Category: Entourage

'Entourage' recap: Come fly with me

Entourage11_44

It was the series finale that the fans have been dreaming about.

Carrie fell in love and jetted off to Paris. Charlotte finally got her baby. Samantha and Miranda, as has often been the case, were the loyal friends making sure their gal pals had happy endings. Mr. Big finally realized there's more to life than work and was  ready to commit to a family.

Oh wait, this is a recap for "Entourage" not "Sex and the City." It's easy to understand the confusion, though a show that spent eight seasons dedicated to hedonism suddenly seemed to turn into a fantasy written by the readers of Cosmopolitan, not Details.

Photos: Hollywood Backlot -- On the set of 'Entourage'

HBO's "Entourage" has never been the type of show that requires a lot of deep thought. This is good because otherwise the series finale might really annoy people with its sudden turn from sexy to sappy, complete with opera singers, two trips to Europe and even a cameo from Rachel Zoe, who actually looked tall standing next to Vince in a jewelry store.

Written for men, primarily by men, may explain why "Entourage" has a hard time with female characters. In the Sunday finale, three women completely go against everything they've been about in the course of 30 minutes.

We'll start with Sophia, the smart Vanity Fair reporter that Vince has become smitten with, primarily it seems, because she is not smitten with him. Not used to having anyone turn him down, Vince goes all out to woo her, and on the strength of testimonials from ex-girlfriends and Drama and Turtle and one hot date, she apparently is now ready to marry him.

Then there's Mrs. Ari. For years, she's complained about her workaholic husband who pays her no attention. Ari does not seem able to ever go more than a few minutes without thinking about work. Then he hears some opera group that his daughter discovered and suddenly decides there's more to life and literally just walks out on his agency. He comes home with the young opera singers and the missus is suddenly ready to forgive and forget, and they race off to Italy for a romantic getaway. They left in such a hurry that they seemed to have forgotten about their kids. On a side note, Mrs. Ari had some interesting wardrobe choices in the episode. She was dressed more like someone who works the bar at the Peninsula hotel than a middle-aged mother of two. 

Finally, we have Eric's ex-girlfriend, Sloan. Pregnant with Eric's baby but determined not to be with him, she wants to move to New York and start a new life. Even if she still loves Eric, her father hates him and Eric did sort of sleep with her stepmother, Melinda Clarke. But hey, after a visit with Vince -- who as we learned from last week's episode -- can fix anything, Sloan is ready to throw on a red gown and fly off with E to start a new life. Of course, sooner or later she'll confirm that Eric did sleep with her stepmother on multiple occasions (one he might be able to get away with) and then what?

Series finales often disappoint, and this one was no exception. Often  it's because creators suddenly try to make their shows bigger than they are when it comes to the last episode. That was the case here. "Entourage" worked best when it was light and breezy. Going serious and schmaltzy is out of character. The highlight was watching Ari's stubble change in length from scene to scene even though the whole episode took place over the course of one day.  Eric was also sporting stubble. That's how we knew it was a very special episode. It certainly wasn't from the script.

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The boys of 'Entourage' say goodbye -- for now

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-- Joe Flint

Photo: Ari tries to make peace with Mrs. Ari on the series finale of HBO's "Entourage." Credit: HBO.

 

 

 

'Entourage' recap: We are the women who love Vincent Chase

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As HBO's "Entourage" heads into its final episode, the show's producers seem to be doing their best to throw as many loose threads out there as possible that will need to be tied up next Sunday.

There's Vince getting all of his old conquests to testify to his sweetness on a video in the hopes of wooing the Vanity Fair writer who thinks he is a shallow womanizer. Turtle is scrambling to find money to open a Don Peppe's restaurant in Los Angeles. Drama is trying to salvage his movie of the week about trapped miners. Eric is pining for his ex-girlfriend Sloan while sleeping with her stepmother and Ari has a perfectly good second wife in the wings in Dana Gordon, but he wants the first Mrs. Ari back.

For Vince, who's not used to having women say no to him, wooing Sophia has turned into a full-time job and he's recruited his posse to help him with his mission. It's not exactly clear why he is so smitten with her unless it's just her British accent that has his heart racing. Not only do they help him with his video project, Turtle and Drama sing Vince's praises to the skeptical Sophia and she finally surrenders and agrees to meet him for drinks.

Since this is "Entourage" and not some serious show, I'm not going to get caught up in the whole "but didn't she just do a piece on Vince and his post-rehab life and now she's having drinks with a substance abuser" contradiction because frankly I never bought Vince as an addict or an alcoholic. He's not tortured or self-loathing enough for that.

