Farewell to Entourage

It's always sad to see a favorite television series come to an end, but it's great to have closure for a storyline that viewers have invested years following.  Entourage is such a show and it will begin its eighth and final season on July 24, 2011.

HBO has redefined itself not just as a pioneer "home box office" pay channel, bringing uncensored Hollywood movies to subscribers' TV screens, but as the premiere producer of some of the best original television content.  Entourage is a prime example of the top quality comedies and dramas that HBO has brought to viewers over the past decade.

Executive produced by actor Mark Wahlberg, the premise of the show is loosely based on his own experiences as a rising film star.  The story follows the rise and fall and rise again of movie star Vincent Chase, played by Adrian Grenier, who moves to Los Angeles to pursue his film career with his buddies from Queens, New York.  The intertwined relationships of Vincent and his entourage, and Vincent's on-again, off-again agent Ari Gold, played to perfection by Jeremy Piven, are the heart of the show. 

Those characters have become some of the most nuanced and memorable of any program in TV history.  I tune in to each episode because I want to see what happens next to Drama (Kevin Dillon), Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), and E (Kevin Connolly).  The supporting roles are also stellar, including Lloyd (Rex Lee), Shauna (Debi Mazar), Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui), and Ari's wife (Perrey Reeves).

I want to see Vincent bounce back from his self-destructive actions.  I want to see Ari, a man who can move mountains to complete a Hollywood deal, save his crumbling marriage.  I want to see the gang rise from beneath Vincent's shadow and become firmly, unequivicably, and independently successful themselves.  After eight seasons, I want a great ending to what has been a fun ride.

The cameos have been terrific -- Gary Busey, Bob Saget, Sasha Grey, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Ralph Macchio, Mandy Moore, James Cameron, Eminem, Tom Brady, just to name a few -- more than just glorified guest appearances by well known faces.  I eagerly look forward to which other celebrities will show up during the final episodes.

Entourage has had its ups and downs, but the excellent writing and performances have outweighed any stupid plots or eye-rolling scenes.  Now it's time to see the boys wrap it all up and ride into the Hollywood sunset.