Sure, the similarities are all over the place. Both shows give a behind-the-scenes look into its respective profession portrayed on screen (one about the NFL, the other about the movie industry), both are kind of flashy, both are bombarded with cameos, both are centered on a group on guys being dudes, both are 30-minute dramedies, both are executive produced by Mark Wahlberg and list goes on and on. But before I dive deeper into differentiating the shows, I must say that “Entourage” is one of my top-3 favorite shows of all-time.
I was late to the “Entourage” party, but I binge-watched the series on HBO Go and fell in love with the message behind the bravado of Vinnie Chase, E, Johnny Drama, Turtle and Ari Gold. The boys taught me to enjoy the ride of life because everything will work out in the end. That message stuck with me, and I try to live my life with that mindset. It was the kind of show that was just fun to watch but really struck a chord and taught some legitimate life lessons along the way.
But now with the beginning of the third season of “Ballers,” something hasn’t quite hit me the way “Entourage” did at that point. “Ballers” is definitely a fun show to watch, but I don’t feel as connected to Spencer and the boys as I did with Vinnie and the boys, and that’s the difference. “Entourage” did a great job of giving us the flash that comes with Hollywood but, at the same time, peeling back the curtains and allowing us to get to know each character. We haven’t really gotten that yet with “Ballers” (granted it has only been three seasons so far).
I hope in the coming weeks we get to know Spencer, Ricky, Charles, Vernon, Joe, Jason and the rest of the characters on “Ballers” more, and while “Entourage” and “Ballers” have a ton of similarities, the two shows are very different. Let’s try to stop comparing this new series to an all-time great, and remember: manage expectations.