Entourage (TV series)


Entourage (TV series)

Infobox Television
show_name =Entourage


caption ="Entourage" title card
format =Dramedy
camera =Single camera
runtime =approx. 28 min.
Director =
creator =Doug Ellin
starring =Kevin Connolly
Adrian Grenier
Kevin Dillon
Jerry Ferrara
Debi Mazar
Perrey Reeves
Rex Lee
Rhys Coiro
Jeremy Piven
country =USA
opentheme = "Superhero"
by Jane's Addiction
network =HBO
picture_format = 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
first_aired =July 18, 2004
last_aired =present
num_seasons =5
num_episodes =59
list_episodes =List of Entourage episodes
executive_producer=Doug Ellin
Rob Weiss
Mark Wahlberg
Steven Levinson
Larry Charles
website =http://www.hbo.com/entourage/
tv_com_id =27346
imdb_id =0387199

"Entourage" is an Emmy Award-winning HBO original series created by Doug Ellin that chronicles the rise of Vincent Chase — a young A-list movie star — and his childhood friends from Queens, New York City as they navigate the unfamiliar terrain of Hollywood, California. Doug Ellin, Mark Wahlberg, and Stephen Levinson serve as the show's executive producers, and the show's premise is loosely based on Wahlberg's experiences as an up-and-coming movie star. [cite web|url=http://www.boston.com/ae/tv/articles/2004/07/16/flunkies_go_to_hollywood_in_hbos_entourage/|title=Flunkies go to Hollywood in HBO's 'Entourage'|first=Matthew|last=Gilbert|date=2004-07-16|publisher=boston.com|accessdate=2007-02-01] cite episode | credits=Bianculli, David and Gross, Terry | title=Mark Wahlberg discusses his movie "The Departed" and also his life and career | series = Fresh Air | airdate=2008-02-08]

Development

According to Mark Wahlberg, "Entourage" was initially conceived when his assistant asked to film him and his friends, calling them "hilarious".cite news | author = Wadler, Joyce with Ryzik, Melena Z. | title = [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A02E2DC1138F931A35754C0A9629C8B63 But Until We Do, You Go Get the Car] | publisher = "The New York Times" | date=2004-07-02 | accessdate = 2008-08-28] Other reports credit Eric Weinstein, a long-time friend of Wahlberg's, with the idea of filming the successful actor's group of friends.cite news | author = McKinley, Jesse | title = With Friends Like These | publisher = "The New York Times" | date = 2004-07-11 | accessdate = 2008-08-28] cite news | author = Levin, Gary | title = Hangers-on as comedy hook| publisher = "USA Today" | date = 2004-07-15 | accessdate = 2008-08-28] In order to be more satirical of the Hollywood lifestyle, a fictional approach was chosen rather than a straight documentary.

Vincent Chase, the show's main character, was envisioned to be more similar to Wahlberg, but it was decided that some of his and his friends' activities (particularly some elements of their criminal past) would not work well on television. A lighter approach was subsequently decided on.

However, according to Donnie Carroll, who was the inspiration for the Turtle character, the idea for a show involving an actor and his friends had come from him.cite news | author = Fee, Gayle and Raposa, Laura | title = For old pal, life's lonely outside Wahlberg's `Entourage' | work = Inside Track | publisher = "The Boston Herald" | date = 2005-06-05 | accessdate = 2008-08-28] It had originated as a book idea, centered around Carroll's own life and his experiences with Wahlberg, entitled "From the 'Hood to Hollywood, A Soldier's Story".

