Monday, September 12, 2011

The Televangelist: 'Entourage' Series Finale

Posted By on Mon, Sep 12, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Goodnight, Hollywood!

For those lambasting the series finale of "Entourage" I have two things to say: one, what did you want? It wasn't a deep show, and it wasn't a deep finale. In fact, it gave audiences everything we wanted emotionally. Despite the fact that I, along with others, had hopes the show might find something meaningful in this final season, most of the episodes this year made it clear that was not meant to be. Accept it. Last week Santa Vince bestowed his gifts upon Turtle and Drama, this week he sorted out E's troubles while Ari's happened to fall into place as well. And why not? The result begets my second comment — "Entourage" did what Shakespeare designed comedies to do: end with everyone getting married. The absurd wedding between Vince and Sophia after 24 hours of courtship is going off as planned, Mr and Mrs Ari are back together (although for those who stuck around until after the credits, for how long?) and E and Sloan seem primed for that eventual reconciliation we all knew would happen. Vince suggests that they all may move back to New York or maybe they won't, who knows? When you that much money and power, why rush things. The ambiguous ending felt right for a largely ambiguous show … while also priming a potential movie (but when do HBO shows not claim there is a movie in the works when a series ends?)

So what did "Entourage" leave us? Ten years of insider fantasy access to Hollywood's inner machinations, the Bro Code, Hugging it Out, Victory!, the highs and lows of the industry, a Who's Who of cameos, and four boys who never quite grew into men. It's a show about celebrity-saturated culture in a celebrity-saturated culture. And during the terrorism and brief period of financial bubble bliss before the economic collapse we suffered through this decade, "Entourage" was always welcomed pop-culture popcorn for those looking to escape into a world where a bunch of guys could just hang out, crack wise, and have limitless monetary resources. The show was not always good, but even when it was downright bad there were enjoyable things about it. Ari Gold held a lot of that together, in his relationship not just with Vince but with Lloyd, his colleagues and even his wife. The other boys orbited around the Star of Vince, never taking for granted their fortunes, but never really deserving them, either. But who were we to judge? We loved watching their exploits regardless.

It's unlikely that "Entourage" will hold up well over time - it's a show that clearly dates itself by the references and cameos that fill its scripts. But it is a time capsule for the 'naughts, an odd decade of massive American successes and failures. Movie or no movie, "Entourage" might well be remembered as a low-concept, bro-tastic show full of excess and whimsy. But to be fair … that's why we loved it.

Quote Roll:
— "You're carrying our baby!" - Turtle to Sloan
— Career is more important than life for Johnny Drama? "I had my balls crossed."
— "Hi Ari, hi Melissa, hi to them over there I love them." - Lloyd
— "You'll always be the gay son I never wanted." - Ari
— "Do you want to hug it out?" - E, but it was not to be!
— Vince: "I'm getting married, can you beat that news?" Everyone else: "Sloan's pregnant!"
— Or LLoyd's version: "E's pregnant!"
— "He's a fucking mess" - a random collection of NFL coaches. Don't think too hard about it.
— I'm pretty sure a 1.4 million dollar ring does come in a nice box Vince, don't worry.

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