about nothing.  Not much happens in each episode, the story progresses ever so slightly, with plot points like another script Eric is trying to pitch Vince or another shit-fit Ari is having or another day of Drama making an ass out of himself.  The whole reason this show works is not the plot, it’s the characters, and the entire show revolves around the ensemble and how they interact.  They could be sitting around eating cheeseburgers for half an episode and it wouldn’t matter, this is one of the best portrayals of friends and how guys interact with each other I’ve ever seen.  Each character fits their role perfectly; whether it’s the mooch without a “real purpose” Turtle, the walking disaster zone of an older brother Johnny Drama, the faithful best friend/manager Eric, the Hollywood dream child that’s fallen off the wagon because of a major flop Vince, or the cut-throat do anything for his client hard ass agent Ari Gold.  The cast is flawless and has only been given the free reign to breathe more life into their characters as the series progresses.

So now that I’ve gushed over the cast and how I wish I could be cool enough to have an Entourage or even be invited to be part of one, what’s the plot this season?  Coming right off season four after the release of what was supposed to be Vince’s “Scarface” indie drug kingpin epic “Medellin,” that turned out to be a monumental failure and put the brakes on any steam building on Vince after “Aquaman,” now the gang is trying to regroup and salvage the wreckage of his career.  Eric is trying to build his management company to more than just three clients and struggling to keep Vince afloat.  Johnny Drama is now on a TV show and dealing with his ego (especially an episode where he blows up on a photographer saying “I don’t go right” because his right side, he feels, makes him look freakish).  Turtle is slowly starting to realize he doesn’t serve much of a purpose in this group other than smoking weed and getting the hand-me-down girls from his buddies.  Vince, went from the star everyone wanted to the one no one will talk to, remains the eternal optimist that things are bound to turn around.  This character choice is one of the main things that makes the show great, if Vince was a whiny Hollywood baby always upset his career wasn’t going his way the show would be intolerable, but his cool demeanor in the face of any adversity keeps the tone light and fun (even when he’s degraded to singing at a Goth girl’s 16th Birthday party as she mimes blowing him in front of her parents).

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The main star of the show for me (and I’m pretty sure almost everyone who watches it) is Jeremy Piven as Vince’s agent Ari Gold.  He somehow walks the tightrope of being the world’s biggest asshole and the most likeable character on the planet each episode.  One of the season’s best episodes is when Ari and Adam Davies (a rival agent) have a feud that escalates from drag racing on the streets of 90210 to Ari sending him $100 with human feces covering it, to male strippers dressed as cops grinding on Ari, to the ultimate Ari bitch-slapping Adam in front of his entire office making him apologize.  In this one single escalation of events we are reminded as an audience why we love Ari so much, because he is the most powerful man on the show and does anything to protect his own interests (his family or Vince) and he’s f-ing hilarious in the process.  Every scene with Ari Gold is awesome and worth watching the show for his character alone.

The cast is great, the writing is fun and very believable that this is how Hollywood works, and the cameos are a friggin’ hoot.  If you haven’t watched “Entourage” before, start now.  It’s still great and you can pick up pretty much anywhere.  Ari Gold you are my hero!

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