When they're not helping Vince, they're accepting his help. Because of Drama's decision to join Andrew "Dice" Clay and walk off the set of the animated show "Johnny's Bananas," his movie about miners is in limbo. Ari and Vince make it their mission to get the movie made. Everyone loves the script. The problem is no one loves Drama in it. A donation by Vince of $100,000 to the favorite charity of a resistant producer is all it takes to lock Drama into the part.

Turtle, who's been resisting Vince's offer to help his efforts to bring the Queens restaurant Don Peppe's to Hollywood, is also up against a wall. The DeLucas, owners of the original Don Peppe's, have their hearts set on a location that is a little bit out of Turtle's budget. He goes back to all his athlete pals -- obligatory cameos from Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Amare Stoudemire and Michael Strahan -- with no luck. He becomes even more despondent when he learns that Avion Tequila has gone public and he missed a golden opportunity by pulling his and Vince's shares out of the company.

But not only is Vince a whiz with the ladies, he's a smart investor too. Turns out he never sold his shares and in fact bought Turtle's too. Now Turtle has $4 million to open his own restaurant. Watching this, I couldn't help but think of the Wizard of Oz with Vince handing out a TV movie gig to Drama and a new career to Turtle just like the man behind the curtain.

Alas, one thing Vince can't do is make the women Ari and Eric want back want them. Ari is still bedding down with Dana Gordon but finally tells her that while he loves her, he loves his wife more.

Eric is also sleeping with one woman while chasing another. In his case it's complicated because the woman he's sleeping with, actress Melinda Clarke, is his ex-fiancée Sloan's former stepmother. Sloan meanwhile is being seen around town with Johnny Galecki. When Eric gets a call from Turtle that Sloan and Galecki are at the Farmers Market, he races there with Melinda to confront them.

There were many absurd things about this scene, not the least of which was Eric bringing Melinda with him to confront Sloan. But as over-the-top as that was, more outrageous were the old lady jokes thrown at Melinda. In reality, she is five years older than Eric and eight years older than Sloan and as she's playing herself, there is no reason for Sloan to act like she's 60 when she is in her early 40s.

Eric's Farmers Market attack blows up in his face, so he confronts Sloan at her house. There she lets him know that even if she wanted him back, her family hates him and that's more important to her. She then drops a bomb on Eric that would seem to potentially make him a member of the family.

Tune into next week's finale and watch Vince wave his magic wand and give Eric a brain and Ari a heart. 

-- Joe Flint

Photo: HBO's "Entourage." Credit: HBO.

'Entourage' recap: A mortgage, five kids and no maple syrup

'Entourage' recap: A mortgage, five kids and no maple syrup

Although Vincent Chase's publicity team has the clout to get an advance copy of a Vanity Fair story about him, they don't have the juice to get final editorial approval of the profile.

Vince is upset that in an otherwise flattering article of him the writer accuses the movie star him of being shallow with regards to women. He pretends to be sensitive to score, but isn't really. Vince doesn't see himself that way, but since that is exactly what he tried to do to the writer of the article, he has no luck getting her to change that one paragraph.

So instead he tries to track down old conquests to see if he was a jerk or a good guy. Fortunately, this "High Fidelity" plot didn't last past one waitress who tells Vince that while he was perfectly nice, he's not the deepest guy in the world. After seven seasons, it's not like that will come as a shock to fans of the show.

Photos: Hollywood Backlot -- On the set of 'Entourage'

While Vince struggles with the idea of being seen as a not-too-deep ladies' man, Eric is dealing with the repercussions of sleeping with actress Melinda Clarke, best known for playing Mischa Barton's mom on "The O.C." but also the former stepmother to Eric's ex-Sloan. Eric is supposed to be managing Clarke, but she seems interested giving him more than a commission.

Eric, who is still pining for Sloan, has a new rival for her in Johnny Galecki. Apparently the co-star of "The Big Bang Theory" is making a play for Sloan and may use Eric's situation with Melinda to help his own cause.

Alas, this would be amusing if we hadn't seen this before with Seth Green, who used to be Eric's tormentor and Sloan's stalker. Frankly, Green did a much better job at getting under Eric's skin than Galecki.