Cast and characters

"Entourage" revolves around Vincent Chase (Adrien Grenier), a young, up-and-coming actor who eventually becomes an A-list star. His experiences are loosely based on those of Mark Wahlberg, who is also executive producer on the show.cite news | author = McKinley, Jesse | title = Life and times of a star's posse | publisher = "International Herald Tribune" | date = 2004-07-16 | accessdate = 2008-08-28] [cite news | author = Keck, William | title = No need for his own 'Entourage' | publisher = "USA Today" | date = 2004-08-13 | accessdate = 2008-08-28] His best friend and manager is Eric Murphy (Kevin Connolly).cite news | author = De Vries, Hilary | title = 'Entourage' Chillingly Realistic, Insiders Say | publisher = "The New York Times" | date = 2005-09-05 | accessdate = 2008-08-28] "E", as his friends call him, is based on Wahlberg's friend and executive producer Eric Weinstein. He's also been reported to be inspired by Stephen Levinson, Wahlberg's manager.

Vincent's older brother Johnny "Drama" Chase is played by Kevin Dillon, and he is also Vince's personal chef and trainer. Johnny is a C-list actor, who was in the fictional show "Viking Quest" during his younger days. His role in the new fictional hit show "Five Towns" has begun to resurrect his fame and career. This character is based on Johnny "Drama" Alves (cousin of Mark Wahlberg), whom Donnie Wahlberg had hired to keep his younger brother out of trouble.

Rounding out the entourage of friends is Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), who is another of Vince's old friends from childhood. Turtle's official role is as Vince's driver and assistant, though his value as such is often brought into question. This character is based on Mark Wahlberg's former "gofer" Donnie Carroll aka "Donkey". [cite news | author = Fee, Gayle and Raposa, Laura with Hayes, Erin | title = `Entourage's' Turtle inspiration dies in asthma attack | work = Inside Track | publisher = "The Boston Herald" | date = 2005-12-20 | accessdate = 2008-08-28] Carroll auditioned for the role, but the Boston-native was turned down when it was decided the actors would have to be New Yorkers.

Jeremy Piven plays Ari Gold, Vince's abrasive but lovable agent. The role has led to several nominations and Emmy Awards for Piven. Ari is based on Wahlberg's real-life agent Ari Emanuel.

Initially a recurring guest playing Mrs. Ari Gold, Perrey Reeves became a regular in season four. Her character is a former soap opera actress who left her career in her prime at age 25 to start a family. Debi Mazar appears as Vince's loyal yet hot-tempered publicist, Shauna Roberts. Shauna is a recurring character in season one, a regular in seasons two and three, and again recurring in seasons four and five. Lloyd (Rex Lee), Ari's much maligned assistant, became a regular in season five. An openly gay Chinese American, his ethnicity and sexual orientation often help in fueling Ari's venomous barbs. Despite his sharp tongue, Ari sometimes shows a deep caring for Lloyd because he knows he cannot function without him. Rhys Coiro appears as Billy Walsh, an egotistical independent film director/artist who directed Vince in "Queens Boulevard" and "Medellin". In season four, Vince agrees to star in another Walsh-directed film, "Silo".

Recurring characters

"Entourage" features many recurring characters. Sometimes these characters are played by celebrities such as Malcolm McDowell as Terrance McQuewick and Martin Landau as Bob Ryan, while other celebrities, such as Anna Faris, Mandy Moore, Seth Green and Gary Busey, appear as themselves.

Guests and cameos

"Entourage" typically has at least one celebrity guest per episode. Their appearances range from cameos (such as those made by Jessica Alba, Scarlett Johansson, Kanye West, and Larry David) to recurring roles.

Plot synopsis

First season

The first season of "Entourage" chronicles Vincent Chase's adventures as he climbs the celebrity ladder after his first successful movie: "Head On". At the forefront of the first few episodes is the conflict between Vince's best friend "E" and his agent Ari, who are both working to get the best for Vince, but often differ on how to accomplish this.

Vince's next project is decided halfway through the season: "Queens Boulevard". Signed on is indie director Billy Walsh, who comes into immediate conflict with E. Eventually their differences are put aside and the season ends with the start of production on "Queens Boulevard", with E formally becoming Vince's manager.

