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Entourage - The Complete Series


TITLE: ENTOURAGE - THE COMPLETE SERIES


Info:

Release Date: November 6, 2012 (HBO Home Entertainment)
Color / 2004-2011
MSRP: $249.99
Packaging: See section
Number of Discs: 18
Number of Episodes: 96
Running Time: 2640 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: 235 minutes
Audio: English, French, and Spanish
Subtitles and Captions: English, French, Spanish; Closed-captioned
Special Features: Commentaries; Behind-the-Scenes of Entourage; The Mark Wahlberg Sessions; Vegas Baby, Vegas Featurette; Museuem of Television and Radio Panel; Anatomy of Entourage; Making of Medellin; Medellin Trailer; US Comedy Arts Festival Panel; The Celebrity Factor; Life at the Top; ONEXONE PSA; Inside the Hollywood Highlife; Shades of Sasha Grey; Hollywood Sunset: A Farewell to Entourage


Introduction:

After a successful eight season run on HBO, the series Entourage finally came to an end in 2011. The comedy-drama series, loosely based upon the life of executive producer Mark Wahlberg, follows Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) as he moves from Queens to Los Angeles to try to make it big as an A-list actor... but he isn't coming to Los Angeles alone. Along for the ride is his entire entourage, his best friend Eric "E" Murphy (Kevin Connolly), his half-brother Johnny "Drama" Chase (Kevin Dillon), and his other friend Salvatore "Turtle" Assante (Jerry Ferrara).

All eight seasons have been released on DVD, and the final three seasons were also released on Blu-ray. Now, HBO has all eight seasons in one set on either Blu-ray or DVD, so that fans can enjoy the entire series in one big chunk, with Entourage - The Complete Series. In this review, we take a look at the DVD release of this set.


Episodes:

Rather than analyzing each episode here, we'll just summarize each season. We have analyzed individual episodes in our reviews of the smaller season sets, but considering that this is such a large set and that the story lines in the series span over multiple episodes (and seasons, for that matter), it seems more prudent just to briefly summarize each season.

The first season, like the first season of most series, follows the beginning of the journey. Vincent Chase has just completed his first successful film, and is now out to get more work... and is facing conflict between his agent Ari and his friend E on how to move ahead to bigger and better things in Hollywood.

In the second season, we get into the Aquaman storyline. James Cameron is directing a new Aquaman movie, and Ari is determined to get Vince into that starring role. Problems arise, though, when Ari has trouble getting that contract. Things get even worse when the role of the leading lady goes to Mandy Moore, who just so happens to be Vince's ex-girlfriend. At the same time, Ari may be on the verge of losing Vince as his client.

The Aquaman plot continues into the third season, and it turns out that it is a big hit... so big, that an Aquaman 2 is in the works. But Vince has his eyes on another project: Medellin, a film based upon the life of Pablo Escobar. This just so happens to be in conflict with the schedule for Aquaman 2, and in the end, Vince gets neither project. A bombshell comes around the middle of the third season as Vince fires Ari, but it doesn't last long, and in the end, the Medellin project may just be back in the works.

Production of Medellin finally begins in the fourth season, and things really start to look up... except toward the end of the season when everybody travels to the Cannes Film Festival and the film turns out to be a huge failure.

In the fifth season, we discover that Medellin has gone straight to DVD and been named one of the worst films of the year. While Vince is down in the dumps, though, things start looking up when it appears that Ari may get Vince a role in another film, Smoke Jumpers... after a bitter fight that leads to the death of another guy. All goes well, until the production is halted. But Vince's luck may be turning around after a meeting with Martin Scorsese.

Vince is back on top of his game (for now) at the beginning of the sixth season. Ari begins facing some of his own struggles at work, and is ultimately approached by his old boss who wants to buy out his agency. At the end of the season, Vince travels to Rome to begin his latest project, an Enzo Ferrari biopic.

Things don't go so well in the seventh season, though, as a stunt in Vince's latest film ends with him crashing a car into the set. Vince takes a new approach to life from here that begins with Vicodin, but it quickly turns into hard street drugs. Throughout the season, we see Vince spiral downward faster and faster, until finally the other guys are forced to stage an intervention.

In the eighth season, we finally get to see Vince go sober, and (hopefully) back on track for success. But as the season progresses, we see that everybody is ready to move on in life in their own way, leading up to the series finale where big changes are in store for all.

