"I got into this business so I wouldn't have to work."
Entourage is an American dramedy that broadcasts on HBO. The series follows Vincent Chase and his group of friends as they navigate the exciting, dramatic and volatile world that is being a movie star in Hollywood.The show takes place in a fictional/parallel Hollywood. Real movies and stars may be referenced (and appear) from time to time, but the movies Vince stars in are not real. For instance, in-universe, Vince's Aquaman holds the record for the highest grossing opening weekend of all time, a fact espoused regularly for several seasons. It is noted that it beat the record previously held by (the real-life) Spider-Man. However, in real-life, this record has been beaten many times over since then, a fact never brought up in the show. This parallel Hollywood can create one heck of a Celebrity Paradox when guest stars appear as fictional portrayals of themselves, while in the same episode another well-known guest star may be appearing as a completely original character.The main characters:
Vincent Chase (played by Adrian Grenier) - A pretty boy with who we're told is a decent actor. Vince has co-dependency issues and is a notorious womanizer. Never goes anywhere without one of his "boys".
Eric "E" Murphy (played by Kevin Connolly) - Vince's best friend since childhood, who takes on the role of his manager (unofficially, then officially). Eric is just about as co-dependent as Vince, but slightly more self-aware. Less of a womanizer, he's more of a serial monogamist.
Johnny "Drama" Chase (played by Kevin Dillon) - Vince's older (half)brother, who's been in the acting biz longer, but with not nearly as much success. Goes by "Drama" because well, he's a bit of a basket case.
Salvatore "Turtle" Assante (played by Jerry Ferrara) - Another of Vince's friends from childhood, but often hangs out with Drama. Came to Hollywood to act as Vince's driver, he enjoys being a hanger on with the least amount of guilt out of the three. At least for a while.
Ari Gold (played by Jeremy Piven) - Vince's agent, a foul-mouthed, ruthless businessman, responsible for much of Vince's success. Although his demeanor can be off-putting, he's one of the most popular characters on the show, and has proven time and time again that he truly cares for Vince beyond just his career.
The supporting characters worth mentioning:
Lloyd Lee (played by Rex Lee) - Ari's long-suffering assistant. Flamboyantly gay, he takes much abuse from his boss, but is extremely competent—he's lasted the longest out of any assistant Ari's had by far. A Sarah Lawrence grad, he helps to humanize Ari upon occasion.
Shauna Roberts (played by Debi Mazar) - Vince's publicist, just as foul-mouthed and entertaining as Ari. Her character was originally intended to break up the boys club of the main cast, but has faded over the later seasons, with Mrs. Ari taking up the role.
Mrs. Ari (played by Perrey Reeves) - Ari's long-suffering wife. A trust-fund baby and former actress, she is the only character who seems to be able to go toe-to-toe with Ari. Ari's respect for his wife is obvious by the fact that he frequently insists he has never cheated on her, despite many opportunities. It is finally revealed towards the end of Season 8 that her first name is Melissa.
Sloan McQuiewick (played by Emmanuelle Chriqui) - E's on again, off again girlfriend who shows up regularly. Understandably, as she is the daughter of another power agent (Ari's former boss) and heavily involved in charity events that Vince occasionally attends. She and E get engaged at the end of Season 6, break up at the beginning of season 8, and then reconcile in the final episode after it's discovered that Sloan is pregnant.
The show, and many of these characters, are based on the Real Life experiences of Exec Producer Mark Wahlberg while he was an up-and-coming actor.The show has received much critical acclaim and a large regular audience, with a boatload of Emmy and Golden Globe nominations since it began in 2004. So far, the biggest winner has been Jeremy Piven, for his role as Ari, with 3 Emmys and 1 Golden Globe.An Entourage movie is in the works which will wrap up the loose ends from the series finale.
This show provides examples of:
Actor Allusion: Eric hates Rocky V, which Kevin Connolly appeared in as one of the kids who bullied Rocky's son.
Adam Westing: Employs this often, with the likes of Gary Busey, Jeffrey Tambor and Pauly Shore, among others.
Badass Boast: John Ellis' speech to Ari in the series finale. Ari protests that he's left Hollywood behind and doesn't want to be the head of a movie studio, prompting this response:
John Ellis: "This is not just about movies, it's about a film division that grossed 4 billion. It's about a television network and 3 premium cable networks. You want a sports franchise? Buy one yourself. Cause there will only be a handful of people making the sort of money you'll be making. And while everyone you know may own the fanciest clothes, and the best cars, you will own the companies that sell them. You wanna know what Heaven really is, Ari? Try being God.