Vince and Eric's problems are nothing compared with poor Johnny Drama, who has joined Andrew Dice Clay in walking off the animated show "Johnny's Bananas" the pair are making for CBS with Billy Walsh producing. CBS is now threatening to drop Vince's movie about trapped miners that Johnny was going to star in. "He's going to bury my minors," Drama quips after getting off the phone with Phil, the executive overseeing.

Turns out though that was the last bluff because two seconds after Drama says he's not coming back to work, Dice's phone rings with what he says is a better offer and the show is back on. If that is the end of that plot line, then it was pretty anti-climatic.

As Drama gets ready to return to work, Turtle is trying to find a new gig. His idea is to import his favorite Queens restaurant, Don Peppe's, to Hollywood. He flies the owner and his wife out to hear his pitch, but they're more interested in seeing stars and hitting a Laker's game and don't seem to be taking Turtle too seriously yet.

The soap opera that is Ari's marriage appears to be over as Ari looks ready to throw in the towel on a reconciliation with his wife. His main goal now is to protect his business, which Mrs. Ari could take a big chunk of in a divorce proceeding. Oh, and we finally learn the name of Ari's wife. It's Melissa. Hardly the biggest reveal in the world here, after all we're not talking Cosmo Kramer.

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Previously on 'Entourage'...

Photos: Hollywood Backlot -- On the 'Entourage' set

The boys of 'Entourage' say goodbye for now; movie possibility remains

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Ari (Jeremy Piven), Eric (Kevin Connolly), Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), Vince (Adrian Grenier) and Drama (Kevin Dillon). Credit: Claudette Barius / HBO

'Entourage' recap: You're a mope!

'Entourage's' Vince gears up for an interview with Vanity Fair

With his career at a crossroads, Vincent Chase’s trusty public relations aide Shauna lands him an interview with Vanity Fair. The only problem is Vince thinks he can bat his eyes and flirt his way through it.

“Don’t worry, I got it,” he tells Shawna before meeting up with British bombshell Sophia. Unfortunately, Vince is not so good at reading people and he can’t tell that that Sophia isn’t buying his act. After his 18th lame attempt to hit on her, she says she’s got enough for the story and hits the road.

Shauna wants to do damage control, but Vince takes matters into his own hands and sweet talks the writer back to his hotel. There he opens up a little more and for once the character of Vincent Chase almost becomes interesting. Unfortunately, we only get a few seconds of an unscripted and unguarded Vince before Sophia wraps it up, rejects another pass and heads out the door.

Photos: Hollywood Backlot -- On the set of 'Entourage'

Vince isn’t the only one having trouble with women. Eric gets a visit from actress Melinda Clarke, who also happens to be the ex-stepmother of Eric’s ex-fiance, Sloane. Fresh from a divorce from Sloan’s father, Terrence, Melinda comes to Eric looking for new management.

Eric’s gut tells him to run this by Sloan, but his partner, Scott, talks him out of it. Bad move for Eric, who seems as clueless as Benjamin Braddock was when Mrs. Robinson seduced him. Before Eric knows it, both are drunk and in bed. Right on cue a call comes in from Sloan telling Eric that Melinda had told Terrence she was going to sleep with him.  Well, the good news is she still wants Eric to manage her.

Also messing up big time was Ari. Still reeling from his wife dating Bobby Flay, who Ari has dubbed Chef Boyardee, he can’t even spend the day with his kids without messing up. Son Jonah and daughter Sarah come to the office to meet him to go to Disneyland.

Instead, Ari gets stuck in meetings all day and while Jonah is willing to forgive because he worships his father, Sarah and Mrs. Ari have had enough. Ari’s latest broken promise, she says, shows “how worthless your words are” and that she’s filed for divorce.

Hard to get happy after that one. Ari checks into a hotel and gets smashed and drunk dials Dana Gordon, the studio chief who recently provided him some relief from the pain of his marriage. Even though she too has every reason to be furious with Ari, she also relates to him and hits the *69 on her phone and lends a sympathetic ear.

While Vince, Eric and Ari having female troubles, Johnny is having career problems. Andrew Dice Clay has still not returned to work and his replacement, Jamie Kennedy, isn’t cutting it.

Willing to do anything to save the show, Johnny goes to Dice and makes the incredibly generous offer to pay him extra money out of his own salary. Dice is touched but not interested.  In one of the funniest lines in the history of “Entourage,” Dice tells Drama that he reached out to his old agent, Mike Ovitz for help. What did he say, Drama asked. “He hasn’t called me back yet,” Dice said.