Season 1/Disc 1:
1. "Entourage" (29:08)
2. "The Review" (25:33)
3. "Talk Show" (27:13)
4. "Date Night" (25:58)

Season 1/Disc 2:
5. "The Script and the Sherpa" (24:40)
6. "Busey and the Beach" (24:55)
7. "The Scene" (25:29)
8. "New York" (30:28)

Season 2/Disc 1:
1. "The Boys are Back in Town" (26:44)
2. "My Maserati Does 185" (25:45)
3. "Aquamansion" (27:32)
4. "An Offer Refused" (23:48)
5. "Neighbors" (24:55)
6. "Chinatown" (27:53)
7. "The Sundance Kids" (29:11)

Season 2/Disc 2:
8. "Oh, Mandy" (25:26)
9. "I Love You Too" (30:02)
10. "The Bat Mitzvah" (28:30)
11. "Blue Balls Lagoon" (23:06)
12. "Good Morning, Saigon" (26:03)
13. "Exodus" (30:20)
14. "The Abyss" (26:47)

Season 3 (Part 1)/Disc 1:
1. "Aquamom" (25:23)
2. "One Day in the Valley" (26:42)
3. "Dominated" (25:13)
4. "Guys and Doll" (24:16)
5. "Crash and Burn" (24:10)
6. "Three's Company" (25:30)

Season 3 (Part 1)/Disc 2:
7. "Strange Days" (26:20)
8. "The Release" (23:52)
9. "Vegas Baby, Vegas!" (25:15)
10. "I Wanna Be Sedated" (28:13)
11. "What About Bob?" (26:25)
12. "Sorry, Ari" (26:18)

Season 3 (Part 2)/Disc 1:
1. "Less than 30" (25:17)
2. "Dog Day Afternoon" (28:03)
3. "Manic Monday" (22:51)
4. "Gotcha!" (30:17)
5. "Return of the King" (27:44)

Season 3 (Part 2)/Disc 2:
6. "The Resurrection" (29:29)
7. "The Prince's Bride" (24:00)
8. "Adios Amigos" (26:20)

Season 4/Disc 1:
1. "Welcome to the Jungle" (29:53)
2. "The First Cut is the Deepest" (27:14)
3. "Malibooty" (26:01)
4. "Sorry, Harvey" (26:54)
5. "The Dream Team" (25:47)
6. "The Weho Ho" (25:50)
7. "The Day F****rs" (28:25)

Season 4/Disc 2:
8. "Gary's Desk" (25:51)
9. "The Young and the Stoned" (28:38)
10. "Snow Job" (26:41)
11. "No Cannes Do" (28:14)
12. "The Cannes Kids" (34:04)

Season 5/Disc 1:
1. "Fantasy Island' (26:27)
2. "Unlike a Virgin" (26:50)
3. "The All Out Fall Out" (27:40)
4. "Fire Sale" (23:12)
5. "Tree Tripper" (29:36)
6. "ReDOMption" (29:49)

Season 5/Disc 2:
7. "Gotta Look Up to Get Down" (27:33)
8. "First Class Jerk" (23:42)
9. "Pie" (28:20)
10. "Seth Green Day" (28:18)
11. "Play'n With Fire" (28:29)
12. "Return to Queens Blvd" (25:51)

Season 6/Disc 1:
1. "Drive" (27:17)
2. "Amongst Friends" (26:24)
3. "One Car, Two Car, Red Car, Blue Car" (25:02)
4. "Runnin' on E" (29:14)
5. "Fore!" (22:32)
6. "Murphy's Lie" (28:09)

Season 6/Disc 2:
7. "No More Drama" (25:12)
8. "The Sorkin Notes" (24:37)
9. "Security Briefs" (24:05)
10. "Berried Alive" (27:43)
11. "Scared Straight" (28:42)
12. "Give a Little Bit" (37:47)

Season 7/Disc 1:
1. "Stunted" (26:06)
2. "Buzzed" (25:49)
3. "Dramedy" (28:38)
4. "Tequila Sunrise" (29:24)
5. "Bottoms Up" (28:06)

Season 7/Disc 2:
6. "Hair" (28:45)
7. "Tequila and Coke" (27:37)
8. "Sniff Sniff Gang Bang" (29:35)
9. "Porn Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" (27:50)
10. "Lose Yourself" (31:51)

