Unfortunately, the first episode of the drama was subject to some pretty harsh reviews from K-netizens. But what do they know, right? All K-netizens really want in a drama is for a good-looking guy and a pretty girl to fall in love under extremely unlikely circumstances and kiss and live happily ever after. 'Entourage' is definitely a refreshing breath of air, after all those dramas about practically the same predictable romance between the same typical guy and girl with no plausible plot. It's nearly impossible to judge a drama's direction based on the first episode alone, so as viewers, the best we can do about 'Entourage' at this point is to try to get to know the characters and their potential for storytelling.
Why is there no angry old man yelling at these kids to stop running in the sauna before someone falls and cracks his brain open?
The drama has four main characters: Cha Young Bin (Seo Kang Jun), Cha Jun (Lee Kwang Soo), Lee Ho Jin (Park Jung Min), and Turtle (Lee Dong Hwi). They make up a gang of four who've been friends since childhood.
Young Bin is the clueless and stubborn, strikingly handsome actor, who's had things going well for him probably his whole life. The first episode does a good job of basically laying out all of Young Bin's problems. He's got friendship issues because he has friends who are too good for him surrounding him and he doesn't realize it; he's got relationship issues with women, thanks to his childhood friend and first love; and he's pretty wishy-washy when it comes to his career.
Lee Ho Jin acts like Young Bin's manager in their friend group and is the only one who lives separately while Young Bin, Cha Jun, and Turtle live together in a nice penthouse-style apartment. By the latter half of the first episode, we find out that Ho Jin isn't actually a contracted manager and does a hell of a lot of picking up after Young Bin for low pay. On top of pop that, he gets treated like a dog by Kim Eun Gap, the CEO of Young Bin's management company. He's so busy "working" for Young Bin, that he's constantly breaking up and making up with his girlfriend.
Oops, we had makeup sex but you're leaving me to go suck up to Young Bin again so we're breaking up again.
We don't get to find out much about Cha Jun's character in the first episode. He's Young Bin's older cousin and is an actor with aspirations but lacking the face, the body, the talent, nor the appeal to back up said aspirations. He also cooks and cleans in the house that he shares with Young Bin and Turtle. Another thing to note about Cha Jun is that he may have a long and complex relationship with butts throughout the drama…
/cue 'Running Man' intercom/ Lee Kwang Soo OUT!
We basically get little to nothing about Turtle's character, other than the fact that he's the super laid-back, chill, jobless guy who loves women and sexual jokes.
Kim Eun Gap (Jo Jin Woong) is the closest thing this drama currently has to an antagonist. He's the guy who calls the shots when it comes to Young Bin's career and is out to make Young Bin a star. Eun Gap and Ho Jin butt heads frequently when it comes to making important decisions about Young Bin's career. The management company CEO also hints at a problematic family; he doesn't have much respect for his wife, but surprisingly, she knows it. He does try to pretend that he's a good father figure to his daughter, which he clearly isn't.
Finally, the last key character we see in the first episode is actress Ahn So Hee (Sohee). She's a childhood friend of the four main characters, and it's revealed that Young Bin confessed to her once, but she rejected him. According to Turtle, Young Bin has trouble hooking up with women whenever he has an encounter with Sohee, like he did at the after party for the Busan Film Festival.
OMG I'm so happy I'm not a zombie anymore!
For now, one overarching theme in this drama is the rocky relationship between Young Bin and Ho Jin. Young Bin is basically a clueless jackass to his friend. The guy actually has the nerve to tell Ho Jin that he doesn't want Ho Jin to become a real manager, but if Ho Jin needs money, he can give him as much as he needs. If that's not demeaning to a person, then I don't know what is. Ho Jin is too damn nice and loyal of a friend to Young Bin. By the end of the episode, they decide to ignore the cracks forming in their friendship, which I foresee happening A LOT in the future.
In case you were confused, you're NOT watching 'Running Man' btw.
The cameos. I thought the cameos from 'The Handmaiden' (Ha Jung Woo, Kim Tae Ri, and director Park Chan Wook), was a nice touch, going along with the drama having been filmed during the real Busan Film Festival. Lee Tae Im also managed to pull off her part well enough to give us the clues we needed about Young Bin's women-probs, as did IOI. I personally do not mind cameos being sprinkled throughout each episode since I know it's going to be a fun little side game as a viewer to recognize them all as I watch. (I hope I didn't miss any…)
So basically, the impression I got from the first episode was that Young Bin is going to be a big pain in the ass until he gets some sense knocked into him, life is gonna be pretty rough for Ho Jin, and there's gonna be a lot more of butts and sexual jokes where that came from. But no doubt, this story has real themes about real friendships and relationships between people. As for if it manages to keep me empathizing, we'll have to wait and find out.