Saturday, September 28, 2019

Entourage: A Modern Portrait of Issues of the Hollywood Dream

The TV show â€Å"Entourage,† produced by HBO, shows the life of four friends who are catapulted into fame and fortune following the success of Vincent Chase. From the alleys of New York, they find themselves in a lifestyle filled with cars and women. The story recalls the challenges and successes of these four comrades, plus their manager, who takes on the jungle of Hollywood and attempts to maintain the bond that they grew up with. This show has indeed captured the attention of audiences, both from the lower and upper strata of the social hierarchy.One can argue that the appeal indeed of Entourage is universal as it attracts audiences from all types and kinds of social background. The secret of this TV series is simply, for it cleverly employs psychological crafting that balances preferences and expectations of people with varied backgrounds. In fact, it plays on the interest and fantasies of the viewers to create a world that defies not only the borders of morality and gend er, but more importantly the borders between social classes, as portrayed by the differences between the ‘simple’ world of some of the main characters and the Hollywood World of Vincent Chase.The Hollywood World vs. the ‘Ordinary’ World In the show, Vincent Chase represents the ultimate Hollywood dream: having a successful career, rich, famous, easy living, simply a celebrity. Here, his Hollywood World is portrayed as something tangible and yet hard to reach for ordinary people, or at least for those who are not as famous and as rich as he is. Commodities are not a problem in this kind of life. Even women and cars, two of the most precious commodities nowadays, are perceived as affordable goods that can be easily purchased every night and can be effortlessly thrown away the next morning.In addition, social gatherings seem to be a disease in the Hollywood World, merely infecting not only celebrities but all those who have the money and the access to the neve r-ending parties on bars and restaurants. It is ironic though, since celebrities most of the times have hectic schedules that do not allow them to party anymore either because they have no free time at all or they are too tired to do so. Nevertheless, in Entourage, Vince Chase and his friends are often living their lives to the fullest by attending as much gatherings as they want.These kinds of scenarios were mainly the bait of the show to attract its viewers. Apart from the ability of the show to relate to its viewers, its dynamic and even tempting projection of the good life is something truly fantastical, and often used as bait for viewers to have then hook to a show that portrays the life they desire. For example, Vincent’s character, as being portrayed in the story, was a sure hook for the audience whose main desire is to know or to get even just a glimpse of his Hollywood World. Not all TV shows promise this kind of excitement.This show caters the primary need of the au dience to ‘sneak in’ to the kind of world that probably most of them have dreamed of once at some point in their lives. It does not matter if in reality they really cannot achieve this Hollywood dream of becoming a Hollywood celebrity; what is more important for them is that they have the means to at least know and be exposed with the Hollywood World. However, the show does not portray all the time this one-day-millionaire-kind of living by Vincent Chase and his friends. It is actually one of the many good things about the show.Hollywood World is not projected as something perfect. It also has the downsides and the loops. For example, the main characters also experience money problems. There was an instance in the 2nd season when Eric, Vince’s best friend and sometimes-manager reminded him that they have already run out of funds- that they are ‘dead broke’. They had to then resort to selling their posh mansion as consequence of financing the movie Me dellian, which is the dream movie of Vince. Even in the midst of fame, they seem to be unable to save and accumulate, because of a very extravagant lifestyle.This characteristic of the show clearly manifests its knowledge about the differences in the lives of an ordinary person and a celebrity like Vincent Chase. However, the show is also conscious about the similarities of the two—that they are both human beings living in the same planet with the same needs and wants and emotions. The show portrayed the life of Vincent Chase as far different from the lives of others, but it never fails to remind its audience that Vincent Chase, just like all of them, is a man with no extraordinary powers like a superhero.He also feels pain sometimes, he can be hurt and wounded, he can be fooled and downed, he can be the same as the rest. What: Demonstration As was aforementioned, one of the greatest strengths of the show is its capacity to portray to its audience the ups and the downs of the Hollywood World. Entourage also emphasizes the idea that the Hollywood World has also its negative side. Whether made intentionally or not, the characters of Drama and Turtle serve as the neutralizers for the grandiosity of Hollywood World being portrayed in the show.Their characters are examples that indeed life in Hollywood is not always a good life. For example, Drama, the brother of Vincent who is foreshadowed eventually by the success of the latter, shows that he can also be a normal, ordinary person even if he is also living the Hollywood World. In the show, he is the cook and the fitness consultant of his half- brother Vincent. Although a celebrity himself, Drama is able to show to the audience how difficult it was to maintain a living in LA. He has to earn more by accepting small commercial offers and movie projects.Sometimes, he has to receive ‘charitable’ works fro his younger brother. There are also times he has to use the status of Vincent to get some proje cts for himself. Being a celebrity is something that should in fact be earned, and not a definite consequence of having money. This star treatment or celebrity status is something that cannot be instantly purchased or bought by any rich person. In the show, Vincent and Drama both have to work hard in order to sustain their statuses, be it financial or social.On the other hand, the main role of Turtle in the show is basically to drive the car of Vincent and to manage the issues of the mansion. In the show, Turtle although at times is parasitic to Vincent, is one of the most loyal and closest to the star. He is actually the supplier of marijuana for the all of them. Again, through the character of Turtle in the show, Entourage has set an irony for