I’ve been with Entourage since the start. For a while, it was even my favorite show. I say was because over the past few years, the series has taken a bit of a fall from grace. Entourage is past its glory days and truthfully, I’m happy that it’s coming to a close this year. Not because I necessarily want to see it gone, but because I think now is the right time for it to go.
Season 7 is kind of an odd one for the show. It doesn’t feel as confident or as sure of itself as other seasons did. The show didn’t really know where to go and couldn’t figure out what it wanted to say with season 7. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be the first to agree that the season had its fair share of entertaining moments and I did thoroughly enjoy a couple episodes, but overall, it just wasn’t as strong as previous seasons.
As we kick off, Vince (Adrian Grenier), is working on a new film, which is being directed by Nick Cassavetes. Meanwhile, Eric (Kevin Connolly) is working hard at his new agency where he develops a fierce rivalry with Scott Lavin (Scott Cann). Drama (Kevin Dillon) is still slumming around looking for work, and Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) is still desperately seeking out the next entrepenurial venture that will make him rich. In other words, it’s more of the same.
Vince feels the loneliness as his best buds are preoccupied with their own lives and after a near death experience while doing a stunt on set, the movie star changes his outlook on life, becoming a bit of an adrenalin junkie. He takes to alcohol, fighting, drugs, parties, cocaine and dating porn star Sasha Grey (herself). Pretty soon Vince’s new lifestyle choices start to catch up with him and he begins to spiral out of control. Eric, Drama and Turtle try to intervene, but by the time they realize how bad Vince really is, it’s too late.
Of course, super agent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) is back as well and angrier than ever as Lizzie Grant (Autumn Reeser) tries to unravel his career and everything he has ever worked for. This also puts a strain on Mr. Gold’s marriage, which is on very thin ice. As he fights to keep both his career and home life together, he also must keep a handle on his star client, Vince.
As you can tell from the plot description above, this season just isn’t a lot of fun. I really don’t want to see characters that I love crash and burn, so to speak. It’s not enjoyable watching bad things happen to people that you like.
This season also turns Vince into a loathsome person, he’s not a likeable character anymore. Vince isn’t responsible, he isn’t honest, he shows up to important meetings drunk/high and he seems not to care about his career anymore. Worst of all, he blames everyone around him for his problems instead of taking responsibility. His charm and likeability that was found in previous seasons is gone, which makes it hard to really care what happens to him.
It’s a dark turn the show takes and while it does add a dose of reality, it sucks out a bit of the fun. Yes, it’s unconventional and different but that’s not always a good thing, if it’s not broke then don’t fix it, right? The spark that the show once had isn’t there anymore. Vince doesn’t spend much time with the boys or Ari and in general, no one seems to spend much time with anyone but themselves. Everyone is off doing their own thing, they don’t really hang out together anymore.
And that’s where a lot of the fun came from, seeing the gang hang out and watching the chemistry between them. That isn’t here this season. Sure, they do share a handful of scenes together but for the most part, it feels like there’s a big distance between the characters. Eric is literally never with the gang since he’s either always attending to Sloan (the absolutely gorgeous Emmanuelle Chriqui) or his new job and Turtle is rarely around either as he becomes quite involved with a new girlfriend (Dania Ramirez) and a potential business opportunity involving Tequila.
That leaves Vince and Drama. The latter is just annoying to watch as he mopes around complaining/whining to anyone who will listen and as for Vince, he’s always either with Sasha or continuing down his self destructive path. Even Ari isn’t as enjoyable as he once was. Sure, he has his moments and Piven is fantastic in the role. In fact, he’s probably one of the best actors currently working on TV. That being said though, the character feels more tame this season and it feels like the creators are holding him back. We don’t want to see him scrambling to save his marraige and career, we want to see him on top, knocking over whoever gets in his way, just like he used to.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t bad television, not by any means. I still had a great time watching season 7, especially with all the awesome cameos, which include Drew Brees, Jessica Simpson, Mike Tyson, Christina Aguilera, Eminem, Nick Cassavetes, and John Stamos, among others.
Like I said before though, that thrill that we found in previous seasons is missing and compared to past years, this one just wasn’t as enjoyable. It’s wasn’t about the actual entourage anymore, this wasn’t the show that we used to know. The old Entourage was all about hanging out with your friends in Hollywood and living the life. Season 7 was a far cry from that and thus, just didn’t connect with me like the previous seasons had.
Season seven of Entourage arrives on Blu-Ray with a very well done transfer by the folks at HBO. It’s on par with the last season we saw on Blu-Ray and is easily the best way to watch the show.
On the video side, aside from a couple weak nighttime scenes, things look great. The Hollywood setting shines and sparkles in high definition as clarity and texture are fantastic. Grain is noticeable but never an issue and the sunny California setting gives the show ample chance to show off its bright and vibrant color palette.
The show’s awesome soundtrack booms through the speakers with tremendous power with each song sounding very sharp. Dialogue is clean and reproduced well with atmospherics coming through quite convincingly, especially in party/club scenes. Directionality is alright as is LFE output but the real star here is the soundtrack and all the songs chosen are not only appropriate but they all sound great on Blu-Ray
Entourage arrives on Blu-Ray with not a whole lot of special features, which as always, is a disappointment for fans.
- Audio Commentaries: Three commentaries are included. The episodes that we get commentaries for are the following; Hair, Porn Scenes From An Italian Restaurant and Lose Yourself. The commentators include creator/executive producer Doug Ellin, executive producer Ally Musika, and actors Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Jeremy Piven and Jerry Ferrara. They’re all fairly entertaining as the group gels well and is pretty amusing to listen to. They offer up a good amount of laughs as well as some interesting antecdotes/tidbits about the show.
- Inside the Hollywood Highlife: This 14 minute EPK-ish featurette is a fun but brief look at the show. It features interviews cut with clips and behind the scenes footage. Very typical fare and it may be worth watching once but that’s about it.
- The Shades of Sasha Grey: This is a rather pointless six minute look into the life of Sash Grey. I’d say skip it.
The seventh season of Entourage wasn’t necessarily bad, it just took a wrong turn. It gave me something that as a longtime fan, I didn’t want to see. It was lacking that fun element, that spark that brought everything together and made the show so endearing and appealing. While watching, I yearned for the days where the whole gang would just hang out together and live the good life, for the days when everything wasn’t falling apart and for the days when Vince actually used to be likeable.
With season eight starting this Sunday, I’m truly hoping that creator Doug Ellin has something great in store for us. It would really be a shame to see the show go out on a low note. It was once my favorite series and while I still love it to death, it has certainly dipped in quality over the past few years. Let’s hope that the boys get back on track and finish off on a strong note with their final season.
This is a noticeably weak season of Entourage that loses the spark found in previous years. The different route that they decided to go down wasn't a smart choice and it may alienate some viewers.