Season 8/Disc 1:
1. "Home Sweet Home" (29:24)
2. "Out With a Bang" (25:26)
3. "One Last Shot" (30:04)
4. "Whiz Kid" (22:11)

Season 8/Disc 2:
5. "Motherf****r" (29:14)
6. "The Big Bang" (27:01)
7. "Second to Last" (29:11)
8. "The End" (30:16)


Packaging:

This could... and I stress could... have been the perfect set, had HBO not truly dropped the ball on the packaging. I'll admit, it is a very nice and sleek design on the outside, with a rather small (about the size of three standard DVD cases) package. The only artwork on the box is the series logo in red letters (the Blu-ray release changes those letters to blue). On the top, there is a "photo album" that you pull out. Again, I really like this photo album, as it looks very nice. It has a "page" for each season, with a large photo from the cover art used on the individual season release. But what I really hate is what you'll find in this "photo album," and that is the discs packaged in these really tight cardboard sleeves. Time and time again, I've complained about cardboard sleeves holding DVDs, but these are particularly bad, as they are very tight and some of the discs received scratches as I pulled them out. Many of the season sets contained three discs each, but that has changed with this set... they remanufactured all of the discs, and now each season has exactly two discs.... except of course for the third season, which is still bizarrely split into two parts (and the set has two discs for each part). Of course, that season had twice as many episodes as the rest of the seasons. The disc artwork is consistent throughout, with each disc containing the series logo and a star (the star is a different color for each season).


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus on the set are similar to the previous releases, with the main menu beginning with an animated transition to a billboard where video clips from the season play. Below the billboard, there are options of Episode Index, Languages, and Special Features. Episode Index takes you to a text listing of all of the episodes on the disc (on some of the discs, you may see an option of "More" to get additional episodes), as well as a Play All option. Once you select an episode, you get an episode menu, where you get a lengthy episode description, an option to view what happened on the previous episode (or season on the season premieres), an option to view an episode preview, and an option to play the episode. If the episode has a commentary, you can also turn that on from this menu. Chapters are placed throughout each episode. Language section allows you to turn on subtitles and listen to the audio in alternate languages, and of course, Special Features takes you to all of the special features.


Video and Audio Quality:

The video and audio quality of the DVD set is excellent. I've become more accustomed to the Blu-rays of this series, but we only received the DVD for the complete series... and honestly, the quality isn't too different here. With a series this recent, it is hard for there to really be any defects. All episodes on this set are presented in their original widescreen format. This is new for the first two seasons, as these seasons were presented in full screen on their original releases. The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, with additional languages of French and Spanish also available. And there are subtitles in all of those languages as well. Finally, on the DVD, the episodes are all closed-captioned.


Special Features:

All of the commentaries that were featured on the previous releases are included once again on this set. Those episodes and commentators are as follows:
"Pilot" - Doug Ellin, Larry Charles
"Busey and the Beach" - Doug Ellin, Larry Charles
"New York" - Doug Ellin, Larry Charles
"Vegas Baby, Vegas!" - Doug Ellin, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara
"Sorry, Ari" - Doug Ellin, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara
"One Day in the Valley" - Doug Ellin, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara
"Manic Monday" - Doug Ellin, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara
"The Resurrection" - Doug Ellin, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara
"Adios Amigos" - Doug Ellin, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara
"Welcome to the Jungle" - Doug Ellin, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Adrian Grenier
"The Day F****rs" - Doug Ellin, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Adrian Grenier
"The Cannes Kids" - Doug Ellin, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Adrian Grenier
"Tree Trippers" - Doug Ellin, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara, Adrian Grenier, Ally Musika
"Play'n With Fire" - Doug Ellin, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara, Adrian Grenier, Ally Musika
"Return to Queens Blvd" - Doug Ellin, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara, Ally Musika
"No More Drama" - Doug Ellin, Ally Musika, Jeremy Piven, Jerry Ferrara, Adrian Grenier, Bob Saget
"Scared Straight" - Doug Ellin, Ally Musika, Jeremy Piven, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara, Adrian Grenier, Bob Saget
"Give a Little Bit" - Doug Ellin, Ally Musika, Jeremy Piven, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Adrian Grenier
"Hair" - Doug Ellin, Ally Musika, Jeremy Piven, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara, Adrian Grenier
"Porn Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" - Doug Ellin, Ally Musika, Jeremy Piven, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara, Adrian Grenier
"Lose Yourself" - Doug Ellin, Ally Musika, Jeremy Piven, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara, Adrian Grenier

Season 1 features "Behind-the-Scenes of Entourage" (10:19), where Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Dillon, Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, and Jeremy Piven. Of course, this only gives a view of the series from the perspective of having just completed the first season.

