Blu-Review: Entourage: The Complete Seventh Season

Created By Doug Ellin
Starring Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara and Jeremy Piven

The problem with Entourage is that its lead character is also its least interesting. It’s an issue that the show seemed entirely aware of previously, with Vince shuffled to the sidelines to focus on the more engaging, much more talented supporting cast. In its early days, when the writers were still at least attempting a little Hollywood satire, Vince was often shown as the epitome of Hollywood stardom – a kinda dumb guy whose fame is entirely predicated on his great looks rather than his talent (or absence thereof), which worked perfectly, since it was completely analogous to actor Adrian Grenier: not a particularly good actor, but a good looking one. Unfortunately, the most prominent drama in season seven of Entourage rests on Vinnie Chase and Adrian Grenier’s shoulders, and it’s more than either can adequately hold up.

This year picks up with Hollywood superstar Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) in the midst of shooting a new action film for maverick director Nick Cassavetes. When Cassavetes pressures Vince into performing a dangerous stunt himself, he’s nearly killed in the ensuing crash. Reeling from his near-death experience and feeling like a less essential component in the lives of the gang, who’re all finding different measures of career success, Vince starts off on a reckless road of self-destruction.

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Elsewhere, superagent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) is on top of the world, but his dream of bringing Los Angeles its first NFL team is put at risk when scorned employee Lizzie Grant (Autumn Reeser) threatens to expose Ari’s widespread workplace verbal abuse to the press. Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) finds his limo business floundering, but an investment opportunity in a tequila company offers the promise of bigger success. Eric (Kevin Connolly) is coming to terms with his impending married life, while his job as high-profile manager is made stressful by brash, antagonistic fellow agent Scott Lavin (Scott Caan). Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) is still praying for another big TV gig, but though director Billy Walsh (Rhys Coiro) has written a potential hit animated comedy for Drama to star in, his ego surfaces as he scoffs at the idea of taking a voiceover role and giving up on-screen acting.

Prior to the seventh season, it was easy to overlook how comparatively boring Vince was because, manwhoring aside, he was a harmless and decent enough guy with good intentions who tried to look after his friends above all else. This season’s major drama centres on Vince being lured to the dark side by his ill-advised relationship with a porn star (Sasha Grey, playing herself), who unsurprisingly proves to be a terrible influence. He’s almost instantly addicted to booze and drugs, acting like a reckless daredevil and torpedoing his career into the ground in the process.

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While it’s admirable that after six years of consequence-free “And then everything worked out perfectly for everyone!” drama the writers try to steer the show into more substantial territory, the ensuing drug drama is overly familiar, trite and choppily written stuff that feels cribbed from a “very special episode” of Boy Meets World or 7th Heaven. Sasha Grey proves that her decent performance in The Girlfriend Experience was a fluke, and Vince shifts from innocuous, harmless character to an belligerent, insufferable douchebag. The ripple effects of terrible writing are felt elsewhere, as an entire episode’s sub-plot centres on Eric being pressured into having anal sex for the first time with fiancé Sloane. It’s hideously cringeworthy “comedy” that’s a thousand leagues below the worst that Sex & The City has to offer.

Thankfully there’s much more life and humour to be found in the rest of the show. Jeremy Piven is undoubtedly the most talented actor on the show, so it’s no surprise that Ari Gold still owns the screen whether delivering creatively barbed insults to everyone and everything or contending with family drama. Unlike Grenier, Piven thrives when given more material to work with, and when Ari’s faced with the prospect of losing his family due to his workplace scandal, Piven again delivers an excellent, nuanced emotional performance that’s a great reminder of why he’s Entourage’s greatest asset. The only time Ari is more watchable than when he’s verbally sparring with anyone standing near him is when we’re shown that he’s a genuinely loving dad and husband, and it’s great that the season lends so much time to that effective drama to counter the dull thud of Vince’s drug plot.

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Turtle’s tequila venture isn’t entirely riveting, but Jerry Ferrara is so likeable that it’s a sub-plot that’s still entirely entertaining. The same is true of Eric’s side-story, and Scott Caan makes for a fantastic antagonist as his douchey management rival. Drama gets the most entertaining secondary plot of the season though, largely because Billy Walsh makes a welcome reappearance (now clean, sober and attempting a more zen lifestyle). Johnny’s struggle to get a starring vehicle off the ground leads to some incredibly fun material, including a great appearance from John Stamos as an egotistical, conceited version of himself.

Entourage’s penultimate season sees the show losing steam, attempting to make up for the consequence-free storylines of previous years by piling a tonne of drama on Vince in too short a space of time. The result is less than engaging, and having Vince suddenly become a completely hateworthy character bogs down the series and often deprives it of the breezy, effortlessly entertaining energy that makes Entourage so fun. Thankfully there’s still plenty of life left to be found, though, as the larger supporting cast are all just as fun as ever and Jeremy Piven proves yet again that Ari Gold is still one of TV’s most captivating characters.

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Warner Home Video brings the seventh season to Blu-ray with a lovely HD transfer. There’s some digital noise and grain present, but on the whole it’s a beautifully detailed transfer. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is just as great, with crystal clear dialogue and some impressive ambience whenever the gang head off for an obligatory L.A. club visit.

The discs each contain all the essentials you’d want from an episodic show – ‘Previously On…’ recaps for each episode, previews of the current episode, chapter stops after the credits so you can quickly skip them if you’re watching multiple episodes. Additionally there’s some enjoyable bonuses, too:

  • Cast & Producer Commentary on Episodes 6, 8 & 9
  • Creator/Producer Doug Ellin, Executive Producer Ally Musika, and actors Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Jeremy Piven and Jerry Ferrara get together to provide commentary for three episodes. Like the show itself, while you probably won’t find a profound insight into the filmmaking process, it is an incredibly entertaining, funny and informal back-and-forth between friends.

  • ‘Inside The Hollywood Highlife’ Featurette (13 Minutes, 40 Seconds)
  • An EPK promo feature with interviews with the cast and behind-the-scenes snippets looking at the season’s events and themes. Unfortunately it doesn’t really go beyond the standard promotional fluff.

  • ‘Shades of Sasha Grey’ Featurette (5 minutes, 47 seconds)
  • Porn star Sasha Grey quickly talks about her experience in the industry.

  • Bonus Disc of How To Make It In America – Episode 1
  • The first episode of the Entourage team’s fantastic comedy-drama as a free sampler.

The Show:

The Blu-ray:

Entourage: The Complete Seventh Season is out on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK now.
Click here to order the Blu-ray from