The Televangelist: Gearing up for the Final Season of 'Entourage'

This Sunday, "Entourage" says goodbye in its eighth and final season - But what are we really saying farewell to?

This Sunday, "Entourage" says goodbye in its eighth and final season (hosting a mere eight episodes, with rumors of a wrap-up film … yet aren't there always?) But what are we really saying farewell to?

?"Entourage" has long been called "the male answer to 'Sex and the City,'" a claim I have never fully embraced. Remember that when "Sex and the City" began, in the late 1990s, it tackled a very touchy but important issue: what are we to make of single, 30-something career women who enjoy casual sex? Do we resort to slut-shaming, or do we embrace this new femininity? Over the years the show (and the *groan* movies) began to focus more strongly on materialism (and to some degree, the importance of fame), which "Entourage" has always encouraged. But whereas those themes signaled the wearing down of the "Sex and the City" franchise, they remain stalwarts of "Entourage's" charm.

"Entourage" is at its best when Vince (Adrien Grenier) is happy, employed and making the big bucks. I don't know who would argue with me that Vince is the least interesting character on the show, but as long as he keeps up his mansion and his cars he is able to allow the fantastic supporting cast - E (Kevin Connolly), Drama (Kevin Dillon), Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) and of course Ari (Jeremy Piven) - to shine. But in the seventh season, which I consider to be the worst of the series without peer, Vince's downfall became the focus. Unlike the universally bemoaned fifth season where Vince, after the fallout from the mess of a film Medellin, actually goes back to New York to regroup, and is later forced to grovel to anyone who will still listen to him in Hollywood to do whatever necessary to pick up the pieces of his broken career, Season 7 focused on Vince's sudden and unprovoked unraveling into drug abuse and unexplained machismo.