Berserk Button: Ari's loud and belligerent normally, but the things that will truly make him angry are double-crossing him, questioning his word or disrespecting his family. A game of oneupmanship resulted in him barging into his former place of work and hunting down Adam Davies (who was going to post an explicit picture of Ari's wife on the Internet) and publicly humiliating him by forcing him to apologize; he attempts to blackmail a school principal when his son is rejected from kindergarten due to Ari's volatile behavior, and he menaces a thirteen year old boy after perceiving the kid to be a risk to his daughter.
Messing with Vince's career will more than likely lead to Drama, Turtle and Eric trying to kick your ass. The same can be said of disrespecting any of the boys' girlfriends and families.
Vince, after Medellin fails at the Cannes Film Festival.
Although he doesn't sport a full beard, Ari has an uncharacteristic 5 o'clock shadow of sorrow during the final season when he and his wife legally separate.
Billing Displacement: Debi Mazar as Shauna in Season 3 - After her Promotion to Opening Titles in Season 2, Mazar was heavily pregnant by the time Season 3 began shooting & subsequently only appeared in a few early episodes that season, before dissapearing from the show for the remainder of the season & being Demoted to Extra with the start of Season 4.
Cowboy Bebop at His Computer: The entirely fictional Vincent Chase has shown up a lot more in the press than a fictional character should. We'll say it here just for emphasis - there is no Vincent Chase, and there is no Aquaman movie starring him.
Vincent. When the studio wants him for Aquaman 2 and he wants to do Medellin, the studio tells him he can't do both due to time constraints - but they actually don't want their golden boy to be seen as a drug kingpin.
A more direct example would be Justine Chapin, whose "Pure Tour" means she has to stay a virgin. Apparently, once that tour is done, she goes to the other extreme.
Also happens with Mandy Moore; her handlers fear that her good girl image will by tarnished if she dates Vince, who is a known womanizer.
Creator Backlash: In-universe, Vince & Billy Walsh have this reaction after Executive Meddling results in a butchered version of Queens Boulevard, the indie film Vince starred in before Aquaman. being primed for release.
Creator Cameo: Mark Wahlberg appears as himself during the pilot and season 6.
Creator Killer: An in-universe example. Medellin is a colossal bomb that nearly kills the careers of both Vincent Chase and Billy Walsh.
Darker and Edgier: Despite the show being a light satire of Hollywood for most of its run, the tone got noticeably darker and more dramatic in season 7. Vince, enabled by his porn star girlfriend, spends the entire season in a self-destructive spiral which leads to him becoming dependent upon drugs and alcohol while his reputation is tarnished by his behavior. Turtle tries unsuccessfully to start his own business ventures. Johnny Drama's career hits its lowest point yet, causing him to finally give up his dream of becoming a successful actor. Eric faces stiff competition in his new agency from a brash and charismatic rival. And Ari faces great turmoil in both his career and his personal life.
Divorce Is Temporary: The last season arc with Ari and his wife. They don't even get to the divorce.
Early-Installment Weirdness: Ari's "lets hug it out"-catchphrase disappears after the first season. His early bragging about the women he has slept with also clashes with the Ari from later seasons who is fiercely loyal to his wife.
Enforced Method Acting: While shooting the pilot for Five Towns, Drama needs to have some shots taken of him looking embarrassed, but he can't figure out how to do it convincingly. So the director comes over and informs him that, earlier in his trailer, Drama had his mic on while he was, um, relieving some tension, and that everyone on the set heard him in the act. That gets the expression the director was looking for.
Expansion Pack Past: Drama has a story about anyone/everyone in Hollywood, but somehow none of the other guys have heard them before.
Ari Gold is an expy of real-life Hollywood agent Ari Emmanuel.
Harvey Weingard is an expy of real-life Hollywood studio chairman Harvey Weinstein.
Verner Vollstedt is an expy of German film director Werner Herzog.
In one episode Rainn Wilson (Dwight from The Office) plays an internet movie reviewer who is quite obviously based on Harry Knowles from Ain't It Cool News.
It could even be argued that Vince is an Expy of Mark Wahlberg, since the series premise is loosely based on Wahlberg's experiences as an up-and-coming movie star.
In season two, Vince and the gang meet a woman who runs a high-class prostitution ring out of her mansion. She is based on "the Hollywood Madame" Heidi Fleiss.
