Follow TV Tropes


Series / Entourage

Go To
"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 whom 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.
  • 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.

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 was released on June 3, 2015 and served as a Grand Finale to the TV series.

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.
    • In the second episode, Jessica Alba is affectionately called Dark Angel.
  • Adam Westing: Employs this often, with the likes of Gary Busey, Jeffrey Tambor and Pauly Shore, among others.
  • As Himself: Tons of them, many in long-term plot-arcs. Mandy Moore, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Seth Green, and many more.
  • 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.
  • Beard of Sorrow:
    • 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.
  • Catchphrase: What if I were to tell you that Bob Ryan has one? Is that something you might be interested in?
    • "LLOYD!"
  • Car Meets House: Andrew Klein purposely drives his car into his own house to get back at his estranged wife for burning the notes he needed for an important meeting.
  • The Charmer: Vince is too laid back to venture into Casanova territory, but he sure gets a lot of action.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Ashley, E's girlfriend from season 6, who gets more and more stalkerish as the season goes on.
  • Contractual Purity: A few in-universe examples:
    • 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 be tarnished if she dates Vince, who is a known womanizer.
  • Creator Backlash: In-universe, Vince and 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.
  • Critical Dissonance: In-Universe, Five Towns received harsh reviews from critics when it debuted, but audiences loved it.
  • 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. Eventually Ari realizes that it's not Ari himself that she wants the divorce from, but the fact he has become an absentee father and husband because of his career. When he finally figures it out, he ditches work and she takes him back without then even getting divorced.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Barbara "Babs" Miller is a female Hollywood agent who is just as ruthless as Ari is. In later seasons they become business partners.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: As the series goes on, Ari establishes many times that while he may do a lot of unethical things, he absolutely does not cheat on his wife. In the first season, however, he brags about the women he's sleeping with on the side on a couple of occasions.
  • Enforced Method Acting: In-universe; 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.
  • Exact Words: Whenever E is asked what he did before coming to Hollywood with Vince, he tells the person he managed an Italian restaurant. What he doesn't tell them is that the Italian restaurant was actually a Sbarro franchise and he was only the night manager.
  • Expansion Pack Past: Drama has a story about anyone/everyone in Hollywood, but somehow none of the other guys have heard them before.
  • Expy: The show has several:
    • 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 (US)) 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 Gyllenhaal was asked to replace him if that happened). Medellin is based on Gigli (unpronounceable 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).
  • Flamboyant Gay: Lloyd. Contrasted by his Straight Gay partner Tom.
  • Flexibility Equals Sex Ability: Vince starts dating a yoga teacher in one episode, with the rest of the guys getting annoyed over him being too into her, which is heavily implied it's due to her being a Sex Goddess.
  • Foreshadowing: At the premiere of Queens Boulevard the director claims "This is my fucking Deer Hunter". And it's a big critical hit. But after he made The Deer Hunter, Michael Cimino's career didn't go so well.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
    • Vince is sanguine.
    • Eric is melancholic.
    • Johnny Drama is choleric.
    • Turtle is phlegmatic.
  • Fourth-Date Marriage: The series ends with Vince flying to Paris to marry a woman he's only been on a single date with. The movie reveals the marriage lasted about 15 minutes.
  • Grand Finale: Averted by the series finale proper (see No Ending) for the most part. Vince is getting married but we don't see it and not much changes or is resolved for the gang. Ari gets an ending of sorts until he gets offered a job as CEO of a studio and we're Left Hanging as to whether or not he accepts.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In the early episodes Ari Gold was a straight-up Jerkass (albeit an entertaining one), but as the show went on he became more of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • He's Back!: Ari gets his job back and then starts a terminator-style epic revenge in the workplace, with a paintball gun.
  • Hollywood California: Played pretty straight, as we mostly see only the glamorous side of Hollywood.
  • Hookers and Blow: In Season 7, a botched stunt on one of Vince's films launches him into cycle of self-destructive behavior as he begins a drug and alcohol-fueled relationship with a porn star.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold:
