Entourage: The Complete Fourth Season

Entourage: The Complete Fourth Season
HBO’s Entourage remains one of the flashiest and smartest shows about douche bags in all of television, and it manages to maintain a compelling charm by hitching its wagon to scurrilous characters. The series’ perspective on behind-the-scenes Hollywood machinations still centres on rising cinematic star Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier), his cutthroat asshole of an agent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven), his best friend/morality gauge/naïve manager Eric (Kevin Connolly) and lustful cling-ons: brother and b-list actor Drama (Kevin Dillon) and pothead Turtle (Jerry Ferrara). The Larry Sanders Show-meets-Sex and the City (for guys) vibe remains in this uproarious fourth season, with the narrative arc spanning the hectic filming of the long-awaited Chase vehicle Medillin, a biopic about notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, to attempting to have it screened at Cannes, uncut. Further compounding the shallowness of these characters, the hyper-pretentious Billy Walsh (Rhys Coiro) reprises his role as Medillin’s demented writer/director. Thanks partially to Walsh and the always over-the-top Gold, there’s a unique air of punk mischief pervading every episode of this silly but substantial season and, if it isn’t obvious within many of the degrading, sex-infused storylines and humiliating, frat-style wagers, two featurettes illuminate just how much fun the cast and crew had planning and creating the show. The "Making of Medillin” is fascinating, capturing the giddiness on set as the creative parties involved mess with the show’s format and shoot the season opener "on-location” (California pretending to be Italy pretending to be Colombia) as a behind-the-scenes documentary about Walsh’s tense set. At a U.S. Comedy Arts Festival Panel Discussion, creator Doug Ellin and executive producer Stephen Levinson join select cast members for a frank discussion about Entourage, its biting satire of real Hollywood scumbags and how this skewering has resulted in some close encounters for the actual cast and crew. Speaking as this season was in production, Piven and Connolly both insist that fans will be floored by the ambitious direction of the show, particularly the aforementioned season premiere and Cannes plans, and, somewhat surprisingly, each suggest that the critical favourite has surpassed its potential, finally hitting its creative stride. For pure male escapism, it’s difficult to argue the point, as Entourage serve ups dastardly L.A. sexual dynamics and power plays with an irresistible shit-eating grin. Plus: Medillin trailer, commentaries. (Warner)