Some of the fake movies are clearly based on real ones. Aquaman is clearly based on how Spider-man almost went (James Cameron was attached to direct it for ages) and Aquaman 2 is based on how Spider-man 2 almost went (Tobey Maguire came close to dropping out and Jake Gyllenhall was asked to replace him if that happened). Medellin is based on Gigli (unpronouncable title, career-derailing movie) and Southland Tales (acclaimed indie director's follow-up that premieres at Cannes to mass walkouts and declared an overlong, self-indulgent, incomprehensible disaster, and ends up barely getting released)
Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: In this case, bad. Lloyd has an emotional breakdown when his boyfriend leaves him, causing Ari's entire office to fly into a nightmare because of the horrible timing. Ari's desperate enough to search out Lloyd's boyfriend, who works at a shoe store, to find out what happened. It turns out that Lloyd was cheating on him. Ari hastily bullshits an alibi together for Lloyd (complete with non-existent "proof" on his cell phone that the boyfriend never asks to see) causing the boyfriend to go My God, What Have I Done? and patch it up with Lloyd. Ari, for his part, now has excellent blackmail if Lloyd ever has another pity party.
Informed Ability: We are told Vince is a good actor, though we rarely see him acting. The few occasions we do, it's hard to tell because we have no frame of reference for his performance.
Comments from various characters seem to indicate that Vince had the talent, but was "dialing in" his performances in earlier seasons. He didn't start buckling down until after Medellin flopped and he was put through the wringer on Smokejumpers, realizing that he could no longer coast on his name and early success.
Male Gaze: Any scene that takes place at a swimming pool, beach, or strip club will feature lots of gorgeous women and camera angles that focus on their "assets."
Married to the Job: Holywood is a harsh and demanding mistress for Ari. The last scene of the series revolves about this.
Mistaken for Gay: Drama, by his (male) massage therapist— though given the amount of praise he was heaping on the guy, it wasn't hard to see why.
My Girl Is a Slut: In the seventh season, Vince begins dating real-life porn star Sasha Grey.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Warners studio head Alan Dale seems to feel this way towards Vince, after he refused to fulfill his contract and make Aquaman 2. However, the only indication we have of the success (or rather, lack of success) of the film is Ari's remark of "It didn't do that bad!"
Even though Michael Bay was already replacing James Cameron as director before Vince backed out, and the reason Vince backed out is that he was told they could delay shooting the sequel by six months so he could start shooting his passion project Medellin. However, after Vince and the director come up with a work around, the studio head tells Vince they were never going to delay shooting and that Vince was never meant to come up with a way to do Medellin, Vince refuses to meet with him to discuss the Aquaman sequel.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Whilst he did make some legitimate points about Vince's acting, Verner Vollstedt's treatment of Vince during the filming of Smokejumpers (Giving all of his lines to Jason Patric & forcing Vince to constantly reshoot scenes to the point where Vince had done everything that had been asked of him) lead to Vince going over his head to Dana Gordon who ordered him to film the movie as scripted. Vollstedt then tried going over Dana's head & barged into a board meeting which completely backfired on him as the studio cancelled the movie. However, the footage of Vince filmed for Smokejumpers wound up winning him a role in Martin Scorsese's Gatsby & lead to Vince's career revival.
No Celebrities Were Harmed: Averted because most celebrities are playing themselves. Played straight and then subverted with Ari Gold, who is based on Real Life agent Ari Emmanuel - Emmanuel purportedly loves Piven's portrayal and has commented that it's not nearly over-the-top enough. Other Expies for famous types include Harvey Weinstein, caricatured as "Harvey Weingard", played by Maury Chaykin, and Werner Herzog, caricatured as "Verner Vollstedt" played by Stellan Skarsgard.
No Ending: For now (depending on whether or not The Film of the Series actually gets made). The series finale ends with quite a bit up in the air: Vince is getting on a plane to get married to a girl that he just met, E may or may not be quitting and it's unknown how Drama's movie will turn out. Ari and Mrs. Ari seem to get a happy ending with them getting back together after he quits his job and taking a trip to Florence... until John Ellis gives Ari a call telling him he wants him to take over as CEO of his studio.
Reality Is Unrealistic: The show takes some mild criticism for over-the-top moments that are directly based on the antics of the Real Life Ari Gold — Hollywood superagent Ari Emmanuel.
