As fans count down the days to Breaking Bad’s finale, we debate which TV show really is the greatest of all time – and tell you where you can watch them online. Today, James makes the case for Entourage.
It all started in July 2004. The story of an up-and-coming superstar, his three best friends and his foul-mouthed but loyal agent, Entourage went on for eight seasons – a film has been on the way since – and it’s the best TV show ever to grace our screens.
The show centres on Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) as he launches his career as a superstar actor. Along for the ride are Eric Murphy (Kevin Connolly), Vince’s brother, Johnny ‘Drama’ Chase (Kevin Dillon), and their friend, Turtle (Jerry Ferrara). Rounding off the group is the agent to the stars and the man who has guided Vince towards the top of the A-list: Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven).
Mark Wahlberg acted as an executive producer on the series and the events and characters are loosely based on his experiences in the industry, but, unusually, the stories come second to the camaraderie between the main characters: Entourage is essentially Sex and the City for the lads.
Entourage unashamedly throws in celebrity cameos left, right and centre, which rarely fail to amaze. From Martin Scorsese to James Cameron and through to Kanye West, the pulling power the show had was fantastic. But where Entourage wins the TV game hands down is where it straddles the line between drama and comedy. Each episode tends to vary in its aims: some are there to give you a love story between the guys and their variety of girls; some are there to show the bromance developing between the guys and, uh, the guys; some are showing the tedious climb to success in showbiz; and some show the downfall. When you’ve got on-set moments like a falling out between Vince and his director or a spiralling budget or films crashing and burning at film festivals, it often looks a little closer to the truth than you might expect. But it is always easy to watch.
The scene-stealer of the show – and one of the greatest small screen characters in recent years – goes to Ari Gold. Piven dives between being an abhorrent hate-fuelled man and having a heart to match his surname, almost going too far one way before pulling you back around to his way of thinking. He knows the business inside out and knows how to play the game.
HBO have a solid reputation for creating high quality programmes, from Curb Your Enthusiasm to the likes of Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire. Here, they produced something that stands the test of time and, although it hasn’t been on television for a while, it would be a crime not to seek it out.
As Breaking Bad draws to the nail-biting end and Dexter limps along to be put down, we’re desperate to know how it all ends. Entourage is the kind of show that may have already ended, but we’re safe in the knowledge that these characters’ lives will continue on. You could pick it up at any moment and dive straight back in – all you need to know is that they’re still there. And they’re having a great time.