Running subplots include: Turtle's laziness and quest for marijuana; Drama's attempt to follow in his younger brother's footsteps; E dating Ari's assistant Emily (Samaire Armstrong); and Vince's many and varied girlfriends.

econd season

The second season revolves around Vince's proposed role in the movie adaptation of "Aquaman" as the titular hero. Ari's inability to close the contract leads to trouble, but Vince manages to convince the film's director, James Cameron, that he is right for the part. However, new problems arise when the role of the leading lady goes to Mandy Moore, Vince's ex-girlfriend, for whom he still has feelings, but who is engaged to be married.

Mandy and Vince resume their romance after Mandy's engagement shows signs of problems, but she eventually returns to her boyfriend and resigns from the "Aquaman" project. Initially devastated, Vince finds the will to go on with the movie in the end.

However, Ari has his own problems in the form of his boss and partner, Terrance McQuewick (Malcolm McDowell), who is trying to steal Vince away from him. Near the end of the season, their conflict reaches a head and Ari is fired from the agency. E, meanwhile, starts to date Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui), McQuewick's daughter.

Meanwhile, Drama continues to try to become a star, even considering getting his calves augmented. He is eventually dropped by his agent, Adam Davies, after Vince decides to stick with Ari after Ari is fired. Turtle starts a career of his own, as manager of rapper Saigon.

Third season, part 1

The third season continues with the "Aquaman" plotline as the movie premieres and becomes a huge hit. Problems arise however when "Medellin", Vince's dream project about the life of Pablo Escobar, conflicts with the schedule of "Aquaman 2". The end result is that Vince is unable to star in either and is fired by Warner Brothers.

Ari meanwhile has to juggle his new, failing, business with keeping Vince happy. Even though Ari manages to set up a successful new agency with the help of Barbara Miller (Beverly D'Angelo), it leads him to neglect his star client.

E's relationship with Sloan comes into question when he has a threesome with her and her friend Tori, to whom E is attracted. Tensions rise further when E is confronted with Sloan's stalker Seth Green.

Near the end of the season, Drama finally lands his big break as he's signed on to the new series "Five Towns". Turtle's career as a music manager ends unceremoniously when he is bought out by Saigon's original manager. In the season finale, Ari is fired as Vince's agent when his abrasive methods lead to him being unable to secure a film about punk rock band The Ramones.

Third season, part 2

The second part of the third season focuses almost entirely on Vince and Ari and the troubles surrounding "Medellin". Attempting to get Vince back, Ari convinces him that he can secure the film after all. Vince's new agent, Amanda (Carla Gugino), tries to steer Vince towards a different film, but he ends up refusing.

To compud their problems, they both admit to a mutual attraction, and have a relationship. When "Medellin" once again slips Vince's grasp, he questions Amanda's motives. After proving her innocence, she drops him as both client and boyfriend. With the help of Ari, who is once again hired, Vince and E finally secure their dream project when they buy the rights to the film themselves. Billy Walsh is signed on as the director with E given his first shot at producer.

In the continuation of the previous part's subplot, Drama's star rises, and "Five Towns" becomes a hit. At the end of the season, Vince (along with Turtle), impoverished after buying "Medellin", moves in with Drama, the new star. E proceeds to move in with Sloan.

Fourth season

The fourth season continues the "Medellin" plotline as production of the film finally begins. Conflicts quickly arise when E admits to being dissatisfied with the first cut after Walsh reluctantly agrees to a midnight screening. Vince and E subsequently clash over the creative direction and financing of the film in an arc which escalates through the season.

When the "Medellin" trailer leaks to the public via YouTube, an opportunity is presented to leverage the resultant hype to broker a deal attaching Vince to a new big-budget project. The deal, however, is unexpectedly sold on the strength of not just Vince, but the "Medellin Dream Team" — also involving E as producer and Walsh as director — at the point when animosity between E and Walsh begins to come to a head. Consequently, E must decide between jeopardizing the deal, and the prospect of working on another project with Walsh, which he had previously sworn he would never do again. There is much contention over the ending of the script, and Stephen Gaghan is brought in briefly, at which point Walsh comes up with what he believes to be a good ending.

