Kevin Dillon, Adrian Grenier, Jeremy Piven, Kevin Connolly, and Jerry Ferrara in Entourage (2004)

Entourage Creator Blames “PC Culture” for His Show Aging Poorly

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Sometimes shows don’t age well for a number of reasons. Acceptable punching bags change, and jokes that were once normalized are discontinued for their othering qualities. Some, like Entourage creator Doug Ellin, call that “PC culture.”

“I don’t think Entourage was this vulgar boy-fest that people like to paint it as now,” Ellin told Yahoo Entertainment. “When we came out, the New York Times said we were the smartest show on television! If we did reboot the show, it’s not that I would make it any more PC, but I would write it to the best of my abilities to reflect the reality of the world right now.”

Time to put my feminist cards on the table. I watched Entourage. I watched it for probably the most problematic character of the bunch: Ari Gold, as played by Jeremy Piven. I am sometimes a sucker for a douchebag, and I remember really wanting Ari and Dana to end up together in the end. #BadFeminist.

But the show was always dripping with sexism, homophobia, racism, fatphobia, etc. and proudly indulged in it. The lead characters were all pretty bad people who just happened to be slightly more lovable than the other jerks around. Still bad, but somehow … not as painful.

Entourage was always compared to Sex and the City for better or worse, and while I think the latter is a superior show, there is a hedonistic element of the two that is very “gender-specific.” They are each other’s shadow selves.

Ellin then brought in the show that all ’90s creators bring up when trying to defend their own problematic shows: The Sopranos.

“Nobody says that about The Sopranos, where they murder people, that maybe we should readdress whether murdering people on TV is OK,” Ellin said. “I don’t want to sound obnoxious or that I’m looking at Entourage as high art, but it was a pretty accurate portrayal of how people [acted] at that time in Hollywood.”

Oh, you mean the show in which the lead character, Tony Soprano, was constantly suffering emotionally, mentally, and physically for his actions? Was portrayed as being a racist, sexist, bully, murderer, and whose death was pretty much implied at the end?

Let’s stop pretending that The Sopranos was a superficial show that didn’t constantly tell the audience that the mafia was an illness that would destroy itself from within. With the countless books written on the topic of the “Difficult Men” industry that was created, we need to be able to understand that there is a difference between hedonism for the sake of wish fulfillment and a complex examination of a hedonistic lifestyle.

If Entourage were like The Sopranos, most of the gang would have been brutally dead by something.

According to AV Club, Ellin “goes on to blame ‘a wave of righteous PC culture’ at HBO that’s preventing him from getting another show and preventing Entourage from being included in ‘must-see comedy’ lists on streaming platforms.”

“For a while, we were hiding in, like, ‘wish-fulfillment shows,’” he said. “We were nominated for the Emmys or the Golden Globes almost every single year, so to not put us on the must-see comedy list was pretty bizarre.”

Or maybe it just doesn’t hold up as well as other shows do from that same period? I’m watching The Nanny right now, and while I am loving it for the fashion, the comedic acting, and the family sitcom dynamics, there are gay jokes and trans jokes that have not aged well.

Black sitcoms are constantly being called out by fans rewatching now for the conservative respectability politics they participated in.

Every show from the ’90s and 2000s has something to contend with. But if the show is good and has something to offer beyond that, it can withstand the criticism. I felt that way with The Nanny, Girlfriends, The Sopranos, and a ton of other shows.

Maybe the reason that hasn’t happened for Entourage is that, for fans of the show and even those who enjoyed it as a comedy, it was fun for then, but not so much for now.

(via AV Club, image: HBO)

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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.