TALKINGBOX REVIEW :- ENTOURAGE SEASON 1 EPISODE 1 (PILOT)

Riding on the success of his latest movie, “Head On”, a young up-and-coming Hollywood film star, Vincent Chase (Adrien Grenier), and his three best friends from home; Eric (Kevin Connolly), Drama (Kevin Dillon) and Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) plan out the attendance of their school reunion. In the after party of the films premiere, the young actor is given the script for another filmic role,  within a movie production entitled “Matterhorn”. Eric – after reading it over – however believes the film does not suit his friend, and tension rises between himself and Vincent’s business minded agent, Ari (Jeremy Piven) who does not agree with the decision the young actor and his entourage choose to make.

As a premise ‘Entourage’ is a very different type of television program. Showcasing a glorified rendition of the ideal life – for those who crave fame- the show begins in very much the way it aims to move on. That being the depiction of Hollywood players within the confines of situations far removed from normal daily life. As such the program plays around with convention, exaggerating moments and finding the characters from within the narrative context, instead of finding the context from within the characters that feature. Being approved by Hollywood, the show runners are able to incorporate a selection of big names to drive home the faked reality that the show aims to present, with both Mark Wahlberg and Ali Larter making notable cameos within the fairly short duration. This adds to the immersion that the show has brought to the “Pilot”. Hopefully this will continue in the many episodes that follow.

Utilising a cast of relative unknown actors to find the characters onscreen, the show runners have struck gold with the approach they have chosen. Adrien Grenier is interesting to watch, and fits the star billing that his character holds. Kevin Connolly is quieter than the other three, and this adds multiple layers to the characteristics that he employs within the first 30 minutes. Matt Dillon and Jerry Ferrara take turns in becoming opposites of one another. Both are immature – in their characters own way – and this can in certain places become tedious. Obviously assigned the comedic element of the show, the pair play well off one another but also take away the serious nature that the program tries – for the most  part – to follow. Jeremy Piven has only a few moments of screen time within this pilot episode, but that does not stop his character Ari making a massive impression. The closest to an antagonist that the program holds, his agent is the opposite in nature to the four leads – this difference is brought to the front within the scene that holds the tense conversation that plays out towards the end of the episode. The power play between himself and Eric will obviously play an important part in the development of the season, and personally I cannot wait to see how it goes on from here.

For all it does good, the first episode of this television program struggles in two separate areas. Firstly the show runners have opted to try and squeeze as much as they can into the thirty minute slot that they have allocated. This therefore means that the show jumps around and does too much with the characters that it features – resulting in something that is messy and in places rather dull. Also, through either odd shot choices or lower production budgets, the episode is full of continuity errors that become obviously apparent  with relative ease to viewers. Whether it is jumps between where characters are stood, or different hand positions when eating, these errors really take a lot from within the shows good moments.

The ‘Entourage “Pilot”’ is an interesting, be it flawed, representation of the exaggerated glamour life of Hollywoods rich and famous. Played out for realism and comedic value, the program has announced its leads onto the audience, and showcased the bold dynamic between them all. Struggling to entertain  audiences as much as the makers may think that they have, the episode struggles to develop briskly – instead opting to throw as much towards the audience as is completely possible within the half hour it gives over to its narrative. Lighthearted throughout, the onscreen depiction is easy to watch for the majority of its first episode. Hopefully in the future of this show, the runners will be able to bring about a decent focus from which the characters can develop.                                                  

  5/10

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