Entourage: The Complete Seventh Season Review

Entourage’s mock look at both the glamorous and seedy elements of Hollywood life has veered considerably away from its focus on Vince in the last few seasons to evenly distribute its attention among his friends and associates who’ve long since grown to be more interesting characters than himself. For as much as the sixth season concentrated on Vince’s filming woes, it was just as much, if not more so, entrenched in the tumultuous situation within Ari Gold’s agency and the developing enterprises of everyone else. The seventh season backslides somewhat, making Vince the primary driver behind the season’s complete arc, but that’s only because the rest of the characters are spinning their wheels, albeit in slightly new locales or features.

The main story of the season starts when Vince (Adrian Grenier) insists on participating in a driving stunt after Director Nick Cassavetes strong-arms him into it; only to crash and burn and come out of the experience with a new, hedonistic outlook on life. Soon he’s hooking up with porn star Sasha Grey and indulging in increasingly destructive behaviors that sabotage his efforts to star in a new superhero film. For the newly engaged Eric (Kevin Connolly), whose days are spent butting heads and then conspiring with a fellow agent (Scott Caan) and whose nights feature significantly less debauchery thanks to the calming influence of Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui). Drama (Kevin Dillon), now a client of Eric’s, finally gets his big break after a show with John Stamos falls through and a network-approved animated series is modeled with him specifically in mind. Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) gets involved in a high-end tequila enterprise after a former employee (Dania Ramirez) from his failed limo service invites him in, and brings it smashing success despite the owner’s reluctance. Finally, Ari (Jeremy Piven) deals with materials floating about that could torpedo his ultimate dream of partnering with the NFL after letting Lizzie Grant (Autumn Reeser) leave the agency when he refused her a promotion.

The “supporting” cast has long since ceased to only support, and they’ve become leads in their own right in seasons past. Entourage carries itself best when it doesn’t rely on Adrian Grenier to carry all the weight, but Entourage’s seventh season falters by not using its leads as they were originally scripted just so it could feature a story that wouldn’t work otherwise. Connolly and Chriqui take a back seat for a lot of the season, and Scott Caan instead steps in to fill the gap. His ask-no-questions, enabler personality helped the season’s overall arc move forward, but he really just gets lost in the jumble. Eric’s raison d’etre wasn’t to be Vince’s agent, because with Ari he was always redundant, he was the entourage’s moral compass and subbing him out was the only way this season’s events could have transpired.

A large part of the show’s appeal has always been Jeremy Piven’s fast-talking, back-peddling, fiery tempered agent who doesn’t know when to stop talking. The relationship the writers carved out between him, his assistant Lloyd (Rex Lee), Eric, and now Lizzie have helped to keep the one-liners flowing abundantly whereas the rest of the show’s comedy either stems from the guys ragging on Drama or some goofy situation Vince gets the gang into. The latter two methods have never been the show’s strong suit, but Piven consistently delivers in his role and Rex Lee especially has grown into his larger part.

Though Drama and Turtle have quite a bit of screen time this season, for the majority of the season they run in circles. The writers put them in a holding pattern so they’d be suitably distracted while doing nothing monumentally important, just so Vince could continue his descent into self-destruction. It’s a sloppy use of the characters it’s built up to this point, but the show is still fun to watch.

Guest appearances for this season (beyond those already mentioned) include: Jerry Jones, Aaron Sorkin, William Fichtner, Mark Cuban, John Cleese, Miguel Sandoval, Mike Tyson, Eminem, Christina Aguilera, Minka Kelly, Jessica Simpson, Randall Walace, Drew Brees, Queen Latifah, Stan Lee, and Bob Saget. This season also marks the return of Rhys Coiro as Director Billy Walsh.

Blu-ray Bonus Features

The set has three different types of featurettes including: a look at the work of Sasha Grey, who play’s Vince’s girlfriend this season; a making of piece for the season, which is nothing special even though watching the cast and crew goof off is amusing; and final there is a series of commentaries split between the likes of creator Doug Ellin, Executive Producer Ally Musika, Piven, Connolly, Ferrara, and Grenier.

"Entourage: The Complete Seventh Season" is on sale July 12, 2011 and is not rated. Comedy, Drama. Directed by Daniel Attias, David Nutter, Ken Whittingham. Written by Doug Ellin, Ally Musika. Starring Adrian Grenier, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Jeremy Piven, Jerry Ferrara, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon.

Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.


New Reviews