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Review: HBO's Entourage: The Final Season

All good things must come to an end, even for the crew from Queens. Unless, of course,the series morphs into a theatrical.
The eight-episode eighth and final season of Doug Ellin and Mark Wahlberg's Hollywood buddy series Entourage arrives on HBO tonight at 10:30 p.m.

Over the years, fiction and reality coalesced with fame, celebrity, nudity and fun in breezy episodes, punctuated by high-profile appearances and storylines, and one-liners delivered by or at the expense of Drama (Kevin Dillon) and Ari (Jeremy Piven)

Ironically, a show about a Hollywood A-lister and his posse threading through Tinseltown on a network with box office in its moniker was never boffo with the Nielsens. But Entourage performed in other ways the premium network prefers: earning a bevy of Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG and DGA nominations and a few wins, including a trio of Emmys for Piven as supporting actor.
More importantly, Entourage entered the cultural zeitgeist. Stars (James Cameron, Scarlett Johansson, Matt Damon), starlets (Jessica Alba, Mink Kelly), musicians (Eminem, U2, Kanye West) and athletes (Tom Brady, Jerry Jones, Mark Cuban, LeBron) made its guest list, which this season's roster adding The Big Bang Theory's Johnny Gaelicki and New York Yankees Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez.
After mostly enjoying the ride over the years, the boys open the eighth season with Vince (Adrian Grenier) emerging from rehab. After shagging and snorting with porn star Sasha Grey for much of season seven, Vince's life spiraled out of control culminating in a brawl and his getting busted for blow. Now he's trying to maintain sobriety, which seems to be working, and trying to get back in the game -- not so much with a hackneyed MOW idea.
Gold, in particular, is bent out of sorts. The uber agent, who puts himself upon most, especially E (Kevin Connolly) and assistant turned agent Lloyd (Rex Lee), put his wife second one time too many and now she's put him out of the house. His attempts at reconciliation with Mrs. Ari (Perrey Reeves, whose fictional first name is supposed to be revealed by series' end) have gone missing, driving him to distraction and an old friend's bed, while defusing his ego -- somewhat.

E, now heading his own agency with last season's adversary Scott Lavin (Scott Caan), is struggling to come to grips with Sloan's (Emmanuelle Chriqui) cancelation of their nuptials..
Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), who last campaign was riding high with a tequila business and Alex, another girl friend above his station, is looking to reboot after burning down Vince's house.
Drama, on the comeback trail yet again with a voice-over gig for an animated ape series, now faces workplace issues before the show even bows, courtesy of Andrew Dice Clay.

Perhaps if Ellin, currently working on a 40-something series for HBO about middle-agers (Ed Burns) caught by the recession, finds the time to hail the Hollywood highlife again, we'll get another traipse through Tinseltown,

If not, viewers who followed the boys' antics season to season, will have to settle for finding out how things turn out (maybe), certainly reason enough for enthusiasts to hug it out over these last eight episodes.

Despite the dark tones of the first three installments, Ellin, in interviews, has said things will conclude in a good way for most of the cast. That's the Hollywood ending one would hope for a series that depicted the world -- however, real, imagined and/or embellished -- of a movie star and his Entourage.

Entourage's eighth and final season premieres July 24 at 10:30 p.m. on HBO.