Recognizing that without Dice’s voice, there is little hope for  “Johnny’s Bananas” succeeding, Drama goes to the network and tries to make the case to give Dice more money. Phil, the network executive in charge of the show, fires up a joint and tries to sell Drama some bull that the network wants him to be the star anyway and that Dice’s role won’t be all that important down the road. Drama then decides if he’s so important then he can go on strike too and heads out the door.

Kudos to the writers of this episode for successfully navigating four distinct story-lines. The only one left on the sidelines was Turtle, which has pretty much been the case all season. It’s as if the writers decided that a slimmed-down Turtle isn’t as entertaining. Hopefully that won’t continue to be the case, and Turtle will get some decent scenes too as "Entourage" starts to wind down its final season.

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Previously on 'Entourage'...

Photos: Hollywood Backlot -- On the 'Entourage' set

The boys of 'Entourage' say goodbye for now; movie possibility remains

-- Joe Flint

Photo: HBO's "Entourage." Credit: HBO.

'Entourage' recap: Overpriced soft meat

'Entourage's' Kevin Dillon and Adrian Grenier as Johnny Drama and Vince

Being fresh out of rehab and at the house of a coked-up fading producer who has just committed suicide is usually not a good career move.

But that’s where Vincent Chase found himself in Sunday night’s episode of HBO’s “Entourage.” What he thought would be a routine visit to troubled producer Carl Urtz wanting to work with him turned into an episode of “Celebrity Rehab” gone wrong. Vince did his best impression of Dr. Drew and fell way short.

Vince could have avoided this if he had listened to his agent, Ari, manager, Eric or friend Turtle, who all warned him to steer clear of Urtz.

Now his own comeback from a bust and rehab is at risk. He’s got the press and the law on his back. While Vince didn’t do anything wrong, TMZ is all over him, and his parole officer is going to want him to take a drug test. Parole officers tend to frown on their parolees being in a house of a known drug abuser who has killed himself while on a binge.

None of this would be a real problem if Vince hadn’t smoked a joint a few days earlier. Annoyed with Narcotics Anonymous and not buying that he is some hard-core drug addict, Vince tells Eric he had a few puffs on a joint just to prove he could do it.

Unfortunately, whether he is or isn’t an addict doesn’t matter as far as his probation is concerned. A failed drug test could cost him a movie and land him in jail for a week or so. Freaked out, the gang decides he can beat the test if he drinks a ton of vinegar. It only takes one sip for Vince to figure that there has to be a better way.

Of all his friends, Vince figures Billy is the one who knows how to fake a drug test. Billy does have a solution, but it requires a fake penis that will dispense clean urine and fool the person watching him take the test. Vince goes to his drug test packing a little extra. He tells Eric about the scheme. Eric promptly loses it and notes that if Vince fails the test they can recover. But if he is caught trying to cheat on it, he is totally screwed.

As Vince deals with his moral dilemma, Ari is torn between pining for his wife and starting something up with former flame and big shot studio executive Dana Gordon (the under-appreciated Constance Zimmer). In the last episode, he slept with Dana, and in this one he is trying to win back Mrs. Ari by being enthusiastic about couples counseling.

Mrs. Ari, however, is having none of it. She’s dating hot shot chef Bobby Flay and tired of coming in second to Ari’s job. Annoyed, Ari decides to go for some payback by taking Dana to Flay’s restaurant, where he has a confrontation with him and his “overpriced soft meat.” Once Dana learns why they are eating at Flay’s restaurant, she loses it. Mrs. Ari also hears about it from Flay and is furious as well since she always distrusted Dana anyway.

While Ari is failing the tests to woo his wife back, Vince manages to pass his drug test. Everyone is stunned until Vince pulls out his secret weapon, which – for those wondering – is smaller than the one worn by “Entourage” executive producer Mark Wahlberg in “Boogie Nights.”

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Previously on 'Entourage'...

Photos: Hollywood Backlot -- On the 'Entourage' set

The boys of 'Entourage' say goodbye for now; movie possibility remains

 -- Joe Flint

Photo: Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) offers advice to Vince (Adrien Grenier) on "Entourage." Credit: HBO.

'Entourage' recap: You have a roommate?

'Entourage's' Ari and Lloyd share a moment. Credit: HBO

For seven seasons, super agent Ari Gold has never been flustered. He bullied his way to the top of Hollywood on smarts and guts. But take Ari out of his comfort zone and he's a lost little boy.

Lost is what Ari is these days and it makes him softer and more sympathetic. While his wife dating Bobby Flay, he is moping around the office and ignoring his star client Vince. Ari is great at landing clients, but he hasn't had to land a woman in years.

