Ruminations, etc..

Musings, rantings, and pie.

The Problems With Vince: Reviewing Entourage Season Seven, Episode 1

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I watched the season 7 premiere of Entourage last night.  Man, did that show turn into garbage.

There are several problems with this show, chief among them is that there’s no conflict.  No real conflict, anyway. The characters don’t really have any problems or obstacles to overcome, and as a result the show is boring. It’s the basic rule of storytelling, right?  The audience wants to see the main character overcome obstacles, and in the process of overcoming those obstacles, the audience gets to know the character and begins to like and care about the character.  So what was the big obstacle in last night’s episode?  Whether or not Vince would do a stunt.  Way to shoot for the stars guys.

Mark Wahlberg's response to my thoughtful criticism.

Last season stunk, but there were a some seasons — three, four and five — that were actually interesting and had some compelling storylines.   (Compelling for a 22 minute TV show based around Mark Wahlberg’s life, anyway).   In those seasons, the characters weren’t on top of the world. Ari Gold was trying to get his own agency started after getting pushed out of his old agency; Vince and E were trying to get Medellin film made; and when Medellin flopped, they needed to resuscitate Vince’s career. Those are good obstacles for these characters.   It created some interesting individual storylines and some interesting drama.  In short, it was good storytelling.

Season five actually had some potential. Vince’s career was in the toilet. He needed to learn some lessons about how to play the Hollywood game, and he needed to learn how to be an actor.  He had to grow as a person, which could create some interesting stories and themes.  At the same time, E was trying to grow into his own person as well, both personally and professionally.  I’ve often thought that this show was about E, and the wreckage of Vince’s career would give E an opportunity to, perhaps, become a player in Hollywood. And that could lead him to rescue Vince the same way Vince’s career got E out of the pizza parlor.

These guys can't believe how bad Entourage has gotten either...

Or maybe not.  Maybe Turtle did something big and helped Vince out.  It doesn’t matter.  Now, before I cross into the seedy world of Entourage fan fiction, the point is that there  was some potential to develop some challenging obstacles and to allow the characters to grow. And all that potential was destroyed with that stupid deus ex machina phone call from Martin Scorsese.

Look, no one is expecting this show to delve deep into the human experience and mediate on deep themes of life, love and friendship. This show doesn’t have to be “deep,” but I don’t think it’s too much to ask for decent stories.  And at this point, it seems like that’s beyond the creators of Entourage.

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Written by B. Michael Krol

June 28, 2010 at 10:50 am

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