the Hollywood World. In the case of Turtle, it is his job that describes that Hollywood is not only for the rich or for the famous ones. It has something to do with ‘connection’.Turtle is not rich and famous and yet he manages t o live the life he basically wanted, simply because he is a friend of a rich, famous celebrity. This two aspects portrayed in the characters of Drama and Turtle lead to one conclusion—that the Hollywood World can be achieved through hard work or through ‘parasitic connections’, or through the use of both. How: Complication It can be noted that the show is promoting unknowingly to its audience a consumerist way of thinking. Exposing to the rich way living, the audience will most likely to be a dreamer of the Hollywood life which they might not afford to have.It is common indeed for the audience to find such interest in shows that features seemingly unreachable things, which is definitely evident in the show, as it boasts parties and lifestyle that is reserved for the moneyed. Adelman notes that Vince Chase and his four friends are constantly surrounded by different things that prove their affluence like fine-dining, the very constant and normal use of marijuana, e ndless supply of beautiful women, and a very active social life to boast all worldly possessions.Adelman also mentions that most of the locations are those that are not accessible to the ordinary person. The TV series presents to the audience a dream life that keeps them interested and wishful. As a result, the audience might produce this thinking that happiness can only be found through social gatherings, weeds, women, cars, mansions, and all sorts of commercialized things. In addition, The show Entourage builds of the American Dream – or what we believe to be the American Dream, which keeps on echoing the theme of the show: that all can succeed.Yet it is quite ironical that the show portrays success as something that can be attained through simple means – like being a movie star, even without employment or hard work. This shows the paradox of the American Dream, where instant fame and fortune is the motivation of many people. The series would play on that desire and dream of the audience, who would then see that these ordinary guys can achieve their dream life. The element of having characters from humble beginnings is a factor that is also considerable, as it establishes a kind of relationship and connection to the audience.Their background is very typical indeed, and they grew up together and went to Hollywood to pursue their dream. This is the dream of all Americans, and it is interesting for them to see that these characters are able to attain their dream for them. With this lurking idea of consumerism being projected in the show, Entourage still is being realistic with its story. For example, the problem with money shows that even a celebrity like Vince Chase experiences money problems like the ordinary person – something that most Americans encounter today with their credit lifestyle.This culture of finances reflects the attitude of Americans, who lives on credit and therefore constantly in the edge in their respective financial st andings. Yet this dilemma is in itself a paradoxical one, as the financial problem of the celebrity is shallow indeed, as it was merely due to the want of financing a film. Furthermore, the captured audience of the show Entourage is largely males, which again establishes the argument that the show is actually promoting sexism.The show clearly identifies to the male viewers, as it continually depicts a lifestyle that is desired by the male: the harem of women, the constant gambling, weed, and parties, the supply of cars and gadgets. These are things that portray a difference in the lifestyle of the male audience as it pictures their own dream lifestyle. Yet aside from this differentiation, the identification factor is strong, as the characters encounters problems and dilemmas experienced by the normal male.The love life for example of Vince Chase is one that is the dream of any male, while the other characters have their respective attitudes and eventually outcomes in their own love life. The problems of friendship, family, and finances are also something that guys can identify and relate with. The popularity of the show among females is similarly increasing, and it is because of class and gender estrangement that they do, as some would argue. The shows appeal to the women is that they would be able to enter the â€Å"man's head†, which is essentially a result of gender difference.Women can identify to the objectification of the female, and can relate with how women are treated as objects. The offer of a look at the male psyche can serve as motivation for women to hence watch the show. Apart from the elaboration of identification and difference of gender as reasons for the show's popularity and appeal, another very notable explanation is that theme and context of the show itself, which is Hollywood. Entourage is appealing to the viewer because it gives them a peak at something that they find glamorous and attractive.The movie industry and its celebrities have always fascinated and mesmerized the American audience, and Entourage gives this audience a view of the celebrity lifestyle. It acquaints the viewer with what occurs behind the camera, and the countless challenges that publicists, producers, and actors themselves have to go through. As the industry is exposed in the series, it is portrayed to not be as glamorous as the audience imagines it. Why: ImplicationThe success of television shows like Entourage would at the end of the day be dependent on how it capable it is to attract and sustain the interest of the audience. The rationale for the popularity of reality shows is that it is in theory â€Å"real†. Yet these supposed realities are increasing becoming unreal and concocted, which is why the audience is continually searching for shows and series that they can relate with. The show Entourage reaches out to the audience, plays on their consciousness and desires, to keep attention to the series.However, Entourage is also portraying the image of the Hollywood dream in the psyche of the audience. It might be unintentional but the audience is actually forming in their minds the idea or thinking that Hollywood is indeed the best place on Earth. That it is the sole place where they can find all sort of things that will caters to all their desires and needs. The audience should be intelligent enough not to be easily affected with this kind of manipulations that are now being used by TV producers and media practitioners in attracting and gaining audience.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.