Following the advice of Vince and Lloyd, Ari agrees to go out on a date. She's a knockout but doesn't have a lot going on upstairs. Ari, meanwhile, is nervous and antsy and doesn't really know how to make conversation with someone who is probably about two decades his junior.

Photos: Hollywood Backlot -- On the 'Entourage' set

Nonetheless, the allure of power is enough aphrodisiac and before long Ari is making out with his date in his car. She invites him up but then remembers she's out of condoms. Just the thought of running to a 7-11 for birth control, coupled with the idea that he'll have to be quiet because of her roommate (who later pops up to completely spoil the already fading mood), is enough for Ari to bail.

Depresed and vunerable for once, Ari calls studio executive and former flame Dana Gordon for a late night chat that turns into a more intimate reunion.

While Ari's trying to get his groove back, Johnny is losing his, thanks to Andrew Dice Clay. Dice, whose career has been in the dumpster for almost two decades, is determined to get a raise for the animated cartoon show they're working on before it has even premiered. Eric and Scott, who are managing Dice, make a half-hearted call to the show's creative executive who says, "remind Dice when we cast him he was doing stand-up in bowling alleys."

Dice, who chews up scenery as if he hasn't eaten in a week, is stubborn and fires his new managers and quits the show. Now everyone is in the lurch.

Vince meanwhile has gotten himself tangled up with Carl Urtz, a sleazy producer who once did him wrong and is now in the same recovery group wanting to make amends. Even though everyone from Ari to Turtle tells him to steer clear of Urtz, Vince is determined to give him a second chance.

Urtz offers to pitch the TV movie Vince wants to make for Drama to star in, but it soon becomes clear that the producer has another agenda too and is not clean or even stable. As usual, Vince is his own worst enemy when it comes to trusting people.

The episode, which seemed shorter than ususal, ended on a particularly dark note that was out of characater for the show. It will be interesting to see if that last plays a part in future plots or was just a way for the writers to get out of situation.

On a side note, Ari being insecure wasn't the only new thing in the episode. Entourage finally showed another side of Los Angeles. Seeing Ari making out in front of a modest apartment building in a residential neighborhood was like seeing a McDonald's on Rodeo Drive.

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Previously on 'Entourage'...

Photos: 'Entourage' takes the Big Apple for Season 8 premiere

The boys of 'Entourage' say goodbye for now; movie possibility remains

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Ari and Lloyd share a moment. Credit: HBO.

'Entourage' recap: We talk, then we walk

'Entourage' recap: We talk, then we walk

Once again Johnny Drama is on the verge of stardom as his new animated show "Johnny's Bananas" has tested well and will premiere in just a few weeks.

And once again it could slip through his fingers if he isn't careful. Last time around, Johnny ended up off a hit show -- "Five Towns" -- for doing the right thing. Now, though, he is getting bum advice from his "Johnny's Bananas" co-star Andrew Dice Clay.

Dice, who has been out of the spotlight for almost two decades, thinks he and Drama should hold out for more money even though the show hasn't even premiered yet. Dice is convinced it will be a hit and fears he and Drama will be stuck with what in hindsight will look like bad deals.

"We talk, then we walk," Dice tells an apprehensive Drama.

Photos: Hollywood Backlot -- On the 'Entourage' set

While Dice tries to create more drama for Drama, Ari is still reeling from the revelation that his wife is seeing someone else. That heartbreak leads to anger when Lloyd tells Ari he saw Mrs. Ari at Flay's having breakfast.

Although she was by herself, Ari and Lloyd grill a waiter to find out what is going on. Then Ari learns the waiter he's talked to has a habit of bedding wealthy women. As much as Ari can't believe that his wife would go from the most powerful agent in town to a waiter, he decides to destroy an upcoming audition the waiter has for "Mad Men."

Alas, Mrs. Ari is not sleeping with a waiter. She's sleeping with the boss -- Bobby Flay. She tells Ari that if she and he are ever to get back together, he needs to let her be now. He basically says if letting her be means letting her be with other people, then that's a deal-breaker.

Ari hasn't spent all these years becoming the most powerful agent in Hollywood for nothing. He storms into a staff meeting and tells everyone that Bobby Flay is now his sworn enemy, which means he is the firm's sworn enemy as well.

Mrs. Ari is not the only girl moving on. Turtle can't seem to get his girlfriend, Alex, to call him back from the road where she's promoting Avion tequila, and Eric's on-again, off-again relationship with Sloan may be permanently off after she tells him she's quit her job and headed to New York.

