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Entourage

Entourage is a half hour long comedy-drama about young movie star Vincent Chase and his best friend and manager Eric Murphy. Filling out the entourage are high school friend Turtle and Vince's brother Johnny "Drama" Chase. High powered, ambitious and foul mouthed agent Ari Gold also helps to manage Vince's career. HBO 2004-11

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Episode 12 - Give a Little Bit

22 March 2012

Synopsis: Ari’s wife agrees to personally guarantee a part of his takeover. Terrence demands that the name of his agency live on much to Ari’s disgust. Terrence apologises to Ari for forcing him out and Ari agrees to make the McQuewick name live on. Ari offers Lloyd a real agent job and they make up. Matt Damon aggressively pursues Vince to help him out with his charity project just as Vince prepares to head out to Italy. Johnny wants to take a break from acting and go with him but gets lured back to test for Melrose because of his ambition to be an actor. He gets offered a network holding deal for his efforts. Turtle can’t bring himself to forget Jamie and jumps on a plane to New Zealand to be with her. But she tells him he shouldn’t just as the plane takes off. Eric takes Sloan out and asks her to marry him.

The Good: If you are looking for a happy ending you will find it here.

Ari is on absolute fire here. It’s difficult to think of where else his character can go from here. There are probably Entourage fans who don’t remember season two of the show when Terrence felt unneeded and forced Ari out of his agency. But that was a major moment for his character and seemingly out of nowhere he gets closure on that trauma. It’s a real reward for long time fans of the show to see that story reach such a satisfying conclusion.

As Ari and Terrence really were close and did build the agency together there seems nothing particularly contrived about their reunion. Deep down Ari remains a good person and once he has forgiven Terrence he can forgive Lloyd. He recognises that he overstepped the line and needs to make things right (see Comic Highlight).

The build-up to these happy scenes of reconciliation are pitch perfect for the Ari Gold character. His invective fuelled rant at his marriage councillor was delivered with real fury and written to convey passion and intelligence. It even finished with the on the spot offer of sex that finishes every Ari-and-the-wife-story. Then his paint ball triumphant wanderings are filled with the true joy of the victorious. Seeing people fulfilled can be pretty satisfying.

Speaking of which, though rushed through, Johnny Drama too reaches a new peak of self satisfaction. He returns to his Melrose audition and explains the source of his insecurity. He gives a nice speech about all the work he has done and the pain it causes him to still have to try and prove himself. It is definitely the other side of the Hollywood story (from Vince’s) and it’s easy to enjoy Johnny’s delight at his holding deal.

Turtle, in his own way, has also developed this season. His story with Jamie has been the most logical of the season. By finally finding a good woman he was pushed to focus on what he wanted to get out of life. His love for her was deep enough that he couldn’t just move on and so he races to try and be with her. Her decision to break up with him remains sensible given the distance and they have the kind of logical and sad breakup which real life can deliver. Fortunately the story is sprinkled with genuine laughs as Turtle offers to go down on his co-ed buddy and shuts down an annoying stewardess. It’s the kind of Turtle wise cracks which have been missing this season as he has spent most of his time being content.

Matt Damon, Bono and LeBron James all pop by to give this season finale its taste of real celebrity. They are all giving a hard plug for a children’s charity which is certainly a different style of product placement. Vince’s reaction seemed entirely in keeping with his character. He was happy to hand over his money under duress just to stop people bothering his laid back lifestyle.

Last but not least Eric does indeed have a surprise worthy of dragging Sloan across California when he proposes. Eric has always been the relationship guy and he has never acted like he was over her so it didn’t seem too much of a reach. Perhaps finally we will get to know Sloan as a character.

The Bad: Is there anything bad about this? This is pretty much what Entourage now offers: pretty mindless happy endings. Yes there was a little bit more depth here to Ari and Turtle’s stories. But in general this season has felt very lightweight. Having hinted that Vince would have to finally deal with being alone it never came about. Even here as he heads off to Italy he is surrounded by people to prevent him from being lonely. Lloyd’s rise to agent was about as obvious a story as could be conceived and didn’t give us much character development for him. Sloan remains undeveloped. Johnny’s career path didn’t entertain as it has done as his work feud story swiftly transitioned to his latest success. More than all of this though, this season has been very light on humour. Entourage is the length of most sit coms yet the jokes have dried right up and lent more and more heavily on Johnny.

Comic Highlight: Ari welcomes Lloyd home and prepares an office for him with a fresh banner announcing “Congrats, you’re finally a real Asian.” Ari smiles and adds “It’s supposed to say ‘Agent’!”

Victory?: With news that Entourage is headed to a seventh season one has to question why. Unless they finally plan on giving Vince some character development there isn’t a lot left to see. Doubtless Johnny will go on acting, Eric will stumble into marriage and Ari will find a new dragon to slay. But it is in danger of feeling like the Sex and the City movie: a story which doesn’t need to be told. If the show were still making me laugh it would be easier to look forward to next summer. For now enjoy the happy ending.

('DiggThis)

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