Entourage Season 8 Review: The Series Finale
Entourage, the television show, has finally come to a close. It appears though that the writers intentionally left it open ended for a movie. I’ve long said that since nothing bad happens in this show, the show could not peak and create a moment of jubilation for the viewer. It was like the viewer was just taking Soma the whole time (if you get that reference put it in the comments and I’ll be impressed). Where this show succeeds though is that it was entertaining. I may not have cared about each character, but it was fun to tune in every week and see what was going to happen to these characters that I would hang out with in real life, dealing ridiculous scenarios (such as Drama and Vince having a race to see who could get Eric or Turtle laid first).
The ambiguous ending leads a clear path to a film. It’s like the studios were having troubles picking up the project of having an Entourage film. The writers appeared to push the debate along with such an open-ended ending. Having Sloan and Eric Murphy get on a plane separate from the plane going to Vince’s wedding screams of a movie sequel. Having Ari get a call from a company CEO to be “god” when he’s on a beach in Spain, Italy, or some other romantic European getaway with the slums behind him after reconnecting with his wife, begs for more. You can see the look on Ari’s face and know that he has some work to do in a week to get his wife to let in to him accomplishing the greatest goal of his life.
Turtle and Johnny were pretty much ignored the last episode, and it seems like their storylines were completely ignored. What’s happening with Johnny’s Bananas? What’s happening with Don Peppe’s? I have no idea. I want to know. It comes off as filler to give a break between the Ari, Vince, and E storylines.
It’s become clear after this last season that the only important storylines in all eight seasons were Ari’s, E’s, and Vince’s. Drama was always a failure, egotistical, and a self-sabotager. Turtle was always a constant dope smoker and unsuccessful at starting a business as good-hearted as he is. They never changed who they were, except for Turtle’s waistline, and when they began to turn the corner on their shortcomings the season ended. If this season had been 16 episodes, or even 12, this could have been a much better season.
Ari, as I’ve written about in the previous posts, had always been married to work, even before he was married to Mrs. Ari, who is apparently named Melissa. He’s risen through the world of the super agents, turned down a job for a studio head position, built the world’s largest agency, and then got rid of all of it to be with his wife. At the beginning of the season I wrote about how the fire burning the house was a symbol of change. Ari completed a metamorphosis of sorts. He became a family man and finally had his relationship climax with Lloyd. Lloyd said how he wanted to be just like Ari, with Ari replying that Lloyd was better than him because he was honest and kind. All along Lloyd had wanted to please Ari and gain his acceptance. Ari finally let Lloyd know how perfect he was to be a super agent and put his family first.
Vince was also tamed by Sophia from Esquire. He fell for a journalist who wrote an article labeling Vince as a womanizer who opens up to women only to sleep with them. I find this very hard to believe. A guy who loved not being in a relationship is challenged on his behavior and then falls in love on a 24-hour date and decides to get married? And none of his friends say anything! If I’m Turtle, who loves soaking Vince’s money and banging girls he shouldn’t because he knows Vince, I’m trying to jump in front of this bullet called marriage. Vince being married means no more easy chicks for Turtle. He’s the real loser. Even besides the lifestyle ending, what good friend is going to let their friend get married after 24 hours? Everyone knows these weddings end in divorces and people hating each other and then a dog that gets split between two people. The entourage failed in this scenario.
Eric Murphy on the other hand gets back together with Sloan, a relationship that has
lasted too long. My anger geared towards these two getting back together were Ronnie and Sammie-esque. For the last six seasons all Eric Murphy has done is obsess over Sloan and do this back and forth between them being together and separated. I have a problem with his success running a management firm though. Murphy could barely do anything with Vince’s career, and seasons one through four all he did was ruin Vince’s career by steering him down every wrong path. If it wasn’t for Ari, Vince’s career would have never been righted. When Eric deferred to Ari’s opinion then Vince started doing better again. Now we’re supposed to believe that he was successful in a firm, successful enough to throw out the owner and start his won group? And now that group is thriving success? Really?
We have no idea what’s going on with Turtle’s attempt to get Don Peppe’s in Los Angeles, or what the aftermath is with Vince’s movie, or what’s happening with Johnny’s Bananas. But then none of that might even matter. Turtle trying to be a successful businessman and Drama’s acting career appear to just be running gags on the show. Vince’s movie idea was just to show that he changed after rehab.
As with most televisions shows, the first season was the best. As the show went on and it got more and more popular, the show almost lost its identity. The show was like a celebrity itself, once it got famous, it lost who it was. The show became pretty shortsighted and then it spiraled out of control. Season 8 left so many loose ends that there has to be a movie now. Somewhere late in season three or the beginning of season four the writers just said, “Okay, things are getting a little stale, we need things to get crazier with longer storylines.” These storylines became longer and drawn out. Lloyd wanted to be an agent, Ari neglects his family, Vince continues to try and be a big shot, Drama has TV shows and that fails, Turtle tries to make viable businesses and goes out with Jamie Lynn Sigler. These ideas were good at the time but dragged on for so long to make them complete or to make them work. It seemed liked fans got bored with some storylines before they were done, and then the writers started new storylines. Vince becomes a cokehead, E tries to be a hardass manager, and Ari opens a new agency. Then we get to the end with Eric and Vince getting on separate planes and half of what the show talked about got finished.
Entourage is a great television show. It’s behind Lost, Friday Night Lights, Mad Men, Dexter, and probably The Wire (which I haven’t seen yet but have only heard fantastic things) in my all time favorite television series. What all these shows have is a great story, great characters, and fluency. This show is a lot like the movie American History X. It’s a great project, and I look upon it as one of my favorites, but it fell short of what it could have been. There could have been a little more drama, a little more trouble. Let Turtle and Drama have some success and maybe turn the show on its head by having E compete directly with Ari for Vince, let Vince need money from Turtle and Drama who has a surging career. The show was too safe but is going to live on in its re-watchability and the movie that now has to be made. I will always wish I could go back and watch Entourage for the first time, but the best part is I can go back and watch them, and enjoy them just as much. I’m gonna miss those guys.