As I always say when I review HBO television sets… you gotta love HBO. Entourage cannot be placed in the same family as Six Feet Under or The Sopranos, but it still can hold its own against the offerings from other networks. Not only do you get a good show, but you also get the benefits of a cable broadcast… adult language and nudity. Who could ask for more from a TV show?
Produced by “Marky” Mark Wahlberg, this is the story of a guy from Jersey who make his way to Hollywood to make …t big in the movie biz, and his entourage of friends that follow him to live off of his success. Vince is a hot new actor, who just released his first big film in which he costars with Jessica Alba. Vince’s best friend, Eric, manages his career, even though he has no other experience then common sense. Turtle is another friend of Vince who seems to be there to run monotonous errands and provide comic relief. Lastly, Drama is Vince’s half-brother, a fellow actor who is now a has-been trying to get his career back on track. All four of these fools live together in a rented mansion, looking for girls and a way to burn through Vince’s cash.
From an entertainment perspective, this show is pretty good. The storyline allows for a number of guest star appearances (such as Jessica Alba, Larry David, Scarlett Johansson, Luke Wilson, Jimmy Kimmel, Val Kilmer, Gary Busey, & more) which add to each episodes allure. The characters are just that… characters. They get annoying with some of the stupid things they say and do, but I guess that adds to the comedic edge of the show. This show leaves me with one question… are there really young Hollywood heavyweights that are this out-to-lunch? For some reason, I think their might just be.
For a bit more on this shows premise, here is a synopsis by HBO… “Vince Chase is a sexy young actor whose career is on the rise. To share the fun of the ride and keep him grounded, Vince looks to Eric, Drama and Turtle, his childhood buddies from Queens. Together, they’ll navigate the highs and lows of Hollywood’s fast lane, where the stakes are higher, and the money and temptations greater, than ever before.”
Come on HBO… where is the widescreen transfer? All we get here is the originally broadcasted 1.33:1 full screen aspect ratio. That being said, this show still looks quite good. The colors are all really sharp, and the overall look is very good. There are a number of bad digital artifacts that can be seen in all of the episodes, which I found to be very distraction. There is also some noticeable grain, but nothing too serious. All-in-all, this is a good transfer, but far from what we have seen from HBO in the past.
The quality of the Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track found on this set is a touch better then the video quality. The shows soundtrack sounds very good, with some great tunes that come across very well in the soundstage. I would have like to have heard more from the surround channels… a 5.1 mix could have been implemented here. The dialog comes across clean, and there is some noticeable base which adds to the soundtrack.
This 2-disc set contains three audio commentaries, the first of which is conducted on the pilot episode by Creator Doug Ellin and Executive Producer Larry Charles. This commentary is very good, and touches on all sorts of interesting information about the show. The second and third episodes, also involving Ellin & Charles, are not quite as interesting. If you want to learn about the show, all you need is the Pilot commentary.
Also included on this set is a 10-minute featurette that talks about casting and the premise. We get to hear from the cast, crew, and even executive producer Mark Wahlberg. It is interesting to hear Wahlberg say that this story is roughly based on his life. This is a very good featurette that is worth a watch.
Entourage is definitely worth checking out on DVD. The 8 episodes allow you to get through the complete first season in a mere four hours. The content is entertaining, and the DVD presentation is pretty good. Bring on season two…
Special Features List
- Three episode commentaries