Entourage Season One

Friends – they come in all shapes and sizes, but what’s important is that they’re there for you, no matter what. That’s what HBO’s Entourage is all about.

Based on the real life experiences of Mark Wahlberg (also the executive producer of the show), Entourage follows the story of young actor Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) on his rise to stardom in Hollywood. Chase has just broken it big: his new movie Head On is a box-office smash hit, he’s the talk of the town. Most importantly, he’s having fun with his entourage of friends by his side.

Johnny “Drama” Chase (Kevin Dillon) is Vincent’s older brother and cook. Drama was once a famous TV star and therefore has to share his experiences — whether good or bad — constantly with the group. Though some would consider him to be a joke, Vince keeps Drama at his side simply because they’re family.

Eric “E” Murphy (Kevin Connolly) is the conscience of the group and also Vince’s manager. He and Vince grew up together Vince knows that Eric can always pull him back if he’s gone too far.

Finally, there is Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) — also Vince’s childhood friend. And though he has a good heart, he constantly takes advantage of his friendship with Vince; whether it’s a free entrance to a privileged club or a sponsorship deal from a mobile phone company.

The cast is supported by Jeremy Piven, Debi Mazar and a host of celebrity guest stars. Entourage is definitely a series to watch. — Mehboob Siddiqi

(This review originally appeared in the July 23rd, 2006 edition of DAWN Images)


Deadwood Season One

HBO’s series Deadwood is now available on DVD. The first season is set in 1876 at the camp of Deadwood, situated in the Black Hills region of what is today South Dakota. The camp is a true depiction of corruption, lawlessness and America’s self-discovery as a people. Everyone from around America hopes to cash in on the gold craze, but comes to know that all that glitters isn’t really gold.

The series is a treat not only for western fans but for history buffs, too, as it combines historical instances and characters with fictional ones. Authenticity isn’t something that is drowned for the sake of a good story in Deadwood; rather it makes a good story. The historical characters represented here include the who’s who of the Wild West, from Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane to George Hurst (William Randolph Hurst’s father). If you’re unfamiliar with these names, then getting to know them will prove to be an interesting watch.

The language of the film stands out, with its distinct western twang, complete with character soliloquies. David Milch, the creator of the show (co-creator of NYPB Blue and writer of Hill Street Blues) emphasises that this show isn’t simply about the West, or how the West was won; it’s about how America as a nation came to be. — Mehboob Siddiqi

(Originally appeared in the June 4th, 2006 edition of DAWN Images)