Farewell, ‘Entourage’: HBO’S showbiz sitcom calls it a wrap
Say goodbye to Hollywood. Well, almost. The whip-smart and Emmy-winning HBO showbiz-insider comedy series “Entourage” starts its eighth and final season Sunday, July 24, while rumors abound about a possible feature-film spinoff a la HBO’s “Sex and the City.”
For the time being, a movie figures in anyway, as just-releasedfrom-rehab actor Vince Chase (Adrian Grenier) gets excited about launching another project that those around him aren’t quite as sold on: a drama about trapped miners.
His manager and close pal Eric (Kevin Connolly) now works with former nemesis Scott Lavin (Scott Caan, reprising the role he began before becoming a co-star of CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0”); Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) goes into business for himself; and Vince’s half brother and fellow actor Drama (Kevin Dillon, who moves on to CBS’ “How to Be a Gentleman” this fall) does everything possible to reinforce Vince’s newly sober state.
And, of course, there is Ari Gold ... the ferociously whirling dervish of a talent agent played by Jeremy Piven, who has earned three Emmys for the role. Ari’s marriage to the so-called Mrs. Ari (Perrey Reeves) is on the rocks, prompting him to make some moves unexpected even for him — with mild comfort from Lloyd (Rex Lee), formerly Ari’s browbeaten assistant but now an agent in his own right.
“There’s definitely a sad undercurrent, because this is really a close group,” says “Entourage” creator Doug Ellin, also an executive producer of the show along with Mark Wahlberg. “Everyone’s a little sad, so everyone stayed a little longer. Nobody was rushing home.”
If the situations in the last “Entourage” season seem familiar, that’s exactly what Ellin was aiming for. “I was really trying to get back to the roots of Season 1. What the show ultimately is about is relationships, friendships and family. We’re dealing with some deep stuff with Ari, but with the guys, we’re getting back to guys hanging out and trying to look out for each other.”
Piven appreciates the depth of his material in the “Entourage” victory lap, such as Ari’s uncomfortable steps back into the world of dating, and he’s glad for the chance to take a different tack with the frequently short-fused character he has made iconic.
“This year has been like no other,” the actor confirms. “You have all the trademarks of Ari in terms of his blustery and incredibly abrasive behavior, but now, his world is turned upside down.”