One of TV’s greatest bromances is about to return to our screens for what will be its eighth and final season.
It may have taken eight arduous years but Entourage’s final season will also mark the first time that fans of the show in the UK can also see Vince and the gang mere hours after the US, as Sky Atlantic will broadcast the premiere episodes the following night.
That’s right, after years of being jerked around by ITV2 (who to be fair to them did have a go at airing episodes the same week as the US back in season 5, they just never bothered to tell anyone) in favour of endless repeats of the latest horrendous Katie/Peter incarnation, Entourage will now be treated with the respect it deserves by Sky Atlantic and get bona fide hype and promotion for what should be a newsworthy final season.
Season 8 of Entourage returns to HBO on Sunday 24th July @ 10.30pm ET with the same episode then going out in the UK the next night, starting on Monday 25th July @ 10.30pm on Sky Atlantic.
Slowly but surely UK broadcasters seem to be realising that fans of US shows aren’t going to wait the months, sometimes years, that it takes for shows to finally hit UK screens and are stepping up air dates to keep in time with our Trans-Atlantic brethren. Sky have been the clear front-runners of this idea in the past with the likes of House, Lost and 24 all reaching us within a week of the US airing, so this isn’t an entirely new concept but hopefully it will be an increasingly regular one.
Back to Entourage though and when we last left the crew, they were coming out of what had been the darkest season of the usually light-hearted show to date.
Vince had gone into a serious downward spiral that was not only threatening his career but his life, culminating in a fight with Eminem and his bouncers that left the actor hospitalised. The season ending cliff-hanger however, came when a cop found a bag of coke big enough to make Pablo Escobar blush amongst Vince’s things.
Art imitating life perhaps after Vince played Escobar in the flop film-within-a-show Medellin?
Elsewhere, Eric was positioning himself to join forces with Scotty Lavin (Scott Caan) and stage a hostile takeover of the management company he was working for, Turtle was getting into bed with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to sell Avian Tequila and Drama was about to star in his own animated show voicing a rather angry monkey who bore more than a passing resemblance to him.
Ari’s life meanwhile was starting to crumble around him as he shot himself in the foot over the deal to bring an NFL franchise to LA and then lost Mrs. Ari in the process who finally had all she could take of the super-agent’s workaholism and general sweary demeanour.
With only eight episodes, and a rumoured film, left to tie things up Entourage’s final season should be even more fast and furious than usual, and although not exactly a show you could call a critical darling I defy anyone who’s ever watched Entourage not to have been at least a little charmed by it.
Love it or loathe it though, you’ll no doubt be hearing quite a bit more about the show in the coming weeks, not least here at What Culture where I’ll be reviewing season 8 each week.