TV Preview

Previews of HBO's 'Entourage' and 'Hung'

An episode from Entourage with Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly and Jeremy Piven.
An episode from Entourage with Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly and Jeremy Piven. (Claudette Barius - HBO)
By Hank Stuever
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 27, 2010

Vincent Chase must die.

Harsh, perhaps, but there it is, the only thing that could rouse "Entourage" from its comfortable, poolside loll and onto the necessary task of bringing its story in for an eventual landing.

Kill Vince! Car crash, drugs, something. James Dean, Heath Ledger -- Hollywood will show you how.

Even the makers of "Entourage" seem to sense this on some level, and present it as a tantalizing notion in the seventh season's opening episode Sunday night on HBO. Vince (played vacuously as ever by Adrian Grenier) is pressured by an action-film director (Nick Cassavetes, as himself, of course) to perform a dangerous driving stunt on camera.

But Vince's protective, codependent entourage -- including fretful manager Eric Murphy (Kevin Connolly) and flammable uber-agent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) -- works to prevent it.

"What's the worst that could happen?" Vince asks, suiting up.

"Vic Morrow got his head chopped off by a helicopter," offers Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon).

"Brandon Lee got shot with squibs," chimes in Turtle (Jerry Ferrara, easily "Entourage's" most-improved character over the years).

"Wow, you all think I'm such a [bros-only word for wimp]," Vince observes.

Actually, I think "Entourage" is conceived, written and performed by whole bunch of [bros-only word for wimps], who are too afraid to make a real television show (yeah, I said it), and instead will always settle for making the world's longest documentary adaptation of "Entertainment Tonight." For years, "Entourage" has lazily kept its characters on a leash, favoring atmosphere over story progression. Tune in now and it still feels like 2005.

Which is why loyal viewers should double-dog dare creator Doug Ellin to remove Vince from the picture entirely -- tragically -- so that we can see what happens to the entourage then. Take us on an uncharted journey into Hollywood grief rituals, with the Forest Lawn funeral and estate squabbles and everything. Show us how each of these men face life After Vince.

This, of course, will never happen. What sort of spoiler is it if I tell you that Vince performs the car stunt, staggers away from an inferno, and will become so jazzed by his feat that he will give himself a short haircut and go sky diving?

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