On July 18th, 2004 Entourage made its debut on HBO as fans had no idea what they were in for. 13 years later the series went on to last 9 seasons, 96 episodes and one box office movie to become a 21st century staple of HBO and a cult-classic series appealing to a widespread audience. I was actually late to the party, finally coming around to the gang in the winter of 2013, crushing season after season while on college break during my Junior year, which I feel was a blessing in disguise in a way. Instead of watching it as a teenager, I got to experience it all with a better understanding of life from a social and cultural standpoint as a young adult about to turn 21 and embark on the best journey of my life in Europe.
Whenever Entourage is brought up in conversation, all I can do is smile reminiscing on the hilarious experiences between a group of friends. We all could see our friends group a little bit in E (Suit), Vince, Drama, and Turtle, especially being from New York. Being in a celeb’s entourage in Los Angeles is something everyone secretly would die for in their 20’s, riding the coat-tails of a legend while still experiencing the fruits of the labor.
Thank you Doug Ellin and others who brought this show to life and into our living rooms as viewers felt connected to whatever the cast was going through. The cameos in Entourage are unmatched, from Kanye West to Marc Cuban, 50 Cent, Mike Tyson, Anna Faris and Andrew Dice Clay. This show had a little bit of everything that fans could attach themselves to within the Hollywood lifestyle. That’s why I feel it was so widely successful for a 30-minute per episode show. I would love to know how closely this is based on Mark Wahlberg’s life one day.
The character development was powerful as well, at the beginning most thought Vince would be the driving force of the group, but if you ask any fan of the show you will get a vast different number of answers as to favorite member of the cast. In my opinion I most related to Turtle in the group. I could totally see myself in his shoes as a member of an entourage, but Johnny Drama stole the show with his hysterical social cues and one-liners even in the most serious moments he brought comedic relief.
The amazing thing to me is that the cast really didn’t capitalize on the success as far as parlaying it into bigger acting gigs. Maybe directors felt they couldn’t be casted for other roles as they would always be associated with their Entourage characters. The love they still get all these years later is a joy to see. When I went to the Garden for two Knicks games this season, one Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) was sitting court-side and got a standing ovation. The same for later in the season when Turtle and Eric (Jerry Ferrara and Kevin Connolly) showed up to MSG receiving a bigger cheer from the crowd than anything the Knicks did that night.
It warms the heart to see the connection is still there for the cast like it was in the show, so many times fans have trouble separating real life from television roles. One day I’ll hopefully be able to sit down and watch this timeless show with my kids when they are of age and they can take the life lessons from Billy Walsh, Ari Gold, Sloan, Vince and the rest of the gang that I did when I was 20.
R.I.P. Martin Landau