Sloan springs this news on Eric a few hours after a spur-of-the-moment romantic encounter. He was hoping it would mean they'd get back together, but for her it was closure.

Vince was hardly a factor in this episode. He's busy trying to write a script for his miner movie that he now wants to make for Drama. Vince's screenwriting skills and his grammar apparently need a  lot of work, though, and Billy Walsh is brought in to do a rewrite.

This episode seemed designed to set up stories in the coming weeks. Ari will struggle with dealing with his wife's dating and figuring out his next move. Johnny and Dice will risk their new show before it even has a chance to succeed. Eric will try to move on from Sloan, and Vince will need something other than writing a TV movie for his brother to hold his interest, or ours.

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Last week on 'Entourage'...

Photos: 'Entourage' takes the Big Apple for Season 8 premiere

The boys of 'Entourage' say goodbye for now; movie possibility remains

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Drama (Kevin Dillon) gets some bad advice from Dice (Andrew Dice Clay). Credit: HBO.

TCA 2011: The boys of 'Entourage' say goodbye -- for now

TCA 2011: The boys of 'Entourage' say goodbye -- for now

The session for 'Entourage," which wrapped the second day of the TCA press tour, turned out to be more than just an opportunity to promote the eighth and final season of the HBO comedy. There was a vibe of emotion and bittersweetness.

It would be the last time the core cast would ever be together to talk about the series.

"As we sit here, this is literally the last time we'll be sitting together with each other as a TV show," said Kevin Connolly, who plays Eric Murphy, the best friend and manager of movie star Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier).

He continued talking until concluding, "I don't want to start crying."

Photos: Hollywood Backlot -- On the 'Entourage' set

Grenier said he and his colleagues were quite emotional about the series coming to an end: "We're all choked up. We spent countless days, hours together, doing something we're very proud of."

Of course, the boys -- Grenier, Connolly, Jerry Ferrara, Kevin Dillon and Jeremy Piven -- may not be separated for long. The possibility of an "Entourage" movie is still very much alive.

"I was looking at the clip before we came up here, and it looks like a movie to me," said actor Mark Wahlberg, the executive producer  whose movie career is the inspiration for the series. "I certainly hope this has a chance. I think people want to go on a journey with these guys. And I'm always hearing the episodes are too short."

Creator/executive Doug Ellin was more blunt: "We're going to do a movie. It's a question of when."

Ellin said he was particularly proud of this final season, which launched last week: "I really wanted to have the audience feel that we loved hanging out with these guys, and that they'll miss them. We've had a really good vibe with these guys."

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More from the TCA Press Tour

'Entourage': Full coverage and episode recaps

Photos: 'Entourage' takes the Big Apple for Season 8 premiere

---Greg Braxton

Photo: The cast of the final season of "Entourage." Credit: HBO

'Entourage' recap: With friends like these

Entourage11_21 Last seen getting a beat down from Eminem and then being busted by the cops for possession, movie star Vincent Chase has hit bottom and now wants to climb out of the hole in which he finds himself.

Because this is Hollywood, that mean Promises -- the pricey rehab of the stars on the shores of Malibu where many a starlet thinks 90 days of pampering will prepare them for the real world sans booze and blow.

Fortunately for Vince, there hasn't been much real in his world for years. He does his three months, grabs his chip, and is out the door.

Unfortunately for Vince, his idea of a seamless return to civilian life is interrupted by his, uh, entourage. The gang -- particularly older brother Johnny Drama -- are worried about temptation leading to relapse. So Johnny and Turtle go about purging the house of all drugs and alcohol. Even Advil isn't safe.

Photos: On the 'Entourage' set

"All means all," Johnny barks at Turtle while doing his impression of "The Brady Bunch's" Alice. "I don't even want a throat lozenge in this house." Turtle does his part by trying to smoke up all the weed in the  mansion.

While Johnny and Turtle are playing maid, Eric, Vince's best friend and manager, is upset that Vince seems to have called everyone but him to announce he's getting out and needs a ride. Even Scott, Eric's partner in their new management agency is part of the caravan to pick up Vince as is super agent Ari, who himself is struggling to deal with being separated from his wife.

It turns out that trying to keep Vince from a drink or a drug is only half of the headache his pals face. While he was locked away in rehab, Vince came up with a lame screenplay about trapped miners in Romania and an American who, with his dog in tow, decides to try to rescue them.