Meanwhile, Ari contends with various complications in his personal and professional lives, including the incapacitating relationship troubles of his indispensable assistant, Lloyd, the uncertainty of his son's acceptance into the exclusive private school his daughter currently attends, and interpersonal conflicts between employees of his agency.

E navigates unfamiliar waters as he clumsily attempts to expand the representation of his fledgling management agency beyond Vince, his only client at the time. By chance he comes to meet and subsequently represent Anna Faris, but when his loyalty to Vince and his personal feelings for Faris are set at odds with one another and compromise his professional judgement, he is ultimately fired by Faris.

Drama and Turtle are featured throughout the season in various subplots that see them engaging in the type of antics typical of their characters, such as procuring marijuana and engaging in furry fetishes via Craigslist on a bet.

In the season finale, the entourage travel to Cannes to promote "Medellin", and sign a distribution deal. However, the film bombs with the Cannes audience, and they are forced to accept an offer from producer Harvey Weingard (who they earlier rebuffed) of one dollar for the movie.

Fifth season

Production on season 5 began in April 2008 [ [http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=en-us&vid=ab4c577a-0864-4031-815c-7cd39457b278 Interview with the 'Entourage' creators and Jeremy Piven - MSN Video ] ] with 12 episodes to be initially produced. Ellin said he could comply if HBO orders more. [http://www.eonline.com/gossip/kristin/detail/index.jsp?uuid=f44c8cae-a11f-4917-b6ec-27a35b41e631 Watch with Kristin - The "Entourage" Regroups ] ] Season 5 planned to satirize the writers' strike but this theme has been scrapped as Ellin feels that most people are over the whole debacle and would prefer to deal with different material. Due to the writers' strike, season 5 premiered on September 7, 2008 instead of June.

Among the story lines for the fifth season are the return of Domenick Lombardozzi, the actor who plays Dom. Ellin wrote him in intending for Dom to be a permanent fixture of the entourage. Unfortunately, he didn’t anticipate the audience's negative reaction to the character, which ultimately led to Lombardozzi's early exit. Ellin has a personal goal to bring Dom back, but this time with a storyline viewers can empathize with. Giving him terminal cancer is one idea that was considered. It is also rumored that rapper Saigon will return to the series in Season 5. Also Emmanuelle Chriqui will be reprising her role as Sloan for one episode this season. [http://popsugar.com/1701967] It has been confirmed by various news outlets that Rapper Bow Wow will play Eric's newest client: Charlie, a young, up-and-coming comedian trying to get a break. Ellin says he has four more seasons of material in reserve, implying that "Entourage" will probably run through season eight. T.I. is also expected to make a guest appearance in the fifth season. Among the other celebrities appearing on the show are Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who will be playing herself and a potential love interest for one of the boys in a 3-episode arc. [ [http://tv.yahoo.com/entourage/show/28361/news/urn:newsml:eonlinekristen.com:20080706:TV-4a71462f4c4b17f354caa108f7dd716b__ER:1 Television show - TV Show - Yahoo! TV ] ] TV Guide reports that appearing as themselves will be Mark Wahlberg, Tony Bennett, Los Angeles Lakers' stars Andrew Bynum and Trevor Ariza, golfer Phil Mickelson, and actor Eric Roberts. Other guests confirmed include Lukas Haas and Giovanni Ribisi (as screenwriters), and Fran Drescher and Kevin Pollak (as a Beverly Hills couple). [ [http://www.rte.ie/arts/2008/0711/entourage.html RTÉ.ie Entertainment: More guest stars joining Entourage ] ] Martin Landau is also set to reprise his role as Bob Ryan. Leighton Meester will be reprising her role as Justine Chapin for one episode.

