I’m a sick man. I loved Michael Mann’s techno-thriller Blackhat. My favorite part of the Alien franchise is Ripley’s suicide that saves the universe (long story). I even loved the finale of How I Met Your Mother (context: it works if you ignore several seasons of development). None of those compares to the darkest corner of my odd enjoyment.
I’m going to say something and many of you will want to leave this article. All I ask is for you to hear me out. I love Entourage – at least the first five seasons.
Still here? Cool. I’ll explain my enjoyment of what is essentially lifestyle porn. If you are unaware of the series, we follow three co-dependent bros in perpetual arrested development led by their superstar bro Vincent Chase in the magical land of Brollywood. Brollywood is a separate universe created by Doug Ellin and inspired by Mark Wahlberg’s actual entourage of friends (minus like all the criminal stuff that would get too dark for a show that lived in la-la land). There’s a fifth sort of bro named Ari Gold played by Jeremy Piven. He’s the #1 reason to watch the show.
Ari Gold’s material through eight seasons involves the business (lol “business”) side of Hollywood, with celebrity cameos galore and an onslaught of studio politics that make Jeremy Piven yell “Fuck” a lot. In a show that is primarily a fantasy, this is easily the most accurate part of the series.
The show gets well deserved flack for being shallow and finds itself ranging from misogyny (women are either shrews or sexual conquests) to just shockingly gratuitous lifestyle porn. I find it sincere in just how BRO it all is. Entourage is a show that wants to give people a good time. It may not realize how dumb the whole affair is, and certainly doesn’t let it off the hook for its failings (like, crazy misogynistic at times) or the self-masturbatory decisions to never have the characters pay for their mistakes beyond temporary slaps on the wrist.
But what I love about the show (yes, love) is how it’s a total male fantasy. Someone actually conceived this show and people out there live vicariously through it, while some even think it takes place in our reality. It’s fantastic. There is genuine love for these despicable people. I myself love Ari Gold’s morally duplicitous rants about every race and gender who isn’t a white male. Not because I agree with anything being yelled out by Jeremy Piven in a role he was born to play but because only a twisted mind could conceive any of the words that would be incomprehensible to sane human ears, bro.
I like comparing cinema to food, so here’s a food analogy for you. “Don’t you know how bad that is for you?” my friends say as I devour a hamburger called The Widowmaker. I know it’s terrible for me. But it tastes good. I’m also fully aware it isn’t easy to digest. If someone doesn’t want to devour a gluttonous meal of misogynistic lifestyle porn, I can’t blame them. These guys are all assholes in some shape or form. But damn it if I’m not entertained whenever I watch the damn show. And the chemistry, man, the chemistry. These actors aren’t A list for a reason but they bounce off each other like the BROvengers. At least until they tried to turn into a “serious show” by season seven.
I’m not saying you need to see Entourage anytime soon. Just imagine this vine, amp up the bro factor to 11,000, and that’s pretty much the show.
Now, does that sound like something you’d be interested in?