HBO's 'Entourage' Offers Political Lessons

Monday, 25 Jul 2011 11:13 AM

By Jon Friedman

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As we all know, politicians can learn a lot about real life from television — and I'm not talking about Sarah Palin and Tina Fey.

If Washington politicians could learn a few things from the HBO hit series "Entourage," they'd be ahead of the game. They'd learn about the power of the swagger — in a word, that's of paramount importance: the swagger. It was on display Sunday night on the season debut of the show.

Politicians can't always look like Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier in real life), of course. But they can display Vince's what-me-worry demeanor. They can project an easy confidence that the voters love to identify with.

Meanwhile, they also can learn from "E" — Eric Murphy, aka Kevin Connolly. He is street-smart, not afraid to challenge the status quo and utterly selfless. He is a good compromiser. This trait also endears a politician to the voters.

"Turtle" is the uber-loyal servant to Vince — but he is no lackey. He has his dignity. He is the voice of reason in a pinch. When everyone is having a conniption, Jerry Ferrara's Turtle stays calm and cool.

The classic closer on the show is Jeremy Piven's "Ari Gold," the classic wheeler-dealer, the in-your-face negotiator, the guy you don't want to meet in a dark conference room.

I wish my congressperson had a whiff of Ari — someone who will get both of his hands dirty and even risk burning a bridge to get the job done for his favorite clients. And the voters are the clients, right?

Where does this leave my favorite character on the show, Johnny "Drama" Chase? Drama is not afraid to let you see him sweat. He looks endearing, not ridiculous. There are times when you want to see a politicians turn up the heat and show us his or her true colors.

The show flourishes because there are no divas here on display. Together, the guys comprise a composite of what we all want to be and see in our friends. We can all identify with one or another of the cast members. They are us.

Politicians can learn a lot from these likable, street-smart, charismatic guys — even though they're from New York City and they live in Hollywood!

Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for MarketWatch. Click here to read his latest column.





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