June 28th, 2010
10:15 AM ET
The crew from Queens returned for the seventh season of HBO's "Entourage” primed for more fun in the L.A. sun and the usual basking in the glow of Vince Chase's stardom.
But if things seemed different, it’s because Eric, Turtle and Drama are all poised to make their own marks without the usual coattail ride provided by their homeboy Vince (or at least, it appears that way).
As season 6 concluded last fall, newly-hired Hollywood talent manager Eric signed his girlfriend Sloan to a long-term deal (read: got engaged), while Vince landed a movie gig with the potential to not only revive his career, but also to launch it into the stratosphere. Johnny Drama, meanwhile, endured more of his life's usual "drama" as the brother of a star, facing the grim reality of his own steadily fading stardom.
Turtle, as the resident regular guy of the crew, seemed to be taking the big breakup with Jamie-Lynn Sigler well with a new business venture that puts hotties behind the wheels of a booming L.A. delivery service. (Feel free to be as hard on yourself as I was when you ask the question, "Why didn't I think of that?")
And then, there was Ari Gold. The most entertaining character we all know and love came back true to form. The brash, fast-paced uber-agent's empire is growing, and his Oklahoma-sized ego is poised for expansion as well.
Everything was in place for the season premiere, which was honestly pretty standard. Most serve as a set-up episode to refresh our memories and give us some early plot lines to chew on without making us think too hard or bat eyes in disbelief, and last night was no exception. I wasn't wowed in any sense, and thought the show's writers went with the "here's where we are" formula typical for a season's beginning.
I'm fine with that for now, but let's not make it a habit, writers; "wow" is why I like the show.
Last season, there was a theme of Vince coming into his own as his career took the latest challenging turn. This episode validated that concept as it opened with Vince shooting an action sequence in his new movie.
Things moved along nicely as he ultimately decided to do his own stunt in the name of proving something to the crew, but it really seemed more like he was proving something to himself. Like, love, or hate "Entourage,” but that is exactly what the show is all about: how a boy from Queens goes on a wild, coming-of-age ride, and his boys from the old neighborhood absolutely must tag along.
"Entourage" is also about giving a glimpse into a Hollywood star's daily life of fame and fortune, and the show always does a fantastic job showing us that lifestyle. I enjoyed the parts of the episode that took place in or around Vince’s film set, and thought the scenes were very well-done and insightful.
All in all, it was a decent start. I won't write a dissertation on the episode's Emmy promise, but I will be as optimistic as possible about the new season's start. I think it’ll be a fun one, and in the spirit of the fun I think we're going to have, here's a quick "More/Less" list to keep this guide handy as the season marches on.
Essentially, these are the people/things I'll need more of - and less of - as the season continues:
Ari and Lloyd dialogue: Their banter is always entertaining and always brilliant.
Andrew Klein: Remember Ari's buddy and last season's train wreck? May I please have seconds? It was so good.
Shauna Roberts: Vince's publicist always has me laughing, but her character hasn't seen much camera time in recent shows. What gives?
Eric and Sloan’s romance: Ok, fine, Eric - you’re back with Sloan. I'm a fan of hers now, but don't get too cute with this part.
Drama's career slide: He's a "has been" and I totally get that, but the number of these scenes are beginning to stack up.
Vince cutaways: Last season, Vince didn't play a major role in many episodes. As the other characters' stories were developing, Vince was relegated to "hanging out with assorted hot chick" status in the script on a few occasions. It's a tough life for an actor that the girls are dying for, but let's not overdo this one.
But season seven is underway! Check back weekly for my take (and yours) on HBO's "Entourage.”
Loved, kinda liked, or hated the season premiere? Let us know!
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