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The One Person That Can Stop Ari Gold, Does

August 8, 2010

Now we know it – Ari Gold does have an Achilles Heel. Actually, we always knew it, but we never thought he would be tripped up this way, in his prime, with all of his great deals and great clients still ahead of him. But there it is. Ari Gold is goin’ down.

Get set to remove Jane’s Addiction from the current TV Theme song rotation because HBO and Doug Ellin, the creator of their comedy spoof of the Hollywood game, “Entourage” have agreed that next season will be the final season for the series, and, get this… it’s not even going to be a full season. They’re talking about six episodes to wrap everything up in the summer of 2011!

Ellin is in discussion about a new series for the network, which is all very fine. But he’s also talking about a movie for Vincent Chase, Johnny Drama, E and Turtle, and this is where I have to spell it out N-O.

If you don’t really know the series, the concept is simple. Vince (Played by Adrian Grenier) is a motion picture actor. He had some success in an indie film (“Queens Boulevard”), did a blockbuster popcorn movie where he played a well known superhero (“James Cameron’s Aquaman”) and was directed by Scorcese in his telling of “The Great Gatsby” which gave him the cachet to do pretty much any role he wanted to do. His brother, known as “Johnny Drama” (Kevin Dillon) was the star of a TV fantasy series (“Viking Quest”) about ten years before, got some good reviews for his current dramatic series (“Five Towns”) and is looking for something new to really jumpstart his career, because his hot-headed attitude pissed off one of the show’s suits. Their childhood friend Eric (Always referred to as simply “E” and played by Kevin Connolly) was Vince’s manager for the long while until Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) along with his long-suffering assistant Lloyd (Rex Lee) took over and got him going (note that Vince, as a client, got Ari’s career going also),  and with that synergistic relationship, they both became superstars.  E now once again manages Vince from a new agency, while Lloyd became a full-fledged agent. Finally Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) is the wheel man and comic relief for the crew, but is branching out into his own business, basically funded by Vince.

To top it all off, Exec Producer Mark “Marky Mark” Wahlberg took the stories of his experiences in Hollywood and provided a lot of the fodder for plots, and the characters were all based on the funky bunch of people he knew and worked with, which is why there’s such a ring of authenticity to it. “Entourage” was simply genius commentary on the wheeling and dealing of Tinseltown, and Piven a.k.a. The Piv was born to play the agent with the ego as big as the Hollywood sign, and twice as noticeable as that landmark.

Really, the brilliance of the show was in the week to week elements of watching these contracts getting signed, into the production of the work and/or how everything fell apart and even better, the off-hours and behind the scenes stuff that the paparazzi attempt to capture but almost never do.

The program always managed to get the sorts of high profile cameos that made it total eye candy for pop culturists, and seeing how these real life stars negotiated the fictional Miller/Gold Agency and its juggernaut of juice for the powerplay made tuning in a must view! There haven’t been that many shows where real celebs can constantly wander in to the situation and have it work. Certainly the television version of “Batman” was the first of that sort. But the point is a movie, while it could tell an interesting story, is not the way this set of characters needs to evolve.

Comparisons of the show to HBO’s “Sex and The City” suggest that the film concept would be an equally logical progression. But if you look at the two films that earlier series spawned, then that might be enough to dissuade you! Seriously, “SaTC” was a softer sell, with the focus on the friendships of those women. “Entourage” had that unavoidable parallel of 4, but it still was plugged in to the motion picture scene, and the intoxicating elements of how to become a success both artistically and financially in The Dream Factory. I’d almost rather see an actual “Vincent Chase Film” than an “Entourage Film!”

And especially so now, as this season, we’re finally seeing Chase do some things that are a little off the rails, which is my secret reason for not wanting the TV version of the show to end quite so quickly. Besides getting into a relationship with porn star turned “legitimate” actress Sasha Grey, Vince is just acting on impulse a lot more, jumping out of planes, cutting his famous long hair, and doing shots of tequila with breakfast, otherwise known as the LiLo Grand Slam. A downward spiral is a lot more interesting to follow week to week than shoehorned into a 2 hour flick, and probably a lot more believable.

The hint is that Ellin is requesting a shorter final season to cram all the really good stuff into a screenplay for this motion picture. But I still say the greatest thing about the series, besides how many quality cameos occurred every week, was the commentary they could make about the state of the business as it was happening! That’s something that a film really can’t do as effectively, and that is such a crucial part of how “Entourage” functions, I just don’t see the point.

In the meanwhile, I guess it’s time to savor the last bon mots of Gold wisdom, time to appreciate Lloyd for being his own man, time to start counting the remaining episodes before we break up this group, just a few more cruises down the Sunset Strip in that vintage Lincoln Continental convertible sedan. Yeah. Oh yeah. Oh yeah.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 9, 2010 12:39 pm

    I have a really hard time seeing this show translate into a good movie, for the reasons you mention, but also I’m not sure the audience would follow them into the theater the way SATC fans are willing to do.

  2. August 9, 2010 1:31 pm

    I like Entourage mostly for Marky Mark (a treasure of an actor/producer) and tolerated it because of him. I wasn’t the biggest fan, but I usually found it enjoyable. I agree with Raybear’s assessment about its potential box office audience.

    The first SATC film was great in the sense that it gave fans more of the characters they loved and felt like an appropriate coda for a fine series (though obviously not with serious problems, which I have discussed in length and won’t do so here). The second film was problematic, but again, as a fan, I was happy to see my ladies again.

    Most likely, the same will be true of the Entourage movie.

  3. August 9, 2010 10:41 pm

    @raymondj you raise a very good point about the audience for the series… and really, who IS the audience for the series? Is it mostly the 18-25 hetero male demo that relates to the 4 leads? Is it the 40+ female who finds Ari’s behavior incorrigible and irresistible? Is it the gay demo that enjoys all of the above, and doesn’t even need Lloyd to tune in? Is it women in their 30s that are following the storylines of their strong counterparts running the studio scene? Where “SaTC” had a very clear and very definable viewership, “Entourage” really does not, and, truth be told, there is no guarantee that there actually WILL be a film, or if there will, it’ll be done in a timely way. Whatever happened to that “Sopranos” movie?

  4. August 9, 2010 10:46 pm

    @Snarky’s Machine One thing is certain, if you start with good stock, you’ll make a good soup, and the characters on this series weren’t just based on people, they just busted out the Xerox machine and made copies and threw them into the script!

    Also, your point about “SaTC” is well taken. The show had ended and then someone came along with an idea to make a film to continue the story. That’s a very different animal than the creator deciding to end the series specifically to move it to the big screen. It seems like dirty pool to me, and I’m not certain even I’ll attend that.

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