Welcome to a series of articles I like to call: The Jerk Chronicles. In this series, we take a look at some of the most notorious jerks in all of film and TV. These characters aren't full fledged villains, but they don't make it easy for the audience to like them either. However, despite their ethical flaws, we find ourselves enjoying their antics and their story arcs.
To start things off, lets talk about Entourage.
The hit HBO show that ran from 2004 to 2011 is very much an acquired taste. If you are able to get past the often crude humor and the frat-boy-like mentality of the main characters, you'll be able enjoy a show about four childhood friends who manage to stick together in a town (Los Angles) where back-stabbings reign supreme. But, to be fair, the comedy of this show can easily turn off the most sensitive of potential viewers. When it comes to this sort of comedy, however, one character on this show can be seen as the master:
"Super Agent" Ari Gold.
In a society that many claim to be overly PC, Ari Gold seems tailor made to be the most hated character in TV history. I mean, what would you think of a man who has said so many charming quotes. Most of Ari's dialogue features him saying some of the most racist, sexist and homophobic quotes you'll ever hear on a major TV show. On the surface, it may seem impossible for this character to be liked.
Except... he not only is he liked, he's loved.
Ari Gold is arguably the most popular character on the show. His trademark rants, while often offensive, make for some of the best moments in the entire series. This isn't just the lovers of crude humor talking either; Jeremy Piven (the man who plays Ari) won multiple Emmys and a Golden Globe for his performances. So, what is about Ari that makes fans and critics alike so forgiving about his transgressions?
Well, for starters, Ari serves as a hilarious contradiction to the public's general consensus on Hollywood. Especially in recent history, Hollywood is viewed as a sort of progressive, liberal haven by many outsiders. Of course, anyone who knows the history of Hollywood knows that's not exactly true even today (as whitewashing and unequal pay are still prevalent topics). Ari's character hammers in the point that the movie industry isn't the liberal paradise people think.
But the biggest reason why Ari Gold is so loved is his dedication to everything in his life.
Like most likable jerks in entertainment, Ari has that one thing about that makes you overlook all of the jerky things he says (his being his dedication). Throughout the series, you clearly see that he cares for the people in his life. As a talent agent, he goes above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that his prized client (Vinny Chase) is one of the top stars in the business. Even when Ari says some of the most disgusting things to his peers, you still get the feeling that he cares deeply about them. The perfect example of this is Ari's relationship with his assistant (from Season 2 to the end of the show) Lloyd. Though Ari throws countless racist and homophobic comments towards Lloyd, he still considers Lloyd a close friend (which makes them arguably the best comedic duo on the entire show).
In a strange way, Ari Gold is like the idealized version of that one right-wing uncle we all have. You might disagree with the majority of the things he says (depending on where you stand on the political spectrum), but you know that he will stick his neck out for you. When Ari Gold is on your side, he will fight tooth and nail for you (even as he's mercilessly mocking you).
And if you still don't like him, I'm sure Ari would one thing to say to you: