entourage series finale: this could be ‘the end’

Entourage was never one of those “shock and awe” shows. Everything that happened to Vince, Turtle, Eric, Johnny Drama and Ari fit with the ebb and flow of life. Whether winning (Aquaman) or losing (Medellin) they handled their problems with a stride similar to our own, albeit with much larger bank accounts.

I watched the first season of Entourage the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of college. Then I returned to my HBO-less apartment and subsequently lost touch with the show. I wasn’t reintroduced to “Vinny and the boys” until a few years later (life sucked without seasons on DVD and DVRs to not miss shows in the first place). Turtle was definitely my MVP of the series, with Eric and Drama tied for “most progression over an 8-year span”. Outside of that pesky drug addiction, Vince was always the laid-back/semi-slacker/“it’s all good bro” glue that held the whole operation together.

Last night Entourage came to its end…for now. I went into the series finale with medium-level hopes. The season only totaled eight episodes and the finale, which should have been an hour, was the standard time of all the other episodes. Given everything that had led up to ‘The End’, I didn’t see how they’d go out with a bang.

I was misty-eyed once everything was said and done, which I originally equated with enjoying a “solid finale”. But I couldn’t escape the nagging thoughts that stayed with me this morning. Series finales (outside of the perfection done by Six Feet Under) are generally love it or hate it territory. I firmly “liked” Entourage’s ending. However, whether or not this episode was a set up for the movie, I still took issue with the a few things:

  • Vince’s whirlwind romance could have been spread out just a little bit more. They portrayed his fiancé as a practical professional, yet we were supposed to fully believe that all it took was a 24-hour date and huge rock for her to become a hopeless romantic? Both unrealistic and lazy.
  • I stopped liking Mrs. Ari…er…Melissa after the second episode of this season. They also played her uncharacteristically callous, which we now see was only done to make sure Ari could pursue Dana Gordon without betraying his marriage (something many fans had wanted to see for YEARS). All that’s fine, but similar to Vince’s story, I wish they’d given us more time to see Ari woo and not left us with a spastic choice to end his career that may be undone should he take the position he was offered at the end of the episode.
  • Eric and Sloan’s story could have honestly wrapped up last season with a huge wedding. The emotional turmoil their break-up caused and the slapdash way the writers threw them back together at the end was pointless.
  • Lloyd may have been moving up the ranks career-wise, but he was severely demoted this season. Aside from a few phone conversations with Drama, we barely saw him. There may not have been enough room for him with such limited time. But who better to help Ari with his heartbreak than his adoring ex-assistant? It would have been seamless and enjoyable.

Entourage has been critiqued for years as Sex and the City for men, but although I’m sure they exist, I have yet to cross paths with someone who watched both series with the same gusto. There was a slightly wider margin of time for Carrie and Co. to finish their story (and then start it again in an incredibly crappy second part), but I’m still hoping for the same satisfying ending for Entourage that the S&TC movie provided for fans. I can’t wait to see what millionaire looks like on Turtle and whether or not Drama can sustain his lucky career streak.

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