    • When Vince unintentionally insults a popular internet movie reviewer by walking out of an interview, the reviewer threatens to give a scathing review to Aquaman unless Eric gives him a bribe of $350,000. Luckily for Vince, real-life porn stars Jesse Jane, Devon, and Teagan Presley are fans of his, and they help him out by going to the reviewer's hotel room and giving him a private sex show in return for him not slamming Aquaman.
    • In another episode, Vince and the gang attend a pool party at a mansion attended by several gorgeous women. Turtle and Drama end up having sex with some of the girls there. It's later discovered that the house is actually a high-class brothel run by a famous Hollywood madame (based on real-life Hollywood madame Heidi Fleiss) and the girls Drama and Turtle hooked up with were very expensive prostitutes. Thankfully, the Madame feels bad about the misunderstanding and doesn't charge the guys for their "entertainment."
  • I Am the Noun: "I am Queens Boulevard."
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Subverted - A large number of episode names are shared with songs.
  • 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.
  • Jerkass: Ari and his business partner Barbara, along with a lot of miscellaneous studio executives that pop up.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ari Gold actually cares a lot about those around him, and will save many an employee from getting fired by Babs. On top of that, he's clearly devoted to his wife and children.
  • Mad Artist: Director Billy Walsh.
  • 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.
  • Never My Fault: Alan Dale blames Vince for the failure of Aquaman 2 even though it was Dale's fault Vince refused to do the film in the first place
  • 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 and 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 and 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 and led 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: 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.
  • No Full Name Given: Ari's wife goes almost the entire run of the show being known only as Mrs. Ari. We only find out her given name in one of the very last episodes of the show, when Bobby Flay calms her down by telling her, "Melissa, it's okay."
  • No Indoor Voice: Ari, about 75% of the time.
  • "No Peeking!" Request: In "Stunted", Alex arrives late for work and without her uniform shirt, so she asks him to turn around and not peek while she and her co-worker exchange shirts.
  • Old Shame: An in-universe subversion; it turns out Drama loves the cult status of what should be an Old Shame - Viking Quest.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Turtle, who eventually reveals his name is Sal... but even his girlfriend still calls him Turtle.
  • Only Sane Man: E is frequently the only one in the group to show any common sense.
  • Persona Non Grata: Johnny Drama reveals that he is banned forever from the Playboy Mansion because Hugh Hefner believed he released his monkeys from their cage. Johnny gets readmitted when he and Ralph Macchio figure out it was actually Pauly Shore who did it, and Pauly gets banned from the Playboy Mansion once the truth comes out.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles:
    • Debi Mazar as Shauna in Season 2, Perrey Reeves as Mrs. Ari and Rex Lee as Lloyd in Season 4.
    • Also applies to Jeremy Piven. In the first season of Entourage Ari was a recurring character. He was so popular that beginning with the second season he became a main cast member.
  • Put on a Bus: Andrew Klein, sent to rehab.
  • Rated M for Manly: This show has been described by some as Sex and the City for guys, except instead of cosmopolitans in New York it's beer and weed in Los Angeles.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: Jane's Addiction's "Superhero".
  • 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.
  • Roman à Clef: Entourage is based on Mark Wahlberg's meteoric rise to fame and notoriety.
  • 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.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: One of Vince's Girl of the Week, Fiona, was a hippie who didn't mind going Skinny Dipping in front of his friends.
  • Shout-Out: To The Princess Bride during a golf game between Ari and an associate.
  • 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.
  • Spear Counterpart: Often described as Sex and the City with pot in Hollywood instead of martinis in New York.
  • Special Guest: A bunch of them, but not nearly as often as the As Himself variety. This creates a Celebrity Paradox: Occurs because one has to assume some of the Special Guests playing fictional characters may actually know the As Himself actors in Real Life.
  • 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.
  • Those Two Guys: Turtle and Drama fill this role in several episodes.
  • Three-Way Sex: In one episode, Turtle and Drama double-team the same girl. In another episode, E has a three-way with Sloane and one of her girlfriends (although E was not allowed to touch the other woman, which makes for an awkward situation when he wakes up spooning with her). It's also heavily implied that there have been multiple occasions where Vince had sex with two girls at the same time.
  • 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.
    • 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.