The first season of "Entourage" was a fun ride, packed with gorgeous women, hot cars and a good mix of cynicism and love for the showbiz world in which it's set.
The show's second season, now on DVD, has all that as well. But there's a little more weight there this time around, a heft that lends the comedy an extra bite and lets us care a little bit more about the guys at the show's center.
For starters, the show allows us to see that movie-star-in-training Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) doesn't lead a completely charmed life. Money issues, career ambivalence and a broken heart -- courtesy of recurring guest star Mandy Moore -- bring Vince down a little, causing a ripple effect among his tight circle of friends and his agent, Ari (Jeremy Piven).
Piven, who pretty much stole the first season, is in fine form again this time around, and Kevin Connolly, who plays Vince's best friend/manager, Eric, has raised his game too -- E's frequent confrontations with Ari give off more heat than they did the first time around.
As is the case with a lot of HBO DVDs, extras on the "Entourage" set are scant. It's kind of a shame, really, that a show that takes viewers behind the scenes in Hollywood won't take them very far behind the scenes of itself.
The lone featurette has executive producer/"Entourage" inspiration Mark Wahlberg interviewing the cast and crew, and there are a few mildly interesting bits: Grenier and Kevin Dillon, who plays Johnny Drama, both say they thought their characters were underwritten at first (in Grenier's case, it was because HBO was concerned about casting the Vince role and wanted him de-emphasized in the pilot). Jerry Ferrara, who plays Turtle, comes off best, projecting the same can-you-believe-this persona his character does.
Devoted fans of "Entourage" have probably heard much of that before. The show is good enough on its own, though, that the skimpy extras don't feel like too big a slight.
STUDIO: HBO Video
RELEASE DATE: June 6
TIME: 7 hours
DVD EXTRAS: "The Mark Wahlberg Sessions": Executive producer Mark Wahlberg interviews cast and crew members