You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Entourage

Despite being renowned for fast-lane glitz, "Entourage's" new season gets off to a plodding start.

Cast:
Vince - Adrian Grenier Eric - Kevin Connolly Drama - Kevin Dillon Turtle - Jerry Ferrara Ari - Jeremy Piven Mrs. Ari - Perrey Reeves Lloyd - Rex Lee Andrew Klein - Gary Cole Sloan - Emmanuelle Chriqui

Despite being renowned for fast-lane glitz, “Entourage’s” new season gets off to a rather plodding start. Based on two episodes, HBO’s Hollywood-insider buffet initially lacks the sort of compelling big-picture storyline driving the narrative that the show developed to its advantage in more recent years. What’s left, then, are minor subplots involving the characters that are pleasant enough but clearly “B”-list material following the series’ concerted bid for the street cred associated with breaking into the ranks of TV comedy’s velvet-rope elite.

Last season was particularly interesting because it saw the program’s fictional movie star, Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier), struggle through bad career decisions, threatening to fray or at least redefine the relationships among his close-knit group of pals.

Now, with Vince back on top of the world, the focus has shifted mostly to the love life of his manager Eric (Kevin Connolly), who’s still understandably pining for old g.f. Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui). Meanwhile, super-agent Ari (Jeremy Piven) has to deal with management issues involving his assistant Lloyd (Rex Lee), who wants a promotion; and TV agent Andrew (Gary Cole), who presents his own unexpected headache.

The larger thread thus hinges on what happen to the old gang now that Vince isn’t the center of everyone’s universe — since Eric has an established management career, Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) has a steady girlfriend (real-life flame Jamie-Lynn Sigler), and Drama (Kevin Dillon) has a part in a hit TV series. So far, however, what the producers are calling the series’ evolution adds up to more snooze than snap.

Although not the show’s fault, the layoff between seasons has also made some of the usually dead-on pop-culture references feel awkwardly dated. Vince, for example, does “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, and Andrew exults in an inside-baseball reference about having signed “My Name Is Earl” creator Greg Garcia — after the NBC comedy has in reality been canceled.

In the interim, “Entourage” gets by almost entirely on atmosphere, Piven’s live-wire charm and its small touches — from hiking in Runyon Canyon to the gaudiness of a lavish movie premiere — which remain impeccable. For awhile, though, the show dug beneath its well-polished surface by forcing Vince to become an active participant in his own career, instead of just sauntering through life.

In this case, the attempt to move forward actually feels like backsliding. Hopefully, I’ll be proven wrong as the episodes unfold, but until then, the producers should feel free to keep handy the episode where Drama tells Variety‘s TV critic to screw himself.

Entourage

HBO, Sun. July 12, 10:30 p.m.

Production: Filmed in Los Angeles by Leverage and Closest to the Hole Prods. Executive producers, Mark Wahlberg, Doug Ellin, Stephen Levinson, Denis Biggs, Rob Weiss, Ally Musika; co-executive producer, Mark Mylod; producers, Wayne Carmona, Lori Jo Nemhauser; director, Mylod; writer, Ellin.

Crew: Camera, Rob Sweeney; production designer, Chase Harlan; editor, Gregg Featherman; casting, Sheila Jaffe, Susan Paley Abramson. RUNNING TIME: 30 MIN.

Cast: Vince - Adrian Grenier Eric - Kevin Connolly Drama - Kevin Dillon Turtle - Jerry Ferrara Ari - Jeremy Piven Mrs. Ari - Perrey Reeves Lloyd - Rex Lee Andrew Klein - Gary Cole Sloan - Emmanuelle Chriqui

More TV

  • Marvel's The Punisher

    'Punisher' Netflix Series Sets Premiere Date

    Despite being renowned for fast-lane glitz, “Entourage’s” new season gets off to a rather plodding start. Based on two episodes, HBO’s Hollywood-insider buffet initially lacks the sort of compelling big-picture storyline driving the narrative that the show developed to its advantage in more recent years. What’s left, then, are minor subplots involving the characters that […]

  • NBCUniversal Brings in Formats VP Suzanne

    NBCUniversal Brings in International Formats VP Suzanne Kendrick (EXCLUSIVE)

    Despite being renowned for fast-lane glitz, “Entourage’s” new season gets off to a rather plodding start. Based on two episodes, HBO’s Hollywood-insider buffet initially lacks the sort of compelling big-picture storyline driving the narrative that the show developed to its advantage in more recent years. What’s left, then, are minor subplots involving the characters that […]

  • Verizon New Logo

    Verizon Blames Pay-TV Loss in Q3 on Cord-Cutting, Sees Delay on OTT Plans

    Despite being renowned for fast-lane glitz, “Entourage’s” new season gets off to a rather plodding start. Based on two episodes, HBO’s Hollywood-insider buffet initially lacks the sort of compelling big-picture storyline driving the narrative that the show developed to its advantage in more recent years. What’s left, then, are minor subplots involving the characters that […]

  • Vogue, Vice Will Team Up in

    Vogue, Vice Will Team Up in Bid to Win Ad Dollars at Omnicom Showcase

    Despite being renowned for fast-lane glitz, “Entourage’s” new season gets off to a rather plodding start. Based on two episodes, HBO’s Hollywood-insider buffet initially lacks the sort of compelling big-picture storyline driving the narrative that the show developed to its advantage in more recent years. What’s left, then, are minor subplots involving the characters that […]

  • ‘Babylon Berlin’ Delivers 1.2 Million for

    ‘Babylon Berlin’ Delivers 1.2 Million Viewers for Sky

    Despite being renowned for fast-lane glitz, “Entourage’s” new season gets off to a rather plodding start. Based on two episodes, HBO’s Hollywood-insider buffet initially lacks the sort of compelling big-picture storyline driving the narrative that the show developed to its advantage in more recent years. What’s left, then, are minor subplots involving the characters that […]

  • Tom Jones Opens Up about Harassment

    Tom Jones Opens Up About Harassment and Abuse in the Music Industry

    Despite being renowned for fast-lane glitz, “Entourage’s” new season gets off to a rather plodding start. Based on two episodes, HBO’s Hollywood-insider buffet initially lacks the sort of compelling big-picture storyline driving the narrative that the show developed to its advantage in more recent years. What’s left, then, are minor subplots involving the characters that […]

  • Ted Sarandos Harvey Weinstein

    Netflix and Weinstein Company: Closer Than 'Arm's Distance'

    Despite being renowned for fast-lane glitz, “Entourage’s” new season gets off to a rather plodding start. Based on two episodes, HBO’s Hollywood-insider buffet initially lacks the sort of compelling big-picture storyline driving the narrative that the show developed to its advantage in more recent years. What’s left, then, are minor subplots involving the characters that […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content