HBO Bids Adieu to “Entourage” After Eight Seasons

To be completely honest, “Entourage” probably should have called it quits a few seasons ago after Vincent Chase reemerged from the failure of “Medellin” to reclaim his spot among the Hollywood elite. But now that the final season is just around the corner, I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t excited to see how it all ends. Even with the chance of a potential big screen adventure, it’s hard to imagine that creator Doug Ellin won’t want to provide at least some kind of bookend to the series – particularly one that’s a little happier than the way he left off things last season.

With perhaps the exception of Eric, whose rekindled relationship with Sloan led to the pair getting engaged, the rest of the guys ended Season Seven on a low. After bringing in Mark Cuban as a potential business partner for Avion tequila, Turtle was seemingly pushed out of the deal with nothing to show for it; Drama gave up a plum job on network TV only to wind up settling for a new animated show conceived by Billy Walsh; Ari managed to save his career but not his wife after she walked away from their marriage; and Vince was thrown into cocaine rehabilitation following his arrest for possession of cocaine.

Fortunately, the only place to go from there is up, which means that even if Season Eight doesn’t cap off the series with a completely happy ending, it’ll at least have a much brighter outlook than the previous season. Though everyone involved is holding their cards pretty close to their chests in regards to what we can expect to see, HBO has released a few promos and snippets of information that tell us a few things. For starters, the season will begin with Vince being released from a 90-day stint in rehab and eager to get back to work. But when he finds it difficult to land an acting job due to his recent tabloid-worthy exploits, he decides to write a starring vehicle for himself.

The rest of the guys will also continue to try and forge their own careers now that they’ve severed their dependency to Vince, with Turtle launching a new business venture to open a Hollywood location of the New York-based Italian restaurant, Don Peppe; Drama beginning production on “Johnny’s Bananas” alongside Andrew Dice Clay (presumably as one of the other voices); and Eric opening a new management company with Scotty Lavin. Interestingly enough, it also looks like his engagement to Sloan has hit a snag, while Ari will dedicate his time solely to winning back Mrs. Ari following their separation.

It all sounds promising enough, as long as things don’t get too serious. That was one of the main problems with last season, which often forgot it was a comedy at times by focusing all of its energy on the darker and more dramatic moments. And with only eight episodes for its grand finale, Ellin and Co. will have to be especially mindful of staying true to the story they want to tell while still delivering the show that fans know and love.

The eighth and final season premieres July 24th at 10:30 pm EST on HBO.

NOTE: Starting this season, my “Entourage” blog will be moving from Premium Hollywood to the Bullz-Eye Blog, so be sure to go there on Sunday night or Monday morning for all the latest episode recaps. You can also follow along on BE’s “Entourage” fan hub where the latest entry will always be posted.

  

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Entourage 6.1 – Drive

Fans of “Entourage” know that season premieres have never been one of the show’s strong suits (they tend to act more like a prologue than an actual part of the story), but while tonight’s episode wasn’t particularly memorable, it did set up quite a few interesting arcs for the coming season. The most obvious of the bunch is Vince’s return to the big time after the colossal failure of “Medellin” nearly ruined him for good. Granted, working with Scorsese will usually do that for you, but it’s just nice to see Vince back in his old digs worrying about things like getting his driver’s license instead of how he’s going to climb his way out of debt.

It’s a shame we didn’t actually get to see any of the footage from the film (maybe next time), but he did talk with Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show” about his new gig: a biopic about Enzo Ferrari, hence the reason why he needs to learn how to drive. The actual exam didn’t go over quite as well as Vince’s confidence would have implied (he practically ran over the entire course of traffic cones), but he was still able to earn a passing grade after bribing the instructor with premiere tickets for his new film. Not exactly a sign that Vince has matured, but with everyone else in his life doing just as good as he is, it’s probably about time he starts.

After all, with Drama constantly working and Turtle always hanging out with Jamie-Lynn, the one person Vince has always been able to rely on is Eric. That’s all about to change, however, now that Eric has agreed to sublet a house from one of Sloan’s friends. Why he’d want to live in that house for only a year is beyond me, but Eric clearly understands that if he ever hopes to get a second chance with Sloan, he’s going to have to be a little more independent. Vince doesn’t seem to have a problem with it at the time, but now that he sees just how lonely life could be without anyone there to keep him company, it might just force him to reassess his bachelor lifestyle.

Meanwhile, with Vince back in the industry’s good graces, Ari is having the time of his life alongside his new partner-in-crime, Andrew, who’s settled into the agency quite well with a string of new clients. (Of course, if the writers knew that “My Name Is Earl” would be cancelled mere months after the episode was filmed, they probably would have chosen a different client for him to sign.) Okay, so maybe business isn’t exactly booming, but that doesn’t stop Lloyd from demanding his long-awaited promotion. Ari finally gives in to Lloyd’s constant bickering and offers him a deal: do whatever he says for 100 days and he’ll make him an agent. I’m really hoping Ari doesn’t follow through, though, because while Lloyd certainly deserves the promotion, the show would be better off maintaining that dynamic. It’s worked this long, so why mess with a good thing?

  

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