Monday, June 11, 2012

HBO's Entourage Season 8 on Blu-Ray DVD

There are unfortunately, many bad television shows, there are pleasantly though, a few surprises that provide exceptional television, such is the case for HBO’s Entourage, unfortunately, Season 8 is the series last. Fans of the show now have the opportunity to own the final season on Blu-ray. The series follows the entourage providing protection, leadership, guidance, but more importantly friendship for fictional film star Vincent Chase, played wonderfully by Adrian Grenier. The show features an ensemble cast presenting real life scenarios of what it is like for a star living in Hollywood. Over the course of 8 years the show has taken its characters from inappropriate and dangerous sexual escapades to drugs and from pride and bitterness to a rekindling of friendship and brotherhood. Every great show deserves to have a great ending, and Entourage hasn’t forgotten its obligation to provide fans a fitting ending. A favorite among many in the entertainment industry, they do just that, provide a great closing season.

If I have said this once, I have said it at least 10 other times but if you are looking for quality entertaining programs, in all capacities, check out the series on some of the premium television stations. From Showtime to HBO there is some exceptional programming. HBO has once again, provided an almost perfect television series, the only negative I can find is there just aren’t enough episodes in a season. HBO has a unique ability of creating programming that one wants to see carry on. The storytelling, scripting, editing, sound, costuming and everything that goes into making a quality movie, is used to provide exceptional television. Outside of wanting more, I simply can’t find anything technically to complain about this program.

Over the last 8 seasons Entourage has taken us down the road of getting to know its characters. This season we have a number of things that happen as the season comes to a close. As a part of the conclusion of the series we see what happens to each of the characters but we also see and are reminded of their love for each other, even in tough times. To fully appreciate the series, one needs to see previous seasons as it will add tremendously to the viewers experience. We continue to see exceptional writing which is remarkable considering the short episode time frame. Normally an episode lasts around 30 minutes so what the creators have done to carry the viewer along is remarkable.

To fully appreciate where each character has come from and where they are at in the closing season, it will help to see the previous seasons. That said, the obvious off screen friendships clearly help the viewer understand the characters because over the years they have developed a friendship not just on screen but off screen. It is one of the things that keep the show moving along; the characters don’t just appear as actors on screen, they appear as real people, facing real life situations. While the viewer may not be able to relate to all of the characters, there are likely individual characters and situations we they can relate to.

If Entourage is about anything, it is about brotherhood and the love of family, especially men. Now don’t take me wrong here, it isn’t just about this, as there are strong female characters, but it is certainly, above all, about friendship and brotherhood. As a person of faith, who takes my Christian beliefs seriously, I am often offended by the lack of brotherhood and love that exists among my faith partners. I long for friendships and brotherhood like exhibited in Entourage. Sure, there are times we get angry, maybe in our disagreements with each other but there are examples of where real brotherhood, real family goes beyond the disagreements and disputes. I can’t help but believe, if the church, if people of faith loved unconditionally as the characters on this show, then maybe, just maybe, there would be more people accepting the things the church has to offer. One of the things so beautiful about Entourage is that brotherhood isn’t just with one or two people but 5 or 6 who have maintained that friendship and love over the course of 8 seasons. In many ways, the entourage in Entourage is like a church. There isn’t perfection but the members of the church don’t expect perfection, there isn’t the getting up and quitting over a simple disagreement, the characters understand love and friendship go beyond disagreement. Instead, there is willingness, a longing to stick together, to be there for each other. Some may question the ‘sinful’ lifestyles; yet, the common desire to love and be there for each other is the overlying theme, not just in Season 1, but also hitting home in the final season.

While I love this series, and the opportunity to own it, I am deeply disappointed in the Blu-ray rendition of the DVD. Don’t get me wrong, the color transfer, sound quality and more are exceptional but the lack of special features is disturbing, especially since it is a final season DVD set. There are no special features, there is a special feature, one feature that while good, isn’t enough. This series, its fans deserved more than what it got. While the star of the show is the show itself, the viewers watching this show over the last 8 years deserved more. It is for that reason I can’t recommend the purchase of the Blu-ray version of the film, certainly the standard DVD for a few dollars less or the boxed set of the entire series I can recommend but I can’t express enough my disappointment in HBO for not giving us substantially more in the realm of special features. They have done a good job in the past, but on this one, they let me down. Despite my displeasure with the special features I still highly recommend this DVD set. It is one of the few times that I will consider purchasing the entire boxed set of DVD’s. It is sad to see this show end and would be nice to have around. For fans of the show, I think they will agree with my thoughts here, for others, you just don’t know what you have missed, yes there are real adult situations but love conquers all and there is no greater love than to lay down your life for a brother. In Entourage we have seen the meaning of sacrifice for a grateful and wonderful 8 years.

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