Reckless Gun Usage: After a break-in, when the guys decide to arm themselves. Drama comes home with a bag full of loaded guns, and Turtle starts playing with one, at which point Drama grabs it from him and says "Careful, Turtle, that's a loaded weapon!" At which point the gun goes off and blows out a window, prompting the guys to think about getting some professional security.
Remember the New Guy: Dom, who is mentioned as being an old friend of Vince but is never mentioned before his first appearance in Season 3.
Sarcasm Mode: Ari and E's conversations with each other are usually in this mode by default; in fact it's arguable that sarcasm is Ari's default setting.
Sequel Hook: The finale leaves quite a bit up in the air: how Drama's movie will go, what happens with E and Sloane, whether or not Vince getting married works out. The most obvious one though is whether or not Ari takes the gig as CEO of the studio.
Sixth Ranger: Parodied with Dom in Season 3. An old friend of Vince and the boys, they add him to the Entourage under the somewhat bogus title of head of security. Dom then starts trying to give Vince advice on his career, and take over as team chef and Vince's driver. Eric, Drama and Turtle are not happy with this, and it takes Dom nearly costing Vince his dream role in Medellin for him to finally be cut loose.
Small Name, Big Ego: Arguably, Drama, who has a very high opinion of himself, despite being a failed star at almost 40 years old. Lampshaded at the end of Season 6, in Drama's CMoA.
The Stoner: Although all of the main characters like to smoke up, Turtle is by far the biggest pot smoker of the bunch. As Vince's driver one of his unofficial duties is to procure marijuana for the Vince and company. In one episode Turtle enters a video game competition and embarks on a frantic search for weed because, in his own words, he's only good at the game while high.
Stop Being Stereotypical: In one episode, Turtle and Drama go looking for Saigon, who would later become Turtle's client, and are told by his mother that he works at a store on Rodeo Drive. The woman pronounces it "ro-dee-o" and when Drama corrects her, telling her it's pronounced "ro-day-o" she corrects him telling him the first pronunciation is correct in the predominantly-black neighborhood. As they walk away, Turtle tells Drama to stop acting so white.
Take That: To many Hollywood and L.A. institutions throughout the series. More often than not, the Shout-Out is sarcastic and mean-spirited. Later seasons go much further with this - Hollywood journalist Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood blog is mentioned several times by characters trying to intimidate an executive, and various flavour-of-the-week TV shows are mentioned by Ari and other agents.
In one of the few times that a Take That wasn't by Ari, Vince was not happy that James Cameron was not returning to direct Aquaman 2, but the studio was courting Michael Bay for the role.
Team Chef: Drama, to the point where he buys a condo specifically for the kitchen.
Team Mom: Mama Chase does not show up often, but when she does, it's obvious she sees Eric and Turtle as her sons too.
Throw the Dog a Bone: Drama's success on Five Towns, Turtle's romance with Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Lloyd's promotion to agent. Drama gets one better—at the end of Season 6, the network execs decide he's worthy enough to get a starring vehicle.
Turtle's case is more Real Life Writes the Plotat least until the end of Season 6, as Ferrara and Sigler are actually a couple. Also a case of Romance on the Set, as they did not start dating until after she was cast and they started filming together.
Training from Hell: Ari puts Lloyd through "100 Days of Hell" as a prerequisite for promotion to agent. Lloyd quits partway through: after innocently and accidentally pressing Ari's berserk button, Ari resets the training clock back to 100 days and then some, then continues on his berserker power trip even after all that. This stresses Lloyd out so much that he crashes Ari's car, after which he decides he's had enough and leaves Ari for greener pastures.
Tsundere: Matt Damon. A scene after the Season 6 finale shows him berating Vince for supposedly not making good on his promise to a charity Damon's spearheading (including telling Vince that every single one of his movies sucks), then turning around and apologizing profusely. Vince and Drama remark during the episode that Damon's very "intense".
Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Alluded to in-universe. Ari jokes that Sloan should be Vince's date to the Aquaman premiere because she's way too hot for Eric.
Vitriolic Best Buds: An entertainment journalist mistakes Billy Walsh and E for a Type II example of this after seeing them verbally snipe at each other during an interview. Actually, they just hate each others' guts.
Wham Episode: "Lose Yourself". Vince gets punched out by Eminem and busted for coke, Terrance McQuiewick wants E to sign a pre-nup, Turtle's future with Avion is uncertain, and Mrs. Ari leaves her husband. Wow.