'Entourage' Final Season Premiere: What the Critics Say

 Claudette Barius/HBO

Vincent Chase and his entourage are back for a final season in HBO's Entourage, which returns at 10:30 p.m. Sunday.

The show, which will have aired for eight seasons when it wraps later this year, follows the exploits of movie star Chase (Adrian Grenier) and his entourage Eric (Kevin Connolly), Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) and brother Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon), along with his agent, Ari (Jeremy Piven).

So what do the critics think about the final premiere in the long-running comedy series?

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THR's chief TV critic Tim Goodman writes that the show lost its relevancy a long time ago.

"But here it is, back for an eighth season of eight episodes, and the only reason to return to it is the culmination of storylines," he writes. "Meaning, to come back to find out what happens to Vince and the boys (and their various girls). And that's really the problem. Once Entourage continued to exist merely to show Vince doing something stupid but coming out of it smelling like roses -- and getting laid multiple times in the process -- it kind of forfeited the right to have depth as well. And you can only really care about characters if you get depth."

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TV Guide's Brian Roush echoes that sentiment.

"Entourage feels awfully washed-out and washed-up, kind of like Vince Chase's dormant career, as the show counts down to the end," he writes. "Vince emerges from rehab a sadder but wiser man, but does anyone really care?"

He adds: "The buddies from Queens are no longer good or interesting company, so it's up to Ari Gold (the role of a lifetime for Jeremy Piven) to keep us engaged. And his desperate pursuit of the estranged Mrs. Ari does have comedic and dramatic urgency, and is fraught with surprising twists. Wish I could say the same about Entourage."

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Meanwhile, Rob Salem of the Toronto Star says this season "isn't going to be your average Entourage season," which he writes is "better late than never." He adds that the show wastes no time in getting the characters into some compelling situations.

"I’m only three episodes in, and the eighth and final season of Entourage is already rife with drama, " he writes. "And by that I mean 'drama' drama, as opposed to Johnny Drama, the role Kevin Dillon plays as Vincent Chase’s lovably lunkheaded brother, who I can never get enough of (and so far haven’t)."

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But Brian Tallerico of HollywoodChicago.com writes that the season premiere is "a whiny mess with little understanding of what worked about the program in the first place" and that the writing is "weak."

"[Jeremy] Piven [spouts] lines like “Don’t go crazier on us Drama or we’ll leave YOU here for treatment” with all the believability of an Ari Gold impersonator," he writes. "And his verbal barbs with Lloyd (Rex Lee) grew tired years ago. It’s as if the writers can’t come up with anything new or genuine for these people to say. They just don’t feel real."

 

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