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HBO presents

Entourage: The Complete Second Season (2005)

"Anyway, it's never too early to go to Paris."- Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier)

Stars: Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Debi Mazar, Jeremy Piven
Other Stars: Anthony Anderson, James Cameron, Hugh Hefner, Bai Ling, Ludacris, Ralph Macchio, Jamie Pressly, Bob Saget, Brooke Shields, Mandy Moore
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (adult language, nudity)
Run Time: 07h:00m:00s
Release Date: 2006-06-06
Genre: television

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Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A+ A+AA- C-

 

DVD Review

Coming up with a successful first season is a difficult task for any show. There's the need to establish and develop characters, craft consistently interesting storylines, and create a finale that leaves fans begging for more. HBO's Entourage did just that, making what could have been a one-note premise into a deeply involving, funny series that had its fair share of nifty catch-phrases. Even more difficult for a new hit show is following up a premiere season with an equally-strong sophomore one. Entourage: The Complete Second Season is DVD proof that such a successful second go-around is possible.

When we left Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier), he was on his way back to New York to star in an indie film, Queens Boulevard. Three months later, Vince, Eric (Kevin Connolly), "Drama," (Kevin Dillon), and Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), are back in Los Angeles and ready to get back to business. Vince's agent, Ari (Jeremy Piven), is hard at work landing his biggest client a role in the next big superhero movie, Aquaman. With James Cameron directing, getting the part won't be easy, but with Eric as his manager, Ari working his cell phone, and Shauna (Debi Mazar) doing what good publicists do, Vince's chances at superstardom are looking pretty good.

After an excellent first season, the even more satisfying second batch of episodes begins with The Boys are Back in Town. The crew returns to L.A., where it seems like nothing has changed. Eric is still trying to prove himself a worthy manager for Vince, while Ari is all about Aquaman, as he continues to pressure his "boy" in My Maserati Does 185. The guys' dream comes true in Aquamansion, when they are invited to the Playboy Mansion. Vince wants to buy a mansion of his own, and is forced to reconsider Aquaman when the price tag on the place he's eyeing is too high.

An Offer Refused finds Eric complaining that the Aquaman deal isn't on paper yet. This episode features some of the best interaction between Kevin Connolly and Jeremy Piven, who play off each other brilliantly. Neighbors and Chinatown are great stand-alone episodes, but they don't do much to advance the main storyline. We're back in business with The Sundance Kids, though, as Vince and the gang make it to the titular film festival to promote Queens Boulevard.

The best guest star of season two appears in Oh, Mandy, as none other than Mandy Moore is up for the role of "Aquagirl." There's one problem with this casting choice: Vince used to date her and is still madly in love. The Mandy story thread lasts for the rest of the season, including in I Love You Too, where Vince decides to become friends with her new fiancée after a trip to Comicon. Vince spills the beans about his feelings for Mandy, leaving her stunned, in The Bat Mitzvah, and "Drama" is ecstatic about his new co-star, Brooke Shields, in Blue Balls Lagoon. This episode features Emmy-worthy work from Kevin Dillon, who always makes the most of his limited screen time.

With Mandy and Vince an item once again, the press is all over it and Eric is worried. Good Morning Saigon brings Eric's worries to the forefront, while Ari lies to him about James Cameron's comments about Vince. Ari is feuding with his mentor, Terrance (Malcolm McDowell) in Exodus, while Mandy tells Vince of her true feelings for him. This is the best episode of Season Two, fitting as many interesting story elements as possible into a meager 20 minutes, without feeling rushed. The season finale, The Abyss, has Vince thinking about dropping out of Aquaman. Most of the storylines are wrapped-up nicely, but there are enough loose ends to make the waiting for Season Three a long one.

Though only two years old, Entourage has established itself among HBO's other incredible original series, and is in fact one of the best. It's also one of the most unique, as it's a 20-minute comedy airing alongside a collection of hour-long dramas. With the Season Three premiere less than a week away, it's a good time to join the in crowd.

Rating for Style: A+
Rating for Substance: A+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: All 14 episodes appear in their original full frame format, and look impressive. There are sharp, detailed images throughout, and the color scheme is bold and features bright, vivid hues. Only the slightest bit of grain is visible.

Image Transfer Grade: A
 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, French, Spanishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 2.0 mix isn't overly active, but the surrounds are utilized for the eclectic blend of music. The sharp, witty dialogue is the key, though, and it's always crisp and clear, regardless of the surrounding audio effects and music cues.

Audio Transfer Grade: A- 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 70 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
1 Documentaries
Packaging: Box Set
Picture Disc
3 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Season 1 Recap
Extras Review: The only extras are a one-minute recap of Season One and The Mark Wahlberg Sessions. This 22-minute piece is a series of interviews with the cast and crew, presided over by executive producer Mark Wahlberg (Boogie Nights). There's great rapport between all of the participants, as they discuss everything we'd ever want to know about the making of Entourage.

Extras Grade: C-
 

Final Comments

After a brief first season, we get 14 episodes of movie industry fun with Entourage: The Complete Second Season. While the audio and video quality are stellar, the extras are limited, but the show is worth it by itself.

Chuck Aliaga 2006-06-05