Here’s a teensy weensy spoiler about what’s ahead in season five of HBO’s Entourage, which starts on Sunday night. Johnny Drama gets the best line, and it involves the word “meth” (trust us: the crowd at the Ziegfeld theater for the premiere on Wednesday night roared). Beyond that, we’ll try not to ruin any surprises for what seems (hopefully) to be a return to what made Entourage so much fun in the first place.
When it first aired in the summer of 2004, Entourage bestowed a little La La Land glitz and glamour to the HBO landscape, which was sorely missing with the then-recent departure of the Sex and the City gals. Watching Vinnie Chase (Adrian Grenier) try to scale the walls of Hollywood was fun – who doesn’t root for a blue-eyed underdog from Queens? – and we got to see him succeed and reap the benefits of stardom. (Girls! Cars! Real Estate!)
But just like any real-life celebrity rise, by the time Vinnie’s blockbuster bonanza was released (James Cameron, won’t you please just really make Aquaman?), things on the show started to stall. Hasn’t Us Weekly taught us anything? What comes up must come down. And when we left the boys at the end of season four, their passion project, Medellin, the focus of which has been dogging Entourage since season three, had stunk up Cannes (and look, here’s the movie’s Web site! Don’t you just love HBO’s commitment sometimes?) and viewers were getting bored. The first two episodes of this season concentrate on how to revive Vinnie’s career, and perhaps pointedly, are a direct reaction to the fickleness of Hollywood (and television audiences). Perhaps the writers are trying to tell us something?
There are lots of celebrity cameos, including Mark “Marky” Wahlberg, Lukas Haas, Giovanni Ribisi and – for anyone interested in who is winning the diva battle over in Gossip Girl land – Leighton Meester. Our only request is that we start seeing Turtle do more than just smoke weed and watch porn – and that maybe they’ll give Ari’s wife (the fab Perrey Reeves) a first name finally?