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Charlie’s A&E Pick of the Week: End of “Entourage” and its Beautiful Bromance

Sunday, Sept. 11,10:30 on HBO

Ninety-eight episodes. Eight Seasons. 14 Golden Globe Nominations. One more left. The series finale of “Entourage,” which airs this Sunday, brings one of the most entertaining and important male-oriented shows in the history of television to an end.

Entertaining, most would agree, but important? Let me explain.

The main plot of “Entourage” revolves around charismatic film star Vincent Chase

and his 3 best friends: Turtle, the laid back tagalong, Johnny Drama, the tenacious wannabe, and Eric, the caring and independent assistant. Each character represents a different kind of person, which many male viewers could identify with. There is also the inimitable Ari Gold, Vince’s agent and the main comic relief.

Much like the way “Sex and the City” and “Gilmore Girls” tapped into the feminine mind, “Entourage” examines the relationships between four inseparable guys fromNew Yorkand their journey through the vibrantHollywoodterrain. With each episode comes an analysis of male camaraderie, with an often hilarious (and sometimes brutal) honesty that defined the importance of trust and understanding in a friendship.

That’s why it’s important.

The series featured many cameos from real stars like Matt Damon, Mary J. Blige and Tony Bennett, just to name a few. These cameos added authenticity and humor in spades, as many celebrities would often play caricatures of themselves.

But although theLos Angeles setting was prominently featured, “Entourage” didn’t portray the Hollywood life as all that glamorous. Vince is constantly battling with producers, friends, and acting competition for movies that he wanted to be in. Johnny Drama struggles to get parts in anything, since he is pushing 40. Eric has trouble juggling his job as Vince’s manager with his commitments to his girlfriend.

These are trying situations, but that’s where your friends come in.

When Vince has a cocaine addiction, his friends pull him through it and get him into rehab. When Johnny Drama loses his TV show, the support of the gang helps him collect himself and return to auditioning. When Turtle decides to go back to school, the guys help pay for his tuition. That’s what friends do; they have each other’s back, through thick and thin. “Entourage” understands this breed of loyalty.

Although the show is expiring for good, its legacy will live on. This is a program that truly portrays male friendships through a sincere, realistic lens. Finally, 21st Century teenagers were given a group of guys to laugh about and learn from. There are other relatively modern shows like “Scrubs,” “How I Met Your Mother” and “Friends,” which all watch a group of friends go through life’s journey together, as “Entourage” does. However, what made “Entourage” stand out from its peers were its eclectic settings, diverse characters, fun plotlines, and cultural references. HBO has a tough road ahead of them, replacing one of their signature shows next summer.

We’re going to miss our friends.

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    Philip L.Sep 10, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Bless you, Charlie, Entourage was a terrific show.