HBO's newest "dramedy", Ballers, is Entourage on steroids. Or at least, that's what its producers want you to think. The show follows Spencer Strasmore, played by The Rock, as a retired linebacker turned financial consultant to current NFL stars.
Like Entourage, you'll get a glimpse into the life of luxury that comes with certain professional careers. In this case, the life of an NFL player is apparently full of scantily-clad women, bar fights and lots of money.
During the first episode, The Rock deals with the death of a close friend while attempting to help a hot-headed client handle his financial uncertainty and rebuild his NFL career.
The trailer perfectly describes the series premiere - full of shiny, expensive things, but lacking any real substance.
As a fan of Entourage, I don't think the comparison here is entirely fair. Not only does this show lack the comedic appeal of Entourage, I find myself generally disinterested in every character. In Entourage you've got Turtle, Eric and occasionally Drama to sympathize with as they try to make it in Hollywood.
In Ballers, everyone has already made it, driving Ferraris and throwing luxurious pool parties.
Also, calling this show a comedy is a bit of a stretch. Even Entourage got a couple juvenile laughs within the first few episodes, eventually going on to develop decent writing that fit every character pretty well. Ballers fails to do so from the get go.
Perhaps this is harsh for a first episode review. But as much as I love Entourage, do we really need another HBO show with similar displays of wealth and unrealistic lifestyles? If it stood out with unique comedic appeal, maybe so. But in my opinion, Ballers will not last and it certainly won't get eight seasons and a movie like Vinny Chase and the boys.