Complete Sixth Season
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Reviewed by Jason Zingale
fter the disastrous fifth season of “Entourage” – which might very well go down as the lowest point in the show's history – it seemed like the writers had run out of good stories to tell. We may not have wanted Vincent Chase to find success as easily as he did in the earlier seasons, but we certainly didn’t want to see him slumming it as a nobody either. That gets boring very quickly, especially when you’re watching a show about a group of guys who are supposed to be enjoying the pleasures of fame. Thankfully, Season Six rights those wrongs from the start, and although it might not be the best year of "Entourage," it was a necessary resurgence that will go a long way in building towards the show's impending finale.
As has become the custom with most seasons, we don’t get to see the actual production of Vince’s (Adrian Grenier) latest film – a Martin Scorsese-helmed adaptation of “The Great Gatsby” – but instead open on the movie’s premiere. And that’s fine, because all we need to know is that Vince is back on top. In fact, he’s doing better than ever, following up his collaboration with Marty with a new biopic about Enzo Ferrari directed by Frank Darabont. Meanwhile, Eric (Kevin Connolly) shuts down the Murphy Group to pursue a opportunity at a much bigger management company; Drama (Kevin Dillon) becomes entangled in a personal dispute with the studio exec in charge of “Five Towns”; and Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) goes back to school only for his newfound fame to put his relationship with Jamie-Lynn Sigler on high alert.
And what of arrogant super-agent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven)? Well, now that he’s not as much involved in Vince’s career (it seems to be on auto-pilot following his return to the A-list), Ari has been able to take it relatively easy – that is, until he’s forced to play babysitter to Andrew Klein (Gary Cole) when he starts an affair with one of his junior agents. The office scandal doesn’t come at a good time for Lloyd (Rex Lee), either, who’s forced to absorb the brunt of Ari’s outrage just as he’s trying to convince his boss that he’s worthy of a much-deserved promotion. Unfortunately, neither story arc is very favorable to Piven, and it’s pretty upsetting to see Cole’s status on the show fall so quickly from promising new character to annoying baggage. Still, Piven continues to knock the role out of the park, and this year, he even plays mentor to Turtle and Drama.
The rest of the actors have varying forms of success, but Ferrara walks away the most improved of the group – not only as a performer, but with the material he’s been given. Turtle’s relationship with Jamie-Lynn is one of the highlights of Season Six, and although it remains unclear whether the writers plan on having them end up together when it’s all said and done, just like Eric and Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui), it’s hard to imagine Turtle settling down with anyone else. Speaking of which, Eric’s love life is also put through the wringer this season when he begins dating a younger girl named Ashley (Alexis Dziena), but she's really only a weak distraction at best, because the eventual reunion between Eric and Sloan is blatantly telegraphed from the first episode.
Sigler, Chriqui and Dziena are all great in their recurring roles, but apart from them, there aren’t very many standout guest stars this season. Brief cameos by Zac Efron and Dean Cain are good for a few laughs, but everyone else is upstaged by Matt Damon, who appears in the season finale as a playful parody of himself: a charity-obsessed actor who refuses to take “no” for an answer. It’s easily the funniest guest appearance in the show’s history, but while the celebrity cameos help to legitimize the world of “Entourage,” the heart and soul is still the main quintet. Of course, no one knows how much longer that will last, but with the characters maturing so much over the course of this season, it certainly begs to ask the question, when should they call it quits? If you ask me, the sooner the better, but only because “Entourage” deserves to go out on top.
Special Features: HBO’s three-disc release is a little light on extras, but there are three audio commentaries with the cast and crew, an overview of the season (“Life at the Top”), a brief look at filming the Ferrari sequence (“A Day at the Speedway”), and a fake ONEXONE PSA with Damon, Piven and Grenier. It's not a lot, but it's better than nothing.