It pains me to ever write this, but the past few weeks have solidified the point that Entourage has not stood the test of time. The famed show that guided me through my first few tumultuous years in the industry is just like that great relationship you reminisce about; it wasn’t all that. Having been sidelined for the past few weeks with illness, I decided to rewatch my oft quoted show. It hurt, it really hurt.
Entourage was one of those shows that came at the perfect time. The mid 2000’s was a time where non network television really hit it’s stride. We were coming off the nova that was Sex in the City (another show that I feel has not aged right), and Hollywood’s glistening lights burned brighter than ever. The show gave us an insider look at what the film world was about, giving us insight in the up and down career of a Hollywood star and his buddies. Loosely based on the great Mark Wahlberg’s career, it was an instant hit, making it one of television’s hottest entities. Adrian Grenier, a once unknown actor, alongside Jeremy Piven and Co, were now rock stars. The show hustled on, giving us 8 seasons (maybe 2 seasons too long), and a so so movie. It’s hard to not find someone who isn’t at least aware of the show or it’s characters, but revisiting the show now? Ugh. Talk abut cringe.
Asia Argento’s riveting Cannes speech this past week made sure we understood that the #metoo movement was still firing on all cylinders, ready to expose all the monsters of this industry. Hearing Ari Gold talk hurt as I rewatched Entourage, making me understand a simple fact; this show would not be green-lit today. At least it wouldn’t be green-lit in the form we received it in. It is a male driven show as much as Sex in the City was a female driven one, but the women are tremendously one note. Amanda Daniels? Spiteful. Lizzie Grant? Vindictive. Sloan? Really just an E love interest. Mrs. Gold? Let us not go there. I understand a lot of these characters were caricatures, but goddamn the writing faltered at times. I actually stopped at one point where a scene in Season 5 made me realize how dated the show is. Dana Gordon (another Ari female foil) had just gotten reamed by John Ellis (the Time Warner CEO), saying he said to her “this why I hire women to blow me, not run my studio”.
Listen, I know this show was just a reflection of the world we had lived in, seemingly so long ago, but talk about not holding up after 7 years. Don’t get me wrong, Entourage is still, and will always be, one of my all time greats, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come without it’s flaws. We live in a different world, one that is turning out all the nasty bits that made this industry the toxic wasteland it is desperately trying to cleanse now. Yet, if Entourage was made today, it might have taken a different route, one with less jokes about Lloyd’s sexual orientation.