Entourage finished its sixth season late last week with its 12th episode entitled "Give a Little Bit." While it was satisfying watching Matt Damon take on a well-acted guest role in the season's final episode, this whole season of Entourage didn't seem to have any major plot points, nor did it stir any thrills or excitement with the characters and story.
Either the writers and producers of Entourage have run out of enticing stories to tell, or fascinating character developments to explore or the whole series has pretty much run its course, having portrayed every conceivable Hollywood vice and virtue there is. It is hard to accept the latter, when Hollywood impresses upon people that it has many, many mysterious facets to explore!
In this season, we saw Vince (Adrian Grenier) literally staying stagnant. The first episode saw him finish The Great Gatsby, and that's about all we see of his career! The rest of the season plays out with Vince being more a side player than anything else. His story is never compelling, and other than episodes where he thought he had a stalker (which turned out to be something else), Vince is nothing more than window dressing this season, with barely a solid storyline to attach himself to.
Also, there are endless scenes of him, in almost every episode, picking up strange girls and then having sex with them later as if the audience needed to be hit over the head with the fact that celebrities like Vince get sex on tap! (Yeah we get it! Vince has sex anywhere, and with anyone, and at any time! We get it, I promise!) Those scenes were clearly just gratuitous and for salacious effect more than for anything else, for we already know that Vince is quite the man-whore from the previous five seasons. Did the writers really have to peddle to such lowbrow enticements to get ratings and/or viewers' interest?
Given how feeble and weak Vince's stories were, you would think that would mean that the other characters might have had more intriguing storylines, but sadly their story angles were also marred by boring and uninteresting plot points.
We see Eric (Kevin Connolly) start his own firm, only to regret the move, and he ends up at a major management agency instead. He also is confused about what he wants with Sloan, and spends some time with a controlling and mildly psychotic girl called Ashley, only to end up engaged to Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui) by the last scene of the final episode.
Incidentally, Alexis Dziena, who played Ashley, was terribly miscast given her small stature, tween looks (the girl looks no more than 13) and whiny, high-pitched teen voice. She looked out of place and stood out like a sore thumb in this very adult series! Her "Ashley" was absolutely unbelievable and audiences were not convinced that someone as mature and centred as Eric had been portrayed all along would ever start any relationship with such a young and child-like character. By casting Dziena, Ashley looked like she accidentally walked off the Gossip Girl set and landed on Entourage instead. Luckily, Ashley's presence was cut short, and Eric chooses Sloan in the end. Hopefully, we won't have to cringe at Dziena's weak portrayal and Ashley's irritating appearance any more.
Another major character, Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), ends up back in school, but his relationship with Jamie (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) suffers when she gets a role in New Zealand and breaks off with him because she doesn't trust a long distance relationship to work.
As for Drama? Well Drama (Kevin Dillon) spends most of the season just being "around" as he usually does, but by the end of the season he tests for the remake of Melrose Place, is deemed too old, but is given a chance to have his own series.
It should be noted that the always delightful William Fichtner makes an appearance as TV producer Phil who is involved in the remaking of Melrose Place and hence is roped into the auditioning process with Drama. Fichtner, a chameleon-like actor who completely embodies any character he plays, doesn't disappoint in this role, as we see him portraying Phil as a very different person from his previous Agent Mahone (from Prison Break). On Fichtner's previous show, he managed very easily to steal the limelight from leads Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell. However, here on Entourage, it's perhaps a blessing that his role was not that significant, because given how flimsy and light this season's stories were, Fichtner could've easily stolen the show once again if he was given a more prominent place.
Probably the ones who had the most interesting storyline this season would have to have been Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) and Lloyd (Rex Lee), with their unusual but thoroughly watchable dynamic. However, in this season, their dynamic takes a turn for the weird. Ari makes Lloyd lose weight and abuses him in the most demeaning way through many episodes, until Lloyd is at the end of his tether and leaves Ari for a competing agency. However, Ari buys that agency and wants to destroy Lloyd for his betrayal. Lloyd ends up giving Ari a piece of his mind, but Ari apologises and makes Lloyd an agent instead.
Given the rather close friendship that was established between Ari and Lloyd within the last few seasons, it wasn't in keeping with Ari's character to suddenly emotionally and verbally abuse Lloyd as much as he did. This curt departure from characterisation didn't make any logical sense, and even though the two rekindled their friendship in the end, it felt as if the writers had run out of steam and of ideas, and decided to pit Ari and Lloyd against each other for combustive effect rather than for story or character development. As such, that part of the story felt forced and unconvincing.
All in all, each episode in season six didn't have much engrossing or tantalizing stories to tell. In earlier seasons, we always got very absorbing and engaging plot points and story angles. This time though, the entire season was filled with tales that were drab and pretty stale, and lacked any hook whatsoever. What was worse was that we got less insight into Hollywood and celebrity this season, and the focus was more on the rather mundane personal relationships of the characters.
It would be a shame if Entourage couldn't up the ante and come up with more alluring and riveting material next season. After all, Hollywood is a town that has many secrets and there is an audience that yearns to know more about the inner workings of the town. Entourage managed to give us an entrancing view into that part of the industry, something which other series never did, and that was its strength and lure. If it succumbs to the pitfalls of telling mere "regular people stories" that frankly can be found in any other context outside of Hollywood, Entourage will lose its unique edge of letting us in on Hollywood's dirty little secrets, which it used to cheekily reveal to us in other seasons of the past.
Has Entourage really told all the Hollywood stories that there are and has nothing else to say? Has Entourage and Hollywood really got no other inveigling to tempt us with? No further lascivious industry stories to attract us with? No risque inside scoop or captivating Hollywood goings-on that need to be told on the small screen? No further insight into a young star's journey into this very tumultuous industry of filmmaking?
This season, Entourage dropped the curtain on the inside view of Hollywood, and all its seductions and seductiveness, and instead it got "regular." Trouble is we can get "regular" anywhere else, on any other program. And if Entourage wants to be "regular", and discontinues seducing us by divulging the mysteries of Hollywood, then Entourage might as well be renamed Friends.