"He’s pitching a Lifetime movie, starring the dog from 'Marley and Me,' " Ari cracks.

Alas, none of them have the guts to tell their meal ticket to his face that the idea is not very good. They fear that any disappointment will send a fragile Vince over the edge.

None of this is helping Vince, who just wants to resume being a movie star and enjoy the perks that come with it -- namely bimbos. Not wanting to take Vince out clubbing where danger lurks inside every men's room stall, a plan is hatched to host a welcome home party and director Billy Walsh cruises 12-step meetings for broads. Apparently someone at Promises forgot to tell Vince that underneath every skirt is a slip.

Tired of being treated with kid gloves, Vince has one of the floozies pretend he has had a coke-induced heart attack, which causes the requisite panic until Vince explains he's fine and begs everyone to stop tiptoeing around him, especially regarding his movie idea.

"It was actually disgusting," Ari says of his client's script.

Vince's release from rehab and attempt to get his career back on track is only one part of what will be the last season of HBO's "Entourage." Johnny Drama, who blew his chance at TV stardom a few seasons ago, is also attempting a comeback with an animated show called "Johnny Bananas," co-starring Andrew Dice Clay, who will make his debut in next week's episode. Drama has consistently been the most entertaining character of the show. His efforts to break out of his brother's shadow always fall short because he gets in his own way.

Photos: 'Entourage' stars hit New York premiere

Also still struggling to make his own mark is Eric. His personal and professional relationship with Vince is on the rocks and he doesn't really trust his partner, Scott, with whom he staged a coup to take over the management firm and boot out their old boss, Murray. Eric continues to question a little whether he's a legitimate Hollywood player or still riding on Vince's coattails. His personal life is in tatters as welll. His fiancee Sloan left him and mailed back his $30,000 engagement ring in an envelope that wasn't even padded.

Eric is not the only one with relationship drama. Always-in-control Ari is at a crossroads too. Last season he was tossed out by his wife -- still known only as Mrs. Ari -- and it is tearing him apart.

Ari's relationship with his wife has always been one of the more intriguing aspects of this lightweight comedy. A shark in a suit, Ari has no morals or ethics in business and yet at the end of the day comes home to be a loving husband and father.

But work is Ari's life, and Mrs. Ari wants more than the big house and fancy cars. However, her character has never quite come across as very sympathetic. She has no qualms spending his money and living the good life, but gets upset at how hard he has to work to keep her in the luxury she so enjoys.

Ever the smart agent, Ari knows when a negotiation isn't going well. When he pleads for another chance with his wife, she finally reveals that she is in fact dating someone else. Ari walks out of his own house and starts to work on Plan B.

For years, "Entourage" cruised on as a breezy diversion that required little heavy lifting. Creator Doug Ellin was selling fantasy. See Vince with a hot car. See Vince with a hot babe. See a big star make a cameo. See Drama do or say something stupid. Try to figure out the inside jokes about industry players. Rinse, repeat. It was a simple formula, but it worked.

That changed last season. Perhaps wanting to give the show a little more edge and depth, it got darker. Vince started dating a porn star, dabbling in drugs and threatening to torpedo his career. At times, the show seemed more like an After School Special attempt at a cautionary tale than a comic take on the Hollywood star machine.

As riveting as it might be to portray a star on top of the world on the verge of losing it all, that sort of drama is not this show's strong suit. "Entourage" is leaving at the right time. Let's hope it goes out the way it came in.

RELATED:

'Entourage' finale recap

Photos: 'Entourage' stars hit New York premiere

Andrew 'Dice' Clay talks about joining 'Entourage, his personal life and his career

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), Eric (Kevin Connolly) and Drama (Kevin Dillon) plan a party for Vince. Credit: HBO

TV This Week for July 24th – 30th

Click here to download TV listings for the week of July 24 - 30 in PDF format

TV listings for the week of July 24 - 30 in PDF format (from latimes.com/entertainment/news/tv)

Weekly TV Listings and more can be found at: www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/tv

This week's TV Movies


SUNDAY

What would you do if you had the “Same Name” as a celeb like former “Baywatch” star David Hasselhoff — besides change your name, we mean? Perhaps you'd swap lives for a spell. That's the switcheroo premise of this new reality series. (CBS, 8:59 p.m.)

Things are looking “dicey” on “Entourage” as controversial stand-up comic Andrew Dice Clay — banned from MTV way back in the day, don't you know — will be getting his very own story arc when the showbiz comedy launches its final season. (HBO, 10:30 p.m.)

