Season premiere of 'Entourage,' Sunday on HBO

Verne Gay
Newsday (MCT)
ENTOURAGE - 10:30 p.m. EDT Sunday - HBO

REASON TO WATCH: Launch of seventh, and maybe final, season.

CATCHING UP: All's as well as it possibly could be at the close of the sixth with ... Ari (Jeremy Piven) in charge of the world's largest agency ... Lloyd (Rex Lee) finally an agent ... "Drama" (Kevin Dillon) in possession of a "holding" deal that could lead to a series ... Vince (Adrian Grenier) en route to Italy and Eric (Kevin Connolly) engaged to Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui). Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), however, appears to have lost Jamie-Lynn Sigler ... forever.

WHAT SUNDAY'S ABOUT: Vince is shooting an action flick with Nick Cassavetes, through whose veins flows high-octane testosterone in place of blood. Even Ari — if you can imagine — is a little chary of Nick. So, too, is Vince, who agrees to perform in his own stunt. In the following episode, Vince decides to become his own barber. Nick has thoughts about that, too.

MY SAY: On some TV shows, as in some marriages, there is a so-called seven-year itch that — loosely translated — means "well, we've been doing this a while, and we're getting a little restless and we got an itch we gotta scratch." Producer Mark Wahlberg did some scratching when he told MTV after the Movie Awards that the seventh season may be the last (with six episodes tacked on). But Sunday begs the question: Why, Mark? Yes, there is a sense — established by the end of last season — that time is passing and that our four boys have been beset with an uncharacteristic urge to nest. OK, three boys have — Vince remains an unregenerate adolescent, and Johnny couldn't be anything but an adolescent. (So maybe just two boys.) Also, if Ari is king of the world, what's there left to be king of? But the first two episodes suggest that old habits are hard to kill off.

"Entourage," amazingly, doesn't feel like it's repeating itself, but being true to itself.

BOTTOM LINE: On "Entourage," as in Hollywood, there is no shortage of stories or characters, which means they both have an amusing way of reinventing themselves. This show doesn't feel even remotely played out. And will someone please get Cassavetes' agent on the line — we'd very much like to see more of him this season, too.





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