Season 5 also promises Johnny Drama a hit show, a break-up and a daytime meltdown on "The View".Venkataraman, Nitya [http://blogs.abcnews.com/screenshots/2008/06/johnny-drama-ad.html "Johnny Drama Adds View to His Entourage"] ABCNews.com 2008-06-23] The latter scene, taped outside Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, includes "The View" co-hosts Sherri Shepherd, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Whoopi Goldberg. Actor Jason Isaac, best known as Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, has stated in an interview that he will have a stint in the upcoming season playing a "truly monstrous character".] The season premiered on Sunday, September 7th at 10 pm.

ixth season

HBO confirmed on October 6, 2008 that Entourage was renewed for a sixth season, with filming for season 6 set to begin starting in January of 2009 with the episodes set to air Summer 2009 [ [http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/b32546_entourage_chases_down_another_season.html Entourage Chases Down Another Season ] ] .

Episodes

The first episode was simply titled "Entourage" and aired on July 18, 2004. The show has completed four seasons. HBO aired the first episode of season 5 on September 7, 2008.

Themes and characteristics

Male friendship

A recurring theme in "Entourage" is the strength of friendship and its importance over work. Series creator Doug Ellin stated, "Entourage" works because it's about male friendship. The Hollywood setting is entertaining but it's really about the relationship between these guys".cite news | author=Hughes, Sarah|title=Hollywood exposed; 'Entourage' is a show about actor Vincent Chase and his buddies trying to make it big in Tinseltown. And it's pulling no punches. | publisher="The Independent" | date=2006-09-07 | accessdate = 2008-08-29] He later added that, "Ultimately, the show's theme is friendship and family. The characters may have the bling, but they're grounded guys who look out for each other. That's the backbone of the show. If it was just about fantasy lifestyles, it wouldn't be relatable".cite news | author=Strauss, Gary|title='Entourage' men hug it out in a manly way; Friendship truly does matter | publisher="USA Today" | date=2007-04-05 | accessdate = 2008-08-29] This theme has led to comparisons to another HBO-produced show "Sex and the City", about four female friends in New York.

This view was supported by Jeremy Piven, who plays the talent agent Ari: "If it was just a show about wish fulfillment and guys getting [sex] because their best friend was famous, it wouldn't be that interesting". Harvard psychology professor Dan Gilbert similarly noted the strength of the show and of friendship, saying, "We watch characters like these and say we wish we still had friends like them, friends who knew you before you had money, fame or glory".

To strengthen the bond between the actors, only actors with ties to New York were chosen.

Hollywood lifestyle

Episodes of "Entourage" focus, beside the friendship between the four main characters, on their lifestyle in Hollywood. Specifically, the various parties and movie premieres they visit, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of being, or being connected to, a star on a person's social status. To lend credence to the show's situations and locations, most episodes of "Entourage" feature at least one celebrity guest star.

Reception

Critical reception

"Entourage" has received mostly positive reviews from critics, scoring 73/100 for season 3 [ [http://www.metacritic.com/tv/shows/entourageseason3 Entourage Season 3 - Reviews from Metacritic] ] and 71/100 for season 5 [ [http://www.metacritic.com/tv/shows/entourageseason5 Entourage Season 5 - Reviews from Metacritic] ] on the review aggregator site Metacritic.

Awards and nominations

"Entourage" has won the following awards :
*2008 Golden Globes
**Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Jeremy Piven)

*2008 Emmys
**Outstanding Supporting Actor - Comedy Series (Jeremy Piven for playing "Ari Gold", won)
**Outstanding Supporting Actor - Comedy Series (Kevin Dillon for playing "Johnny Chase", nominated)
**Outstanding Series - Comedy (nominated)

*2007 Emmys
**Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (Jeremy Piven)
**Outstanding Multi-Camera Sound Mixing for a Series or Special ("One Day in the Valley")

*2006 Emmys
**Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (Jeremy Piven)

International syndication

References

External links

* [http://www.hbo.com/entourage "Entourage"] at HBO.com
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