Saying goodbye to the dirtiest of my dirty pleasures hasn’t been easy. Especially since I am a relatively clean (and some would say highly self-disciplined) person. And so my recent farewell to Entourage, HBO’s eight-season series on the glories of Hollywood life, has consequently become a reflective experience. Mainly because I have lost the only television show I watch, and now need to reflect on the numerous other shows that I have to choose from. More importantly, however, because I need to reflect on what I have learned from Entourage, and why I have wasted so many hours watching it.
If you watch the show already, you may be thinking: “She probably tivos each episode and fast-forwards through all the scenes that don’t include Vince.” This is, on some occasions, an accurate assumption. Who is Vince, an Entourage novice might ask? Vince is Entourage’s golden boy, the show’s Queens-born movie star to whom all the ladies flock and “total bro” to whom all of Vince’s “homies” cling. For eight seasons, Entourage has showcased the goings-on of Vince, played by the cupid-like Adrian Grenier, and his posse. Vince’s world is one of fancy cars, big paychecks, the frequent “mush” (fine, I also watch Jersey Shore), innumerable tequila shots, and angry Hollywood agents. Entourage is a show of excess—a study of glamorous celebrity life on steroids.
So how might you, a Princeton pseudo-intellectual and Entourage newbie, make sense of all this excess? And why should you trade your Kant for this kant-be-missed television show, brimming with all sorts of life lessons? Princeton students always need reasons. Below, allow me to intellectualize Entourage for you so that you can justify the forty minutes you are about to spend in Firestone watching this T.V. show.
_Lesson 1: Good Friends are Good_
My empirical examination of the lessons of Entourage begins with a discussion of Vince’s wolf pack. The wolf pack is composed of Vince and his childhood friends: his half-brother Johnny, his manager Eric, or “E,” his driver Turtle, and his agent Ari. Forget all the great friendships and mentorships that you have scrutinized in your history classes. If you were to ask Socrates, what is friendship? He would most likely reply as follows: “I am not certain what friendship is, nor do I know its qualities. But I do know that Vince and his buds are like brothas from another motha.”
Put simply, Vince and his four friends teach us that good friends are necessary for our happiness. We need good friends to keep us rational and inspired. We also rely on our good friends to convince our significant others and crushes that we are worthy of their time (and our marriage proposals). Take the 96th episode of Entourage—the grand finale. In no other episode does Vince’s gang collaborate more effectively to achieve a common goal, namely: convince Sophia, Vince’s love interest, that she should marry Vince. Johnny, E, and Turtle gather together all of Vince’s ex-girlfriends (hint: this is a large population of women) in order to interview and film their thoughts on Vince. This on-screen collage of women, all of who praise Vince as a champion boyfriend, motivates Sophia to accept Vince’s proposal. Great success!
Having provided you with evidence about the power of friendship in Entourage, I feel obligated to moralize about how Vince’s relationships with his friends should dictate your own. Trying to decide whether to spend an hour studying for your Spanish quiz or playing FIFA with your Euro friends? Channel your inner Vince to resolve this dilemma. Have a friend in desperate need of a wingman? Ask yourself, WWVD (What Would Vince Do)? It is through Vince and his friends that we keep our priorities in line.
_Lesson 2: It’s Good To Be Bad (Sometimes)_
Let me preface this portion of my analysis with the following declaration: I do not support any serious infringement of the law. That said, Entourage teaches us that—as the subheading suggests—it’s good to be bad (sometimes).
Naughtiness is a dominant theme throughout the series. The naughtiness factor of each episode ranges from playfully naughty to legitimately (and at times offensively) naughty. Evidence is endless. In season six, Entourage gives us playfully naughty. We watch on as Turtle takes classes at UCLA and becomes the butt of a sorority joke, in which sorority girls steal Vince’s underwear via their friendship with Turtle. On the other end of the spectrum, Vince’s season-seven relationship with Sasha, a porn-star, becomes dangerously naughty when Vince ends up in rehab because of his cocaine addiction, induced by that of Sasha. Here Entourage instructs us that being bad is in fact bad when cocaine is involved.
We should adopt the messages exhibited in the two above scenes into our own lives. We should be fun-loving; be spontaneous; go out on school nights even if we have homework due the next day! Can you say scandalous?
_Lesson 3: Girl Power is Good_
Central to Entourage’s plot are Sloan McQuewick, E’s girlfriend-meets-fiancé-meets-baby-mama, and Ari’s wife, Melissa. For the purposes of this analysis, I will ignore the fact that Sloan, played by Emanuelle Chiqri, and Melissa, played by Perrey Reeves, are extraordinarily attractive women. Aesthetics aren’t important here. Instead, I investigate the ways in which Sloan and Melissa exhibit “girl-power.” Sloan and Melissa are ferocious, and we see their ferocity in both personal and professional settings.
Entourage’s leading ladies teach us that we can, on some occasions, manipulate the men in our lives for a greater good. Melissa often blames Ari for his skewed values—the reign of his professional life over his family. She keeps her husband in check by jeopardizing the financial state of his company, which she helps to back with her inheritance money. Similarly, Sloan often makes use of her familial relations with E and Ari’s rival, Terrance McQuewick, owner of his own talent agency and father of Sloan, to ensure that E is respectful both in the workplace and at home.
Malicious or cunning? You decide. Needless to say, these vixens know how to use the power they carve out in all sorts of crafty ways to their advantage. They are each Beyoncé’s “Independent Woman” incarnate. We Princeton women should take a cue from all three divas in our relations with Princeton men. Can you please “throw your hands up at me?” (N.B.: I do not take responsibility for any of the break-ups that ensue after the publishing of this article.)
Are these three lessons reason enough for you to begin watching Entourage, Princeton student seeking a pop-culturally sound life? If yes, then I bid adieu to you and you should bid adieu to all productive study sessions. I guarantee you that the time you spend watching Entourage from here on will stimulate you more and prepare you less for your next exam. I call this an excellent trade-off, and I know Vince wouldn’t have it any other way.