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DVD Review: Fifth Season of HBO’s ‘Entourage’ Entertains, But Shows Age

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CHICAGO – How does a show about the “next big thing” in Hollywood age? Do we really want to see the boys of “Entourage” grow up? The first two seasons of Creator Doug Ellin’s incredibly clever show crackled with wit rarely seen on television and stood with the best comedies. But season five, now on DVD, shows a series with a slight identity crisis, a comedy that is still entertaining but missing the spark that once defined it.

HollywoodChicago.com DVD Rating: 3.5/5.0
DVD Rating: 3.5/5.0

If there was a “jump the shark” moment for “Entourage” it was, ironically, the same disastrous event in the fictional career of Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) - the fictional epic “Medellin”. The writers and producers spent so much time on the project that they lost a lot of the creative energy from the first two seasons in the story of an ambitious film gone disastrously wrong.

Entourage: The Complete Fifth Season was released on DVD on June 30th, 2009.
Entourage: The Complete Fifth Season was released on DVD on June 30th, 2009.
Photo credit: HBO Home Video

Season five of the show features both a show and its characters in the middle of a crisis. Just as Vince can’t figure out what to do next with his career and his boys struggle with their own identities a bit, the season fluctuates wildly in quality. Some episodes and arcs are hilarious, including great guest turns by Jason Patric, Seth Green, and Jamie-Lynn Sigler, but the season is wildly hit-and-miss and never quite as funny as it used to be.

Entourage: The Complete Fifth Season was released on DVD on June 30th, 2009.
Entourage: The Complete Fifth Season was released on DVD on June 30th, 2009.
Photo credit: HBO Home Video

The fifth season of “Entourage” opens after the scathing Cannes Film Festival response to what Vinny thought would be his shot at Oscar glory, “Medellin”. With no one willing to hire his best friend and client, Eric (Kevin Connolly) really goes to work in season five, finding new clients, including a pair of writers (Giovanni Ribisi & Lukas Haas) who may have the right vehicle for Mr. Chase. Meanwhile, Johnny “Drama” (Kevin Dillon) struggles with love and “Turtle” (Jerry Ferrara) starts a romance with Jamie-Lynn Sigler (playing herself and returning for ten episodes in season six).

This season of “Entourage” could have been subtitled “the boys against the world”. Each episode seemed to be about one of the four boys or Jeremy Piven’s uber-agent Ari Gold battling someone new. Whether it was Paul Ben-Victor’s lunatic studio head or the great Stellan Skarsgard as a director giving Vincent’s lines away, someone was always trying to keep this entourage from digging themselves out of the “Medellin” hole.

It may not be as pitch-perfect or fresh as it was the first few years, but there is still enough to like about “Entourage” to warrant a look on DVD. For every scene or episode that feels a bit off or isn’t quite funny enough, there’s a laugh-out-loud moment or insightful Hollywood arc that balances it out. Like Vinny Chase himself, don’t count out “Entourage” rising to the top again.

Aren’t most people watching HBO in HD nowadays? So, why isn’t the network releasing all of their shows on Blu-Ray? There’s no excuse for a show that’s so much about beautiful people in beautiful locations to not be in beautiful 1080P. And the standard definition picture is below average for HBO Home Video with some noticeable visual inconsistencies.

As for special features, HBO usually delivers good ones but not a large amount of them and that standard holds true for the fifth season release of “Entourage,” which includes three commentary tracks with Ellin, Connolly, Ferrara, Grenier, and producer Ally Musika, and a featurette called “The Celebrity Factor”.

Finally, after you’ve caught up with the boys of “Entourage” with season five, you should know that season six is currently airing on HBO. The season premiere aired on Sunday, July 12th, 2009.

‘Entourage: The Complete Fifth Season’ was released by HBO Home Video and stars Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Rex Lee, Perrey Reeves, and Jeremy Piven. It was created by Doug Ellin. The show was released on June 30th, 2009. It is not rated.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

Anonymous's picture

I agree with your review…

I agree with your review… and most importantly, what is the hold up with releasing Entourage on BluRay? I’m sick of waiting! Get on it HBO.

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