I love my friends, but they’re nothing like Vincent Chase's crew. In ‘Entourage’, Vinnie’s friends spend their lives augmenting the fictional A list Hollywood star’s pursuit of girls and glory. In my life, my friends and I normally spend our time together arguing over which is the best Futureheads b-side. Having spent the weekend zipping through the new Season 5 box, I have to say, perhaps that’s the fundamental appeal of the show.
Produced by HBO, and based loosely on the formulative experiences of Mark Wahlberg - who serves the programme in the role of executive producer – the now six season old show follows Chase (Adrian Grenier) and his friend’s ascension from the streets of Queens New York to the very heart of Hollywood. ‘E’ (Kevin Connolly) is Vince’s manager. ‘Turtle’ (Jerry Farara) is his driver. ‘Drama’ (Kevin Dillon) is Vince’s older brother, and a D list actor in his own right.
But really, despite the obvious attraction of watching a show about a tight nit circle of friends, living out experiences people like me and you will never get to experience (unless, say, you’re Tom Cruise and you’re reading this - in which case I’d like to say, “thanks for ruining ‘War Of The Worlds’ pipsqueak”), if there’s one reason I’m going to try to convince you to trot off to spend time with this admittedly bloke-y, undisputedly well-crafted TV series, it’s to delight in the vicious wit of Vinces’ agent, Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven), one of TV’s all time great cunts.
There will be people who say they watch ‘Entourage’ for the shows Hollywood cameos (in this series, Eric Roberts, Whoopi Goldberg, Jamie-Lynn Sigler). And there will be some who just say it’s a funny, glamorous, endearingly vacuous TV show. These people aren’t being true to themselves. The reason why people watch ‘Entourage’ is because they want to hear Ari Gold say a bunch of horrible homophobic, sexist things in a great suit. Its fine, you can admit it. It’s why I watch the show, don’t think about it too hard. Sure he’s a vile human being, but then you don’t have to be friends with him or anything. You just have to watch him strut around in his great suit and say “gee, what a cunt”. Hours of fun.
Not that this is any kind of new formula – from ‘Faulty Towers’ Basil to Burnside-era ‘The Bill’ to Alan Partridge and David Brent – TV’s best characters have always been people you’d never ever want to know in real life. My best friend is a lovely guy – he likes Talulah Gosh, he spends most of his days playing ‘Football Manager’, and I can’t think of much else I’d rather do than hang out with him. But would I watch him on telly? Fuck no. Yet would I watch a show about someone who puts badgers in blenders whilst rubbing their crotch with sandpaper? Well I would, if Channel 5 would ever return my calls.
Oh, by the way, the best Futureheads b-side is ‘Piece Of Crap’ obviously.
‘Entourage: Season 5’ is out to buy on DVD now’