Season 2 features "The Mark Wahlberg Sessions" (22:33), where we get a more informal behind-the-scenes look at the second season (and really, it talks a lot about the creation of the series from the beginning as well) from the cast and production staff, with Wahlberg asking the questions. We get to hear a bit about the casting, the episodes of the second season, cameo appearances, and more.

Season 3 (Part 1) has a "Vegas Baby, Vegas!" featurette (11:33), where we get a behind-the-scenes look at the episode "Vegas Baby, Vegas!," with interviews from the cast of course. Additionally, we get to hear from some of the guest stars in here, such as Seth Green.

Season 3 (Part 2) has two unique special features. The first one is the "Museum of Television and Radio Panel" (50:55), where the cast and crew sits down for an informal panel discussion at the Museum of Television and Radio (now known as The Paley Center for Media). Much like these panel discussions which appear on DVD sets of other TV shows, it is a very nice and lengthy discussion about the series in general. "Anatomy of Entourage" (11:36) is yet another behind-the-scenes look at the series, but this one takes on the perspective of the actual production of the series. Once again, we hear from the stars of the series, along with some of the production staff.

Season 4 includes special features relating to the making of the Medellin, the film within the series that Vince starred in this season. "The Making of Medellin" (7:07) is a behind-the-scenes look with the cast and crew of the making of this film within the series, which was clearly more heavily produced than the series itself. "Medellin Trailer" (1:25) is a trailer that was made for the fictitious film. Finally, "US Comedy Arts Festival Panel" (47:48) is another panel discussion with the cast about the series, much like the Museum of Television and Radio Panel one featured in Season 3 (Part 2).

Season 5 features "The Celebrity Factor" (9:37), which is a discussion about some of the celebrity guest stars who have appeared in the series. This is mostly just a discussion among the cast members, but Seth Green (one of the guest stars) is interviewed here as well.

Season 6 begins with "Life at the Top" (15:03), which is yet another interview looking back at the series... of course, it is from a season 6 perspective this time. "ONEXONE PSA" (2:02) is the making of the PSA created for the series. It is directed by a very angry Matt Damon, who appears in the feature as well.

Season 7 begins with "Inside the Hollywood Highlife" (13:40), which is yet another cast retrospective following the end of the seventh season, and all of the changes that occurred in this season. "The Shades of Sasha Grey" (5:47) gives a look inside of the life of porn actress Sasha Grey, who appears in this season.

Season 8 features "Hollywood Sunset: A Farewell to Entourage" (28:33), which is yet another cast retrospective of the series... but unlike the other ones, this is (obviously) a final look back at the series, and unlike the other retrospectives where the cast could look ahead to the next season, they talk about how the series ended, and trying to figure out what is next for them.

Finally, for those who just skip over episodes or seasons on this set (something that I would not recommend), each episode has recaps of the previous episode (as well as recaps of the previous season on the first episode of each season) and a preview of the episode. However, season 1 only has previews of the upcoming episode, and does not include recaps of the previous episode. Since there are so many of these, we won't list them all individually (nor are we including these in the total runtime of special features), but they generally run around 30-45 seconds each. The season recaps run around a minute or two each.


Final Comments:

Essentially, what we have here is a rehashing of all of the old releases... but unlike most complete series sets, all of the individual season sets have been completely redone to provide consistency from the first season to the last season. It is especially nice that they went back and redid the first two seasons in widescreen. Still, if you already own the individual season sets, it is hard to justify upgrading to this set, unless you can find it at a really good price. If you don't own the individual season sets, though, and you enjoy this series, I would strongly recommend going straight for this set. The Blu-ray set, though, is probably an even better set to own. I haven't seen that one, but it brings the first five seasons to Blu-ray for the very first time.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 3/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 12/17/12

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http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B005MT3830/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=306836


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