Entourage; I got an episode behind, and watching two in a row inspired such thoughts!

November 3, 2008 at 3:57 am (1)

The concept of entourage is really awesome: four very close friends enjoy the spoils of fame without losing their enviably close friendships, this way the characters remain relatable making their fame and fortune excitingly real, fantastically palpable. Along the way, we get to see a parody of Hollywood and plenty of gorgeous people. Lots of wiggle room to show humorous excess, but with a solid core of trust and love motivating every action in the show.

Ari would have very little trouble selling this show to studio executives.

If you read this blog normally, you should know I don’t normally fall for such populist power fantasy. But I do: I read comics! I can just reasonably discern where clever craft begins and ends, and adjust my entertainment accordingly. Entourage used to be on the good side of popular entertainment, pleasing without seeming hedonistic, intelligent without being heavy.

But the latest season has just been terrible. The show has completely lost control of its most important element, its characters, and along the way has forgotten how to pay off tension and cliffhangers. The characters I’m most concerned with are two supporting characters, Turtle, and Lloyd. The tension and cliffhanger lacking any sort of dramatic resolution is Medellin. I’ll start with the former and work my way up the ladder to the latter, and probably find some interesting rungs in the process with my hands and feet.

P.S. I’m very aware that I’m letting the ugliness of serial entertainment show. Plenty of my problems with this show start with developers not giving me my interpretation of their characters. But when a serial entertainment gets sloppy and stops giving us its actual cast of characters in favor of hasty caricature, I am past worries of appearance. Every time the TV show airs and they do nothing to resuscitate the dying cliché before their eyes, some CPR is necessary.

I fear my hands are too far away from the silent, motionless chest.

I.

Lloyd was an excellent character when first introduced. Witty and lovable, he made trips to Ari’s office a pleasurable experience in a new way. That is, it wasn’t just another showcase of the female figure. He was everything you’d want an actual assistant to look and act like. Loyal and attached to his job, he has an emotional investment in the success of the company, greets Vince and co. with charm instead of coquetry. Now, he’s only gay. He may not have been much more before, but always a possibility existed that a better character than an outstanding assistant could occur.

And this is all besides Ari being an unforgivable jerk when talking to Lloyd. He may have saved him from the grubby fingers of the superstar writer from season four, but now he only insults. Remember when the potential client said “Fuck a Chinese Man, you’d just be horny again in an hour,” and Lloyd slapped the fuck out of the insulter? It’s been awhile since he’s been out of the office, and when he has, the results have not been good.

As a plot twist, Lloyd cheated on his boyfriend, and Ari covered for him. Infidelity is brought up, but it doesn’t demean its characters in the eyes of the show. Ari acts a little disappointed with Lloyd and demands an explanation; it was a dream date, Lloyd says, with someone he didn’t believe he could ever get, and the matter is put to rest. In episode 508 from two weeks ago, Ari jokingly takes Dana Gordon up on her offer of grateful sex. One can’t help but be reminded of Ari’s desperate plea when she calls him earlier, with wife in car and speaker phone on: “I’m in the car on speakerphone with my wife,” before the possible mistress can say a word.

Plus, if Ari is committing any adultery, he’s an even bigger jerk: he wouldn’t let his wife kiss her hot co-worker on her soap’s revival, but I’m not really talking about Ari going from an unlikable Don Quixote with a plan to a selfish manipulator, I’m talking about Lloyd’s actions always only mattering in how they relate to other people, and him never having a fully defined character arc. Cheating on his boyfriend didn’t change him at all, and the break-up only gave us very dramatic scenes of Lloyd crying. But, crisis averted because Ari is intelligent. And end show.

This is so infuriating: it’s close to a great character portrayed in popular media, but misses the mark terribly. I could write more essays on gays in HBO shows, like in Sex and the City where Stanford and Marcus’ monogamous and traditional relationship (they were going to buy a house together, last we heard) ends up with Stanford kissing Anthony at the end of the movie with no explanation, but I’ll stop with comparisons after the next period. Onto Turtle!

Next: Part 2! AND PROBABLY PART 3!

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1 Comment

  1. Thoughts on Entourage- Part Two « Psychopomp & Circumstance said,

    […] on Entourage- Part Two The first one’s here or below. I think I actually talk about recent episodes in this […]

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