Entourage: Season Six Premiere

Vince is simply too old, too handsome, and too successful to still be coming of age.


Airtime: Sundays, 10:30pm ET
Cast: Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Adrian Grenier, Jeremy Piven
Subtitle: Season Six Premiere
Network: HBO
Air date: 2009-07-12

Season Five of Entourage was a tough one for former It Boy Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier). His epic film Medillín was a spectacular failure; his next project, Smokejumpers, was scrapped mid-production; and Gus Van Sant refused even to audition him for roles, much less cast him. But perhaps the most brutal blow came from his own agent, Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven), who told Vince that his talent as an actor "remained to be seen."

Ari's candid admission came as a shock to Vince, and the audience too. Throughout the series, Vince's abilities had always been assumed. Last season, Entourage suggested its protagonist had been coasting for years on good looks, good luck, and good timing. And yet, that good fortune seemed to continue in the season finale, when Martin Scorsese swooped in to offer Vince the starring role in Gatsby, of all things.

In the sixth season opener, "Drive," Gatsby is about to premiere, attended by terrific buzz. Vince is poised for a comeback, Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) is again razzing Eric (Kevin Connolly) about his love life, and Drama (Kevin Dillon) is still bragging about his "backdoor" sexual exploits. The tone immediately seems lighter than last season, but the plot is recycled. Though the cast members mug to compensate, there is no denying the dialogue has lost some cleverness and edge. Vince's return to a state of carefree narcissism makes it hard for the audience to care about his comeback: if he hasn't learned from his failures, his successes seem random at best, hollow at worst.

In its defense, "Drive" does look at how the boys' "frat house" mentality arrests their emotional development. Vince finally gets his driver's license, so he no longer has to rely on Turtle or Drama for transportation; Eric sublets a place of his own at the insistence of his ex-girlfriend Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui); and Lloyd (Rex Lee) finally pushes Ari for a promotion at the agency. But maturation can be costly. The final shot, which shows Vince alone in his dark and sprawling mansion, strives to achieve the poignancy of the parting scene of Superbad. But Vince is simply too old, too handsome, and too successful to still be coming of age.

Eric's fraught relationship with Sloan bridges "Drive" and the season's second episode, "Among Friends," but it's no more compelling. The female characters on Entourage tend to fall into one of two camps: nubile conquests or nubile ball-busters. As for the latter -- what glorious ball-busters they are! Vince's acerbic publicist, Shauna (Debi Mazar), and Ari's tough-as-nails wife, Mrs. Ari (Perrey Reeves), go toe-to-toe with the boys and always give as good as they get. When Ari brags to Shauna that he's down to six-percent body fat, she replies, "Still 94% bullshit."

But Sloan is the exception. In "Drive" and "Among Friends," she's little more than a nag (though, a nag with great hair and even better style; the woman is a master of the artfully exposed bra cup). The back-and-forth between Sloan and Eric merely adds to the tedium of the first two episodes, and one wishes Entourage would take a cue from Eric and move on from familiar situations that no longer work.

As if to underline that point, the most intriguing relationship of the new season does not involve the boys from Queens at all. Ari's burgeoning partnership with fellow agent Andrew Klein (the perfect Gary Cole) is the primary reason to tune in these days. Last season Ari took a risk and hired his floundering former colleague, and so far, his decision is paying off. The camaraderie between the two men brings out a side to Ari we have never seen before: with Andrew, he is unguarded, sympathetic, even trusting. It's a credit to Piven that he can keep mining different layers of Ari, a character who could have easily been a mere caricature. Ari's good will may not last, but for now, it's the freshest aspect of Season Six.






'We're Not Here to Entertain' Is Not Here to Break the Cycle of Punk's Failures

Even as it irritates me, Kevin Mattson's We're Not Here to Entertain is worth reading because it has so much direct relevance to American punks operating today.


Uncensored 'Native Son' (1951) Is True to Richard Wright's Work

Compared to the two film versions of Native Son in more recent times, the 1951 version more acutely captures the race-driven existential dread at the heart of Richard Wright's masterwork.


3 Pairs of Boots Celebrate Wandering on "Everywhere I Go" (premiere)

3 Pairs of Boots are releasing Long Rider in January 2021. The record demonstrates the pair's unmistakable chemistry and honing of their Americana-driven sound, as evidenced by the single, "Everywhere I Go".


'World War 3 Illustrated #51: The World We Are Fighting For'

World War 3 Illustrated #51 displays an eclectic range of artists united in their call to save democracy from rising fascism.


Tiphanie Doucet's "You and I" Is an Exercise in Pastoral Poignancy (premiere)

French singer-songwriter Tiphanie Doucet gives a glimpse of her upcoming EP, Painted Blue, via the sublimely sentimental ode, "You and I".


PM Picks Playlist 3: WEIRDO, Psychobuildings, Lili Pistorius

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of WEIRDO, Brooklyn chillwavers Psychobuildings, the clever alt-pop of Lili Pistorius, visceral post-punk from Sapphire Blues, Team Solo's ska-pop confection, and dubby beats from Ink Project.

By the Book

The Story of Life in 10 1/2 Species (excerpt)

If an alien visitor were to collect ten souvenir life forms to represent life on earth, which would they be? This excerpt of Marianne Taylor's The Story of Life in 10 and a Half Species explores in text and photos the tiny but powerful earthling, the virus.

Marianne Taylor

Exploitation Shenanigans 'Test Tube Babies' and 'Guilty Parents' Contend with the Aftermath

As with so many of these movies about daughters who go astray, Test Tube Babies blames the uptight mothers who never told them about S-E-X. Meanwhile, Guilty Parents exploits poor impulse control and chorus girls showing their underwear.


Deftones Pull a Late-Career Rabbit Out of a Hat with 'Ohms'

Twenty years removed from Deftones' debut album, the iconic alt-metal outfit gel more than ever and discover their poise on Ohms.


Arcade Fire's Will Butler Personalizes History on 'Generations'

Arcade Fire's Will Butler creates bouncy, infectious rhythms and covers them with socially responsible, cerebral lyrics about American life past and present on Generations.


What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .


Thelonious Monk's Recently Unearthed 'Palo Alto' Is a Stellar Posthumous Live Set

With a backstory as exhilarating as the music itself, a Thelonious Monk concert recorded at a California high school in 1968 is a rare treat for jazz fans.


Jonnine's 'Blue Hills' Is an Intimate Collection of Half-Awake Pop Songs

What sets experimental pop's Jonnine apart on Blue Hills is her attention to detail, her poetic lyricism, and the indelibly personal touch her sound bears.


Renegade Connection's Gary Asquith Indulges in Creative Tension

From Renegade Soundwave to Renegade Connection, electronic legend Gary Asquith talks about how he continues to produce infectiously innovative music.


A Certain Ratio Return with a Message of Hope on 'ACR Loco'

Inspired by 2019's career-spanning box set, legendary Manchester post-punkers A Certain Ratio return with their first new album in 12 years, ACR Loco.


Oscar Hijuelos' 'Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love' Dances On

Oscar Hijuelos' dizzyingly ambitious foot-tapping family epic, Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love, opened the door for Latinx writers to tell their stories in all their richness.


PM Picks Playlist 2: Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES, SOUNDQ

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES' stunning dream folk, Polish producer SOUNDQ, the indie pop of Pylon Heights, a timely message from Exit Kid, and Natalie McCool's latest alt-pop banger.


'Lost Girls and Love Hotels' and Finding Comfort in Sadness

William Olsson's Lost Girls and Love Hotels finds optimism in its message that life tears us apart and puts us back together again differently.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.