Et-lojrtlnc-jul24 MONDAY

Too often, a local tragedy makes national news, then fades away before the facts of the case become clear. The documentary “There's Something Wrong With Aunt Diane” digs deeper, revisiting a horrific 2009 car crash in upstate New York that claimed the lives of eight people. (HBO, 9 p.m.) 

TUESDAY

The documentary “Google World” maps the many online territories claimed by the Web-based behemoth, while “Frontline” (right) visits “The Pot Republic” — also known as California — to examine marijuana use, medical or otherwise, here in the Golden State. (KCET, 9 p.m.; KOCE, 9 p.m.)

WEDNESDAY

Life, liberty and the pursuit of beef, chicken and pork … mmm, pork: It's all on the menu in “Meat America.” Host Jamie Stachowski consorts and cavorts with carnivores from Chicago all the way down to Texas in this protein-rich special. (History, 9 p.m.)

Et-lolen3nc-jul24 THURSDAY

Heidi, ho! Super-est of the supermodels and hostess with the most-est Heidi Klum joins mentor-mensch Tim Gunn and judges Nina Garcia and Michael Kors as the fashion-design competition “Project Runway” sashays into its ninth season. (Lifetime, 9 p.m.)

FRIDAY

Are you ready to rock? No? OK, we'll give you a moment. How about now? Bon Jovi, Rod Stewart, Stevie Nicks and the Killers are among the acts putting on a jolly good show in London's Hyde Park in the concert special “Hard Rock Calling 2011.” (VH1, 11 p.m.)

SATURDAY

Ben Affleck got back to his Boston roots when he directed and starred in the gritty 2010 crime drama “The Town.” But Johnny Depp would have done better to just stay home rather than play “The Tourist” opposite Angelina Jolie (left) in that pretty but pretty vapid 2010 thriller. (HBO, 8 p.m.; Starz, 9 p.m.)

Photo credits: Frontline; "The Tourist": Peter Mountain Columbia TriStar

Tweeters' Digest: The week in TV tweets

Lowe
In between the self-promotion (watch my show!), the responses to fans (thanks for watching my show!) and the revelations of personal minutiae (I'm going to the gym before I watch my show!), famous people take to Twitter to comment on the news of the world.

With Rob Lowe and Anderson Cooper on the revolution in Egypt, Donald Glover and Adrian Grenier anticipating the SuperBowl and Damon Lindelof still defending the final episode of "Lost," here are some highlights of the week — after the jump — as captured in tweets from actors, show runners, TV anchors and reality stars.

— Joy Press

twitter.com/joypress

Photo: Rob Lowe. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times.

Continue reading »

'Entourage' recap: Intervention time

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Well, it's all hit the fan in “Lose Yourself,” the last episode of “Entourage’s” penultimate season. And after that Nick Cassavetes stunt gone wrong, the dating of the porn star and all that smack and blow that had been snorted and passed around throughout these last 10 episodes, Vinnie Chase finally admitted that he was out of control and we finally saw him flushed down the drain like that baggie of cocaine (“We can sell that, bro!”). No congratulatory slaps on the back and camaraderie here. More like kicks to the ribs, a bloodied face and a possible arrest for possession.

And I don’t know about you, but after all the bull that the movie star had doled out this season, wresting away from being controlled while trying to control his girlfriend, it was quite satisfying to see Vince get told off by Minka Kelly and got the stuffing beaten out of him at Eminem’s party (including a nice hook to the kisser delivered by Marshall Mathers himself, no less).

Though loyal big brother (and avid “Intervention” fan) Drama was trying to stop things from coming to this end (God bless him). After Vince went missing post-restaurant tryst with Sasha, the new star of “Johnny’s Bananas” gathered the crew to Vince’s house to see if they couldn’t get this petulant coke sniffing, outburst having, Red Bull-swigging actor back on the righteous path (the best was when Billy Walsh pulled up in his ratty minivan). Of course, it didn’t work, as Vince was still angry and throwing punches at the world for not letting him have his way.

Because Sasha’s still doing the porn movie, you see. A strung-out Vince showed up at the movie set  only to see his girl dressed up in shiny black patent as a sexy superhero prophylactic and surrounded by her own, um, entourage. Movie star Vince threw a conniption after having a weird meta-fight with a shorter, pornier version of himself (porn star Vince, Sasha's ex-fiance) and he and Sasha called it quits.

Continue reading »
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