Saturday, December 8, 2012

Women in the "Bro" Show

    Entourage. Beloved by most "bros", the hit HBO series serves as a model for many bromances around the country. Audiences devoutly follow the story of Vincent Chase as he gradually achieves fame, fortune, and success. His three best friends - "Turtle", Eric, and of course his brother Johnny "Drama" Chase - stand by him and enjoy the fruits of his innate talent. We as viewers quickly come to adore the group, and although most of us cannot relate to their luxurious lives, we can connect with their friendships. After watching only a few episodes, I personally felt as though I had known the characters and been part of the group for years due to Entourage writers' talented ability to depict what long-lasting male friendships look like.
    In addition to the pure entertainment value the show inherently provides, Entourage also gives an intriguing view of women. Even after re-watching all eight seasons of the show, I still cannot definitively say how the show deals with women.
  Many women are portrayed as being bimbos who are to be treated with little respect. Movie-star Vince Chase is known for his sexual escapades with random women, whom he rarely stays in contact with after their encounter. The show is also ridden with appearances of attractive women that barely speak, but are instead "eye-candy" to the shows main characters.
     As well as having a plethora of attractive but ultimately insignificant women, Entourage also has a few female characters that are extremely dependent on their male counterparts. The best example of this is Mrs. Gold, wife of big-time agent Ari Gold. From the beginning, Mrs. Gold is depicted as being a "trophy wife" to Ari Gold, and in many instances is viewed by Ari as a menial aspect in his daily routine. Although we the audience often sympathize with her, we are also guilty of overlooking Mrs. Gold. This is not necessarily our fault; the writers never even bother to tell us her first name.
   From the bimbos to the weak female characters,
Entourage does give off a negative portrayal of women. However, we still can't discredit the few strong women in the show. There are a plenty of influential women in Entourage. Examples include Miller-Gold agency co-founder Barbara Miller, major studio head Dana Gordon, and the hilariously vulgar publicist Shauna Roberts. These women routinely put men in their place, and furthermore are in control of the career trajectory of Vince. They can be harsh and intimidating, and countless men in Entourage are forced to follow their orders.
      This dichotomy in the show is confusing. Are women strong or weak in Entourage? Are they complex or dull? The show doesn't provide a firm answer, and maybe this is comment on the nature of Hollywood in the real world. Perhaps the entertainment industry is not as equal as many imagine.
     Despite the speculation on the power of women in Entourage and Hollywood at large, some things seem to be relatively clear. Even though they may not be heavily involved in the lives of Vince and his best friends, women are vital to the success of popularity of the "bro" show.

 -Paton Moody


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