TV Criticism Blog #3
HBO’s hit series, Entourage, has seen much success during its seven seasons on air. The show’s loyal fan base of young males follow the every move of the A-list actor Vincent Chase as he lives the ultimate Hollywood lifestyle along with his brother and two best friends, as well as Vince’s Hollywood agent Ari. The show gives an inside look to Vince’s fantasy Hollywood life. When Vince and his friends aren’t busy cruising around Hollywood in their exotic cars or smoking marijuana in their mansion, they are getting VIP access to the most exclusive parties and sleeping with beautiful models that are much better looking than them. Through the textual analysis of the hit show Entourage, it is shown through the representation of masculinity that this show reflects lingering sexism and the pressing idea of the “hook up” culture we currently live in. Further more, by analyzing Sex and the City, it can be seen as Entourage’s counterpart or “girl” version, embracing the “hook up” culture as well and treating men like an object of sexual desire. These two series reiterate the sexist society we are in today by both men and women, encouraging behaviors that disrespect both genders equally and leave trouble for forming meaningful relationships.
Entourage references an ideology that men are more powerful than women constantly. With the plot revolving around an all-male cast, the show chronicles the adventures of Vince and “his bros” and often plot lines can revolve around their conquest in hooking up with girls for an entire show. The main character Vince is the epitome of what every guy strives to be like. Since he is a male, he is allowed to do whatever he wants without any consequences are getting scrutinized. He can sleep with whomever and as many women as he wants, consume drugs and alcohol on a daily basis, and still be highly respected in the movie industry as a movie star. Entourage reinforces this hook up culture we live in through its depiction of women. Entourage depicts women as unintelligent objects of the sexual desire, offering very little substance (Rhetoric and Popular Culture). They are constantly hanging all over the men, usually intoxicated and with little clothing on.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hJ5mP0wslY (“who hits on women during the week?”)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wnoy0EB_7VA (Nice cars, big house, hot women)
The characters, specifically Vince, constantly have the upper hand and our able to pick and choose whom they want to hook up with for that specific night. The show gives little value to a meaningful relationship between a man and a woman. One good example of a character that sees him more powerful than women is Vince’s agent Ari. Being a successful and rich agent, he is constantly surrounded by beautiful women but writes them off as not having much value. He is vulgar in the ways he talks about women, including his own wife. He swears at his wife often and is shown disrespecting her verbally. The show in return depicts his wife as below him. It does this by her constantly “dragging” him to counseling and wanting to work on their marriage and Ari not wanting to have any part in it. This tells young men watching that is okay to treat your woman that way because she will come running back regardless of the way you treat her. The men in Entourage also make inadvertent sexist remarks through the way they talk to each other. Often they call each other “pussy” or “bitch” to make fun of one another. The males take offense to this because it denotes their masculinity and puts them in the same category as women. They also use profane words such as “fuck” when referring to having sex with women, or in this case with Ari, his wife.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXHBaX0fuBM (Here Ari is in therapy with his wife where he clearly does not want to be)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d04m0OZZQAY (another clip of Ari disrespecting his wife during a therapy session)
On the other end of spectrum, being virtually the same show but for women, is Sex and The City. SATC represents the empowerment of the single woman and being able to be successful without a man by their side (Penny, 2010). The show chronicles the 4 main characters ups and downs of life and more specifically, all of their relationship woes. The main character Carrie has a profession of a sex columnist, writing often about the many different men in her life. If there were a counterpart to Ari, it would be Samantha Jones. Her character is also a very rich and successful businesswoman who defiles men on a constant basis. She is an alpha female who has no shame in hooking up and having sex with as many men as she wants whenever she wants and wanting nothing more than that from them. She constantly denies the affection of a man when they get too close and claims she doesn’t believe in marriage and never wants to be tied down to the same man forever. The 4 characters in SATC get breakfast every day and talk about their hook ups much like the men in Entourage do. The way both of these groups of men and women are talking about the opposite gender is both embarrassing and disgusting. The sexist men of Entourage speak of women and how “slutty” they are and how many of these “whores” they have hooked up with, but then don’t understand why they can’t find a decent girl who hasn’t had sex with over 50 men. The women of SATC sit around at breakfast and bitch about how disgusting and shady men are but then go out to bars and laugh about picking out their one-night stands for that night. Both groups have such a cynical outlook on what a meaningful relationship is because they are too busy disrespecting each other. This is a direct reflection of the hook up society we are living in today. Men want a virgin porn star and women want a dangerous safe guy. As one can see from both series, it took awhile for the men and women to figure out how to be in meaningful relationships. Just because both sexes are doing it doesn’t make it okay. The depictions shown in these two series will only continue to influence the “hook up” culture we live in today and the continued sexism by both male and females in series such as these will be recreated off screen and into our society.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Av-4OFRj2LQ (How many sexual partners have you had?....I’m counting)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpUVXlGqkSM (Samantha being Samantha)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6738DN4I3s (The 4 women talk about men)
Penny, L. (2010, May 28). Why men hate sex and the city.
Rhetoric and Popular Culture. (2011, April 7).