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Not quite making it: ‘Entourage’ east

Anyone who doesn’t get enough dude-bonding and name-dropping out of HBO’s Hollywood scenester comedy Entourage now has a new option: It’s the New York City scenester comedy How to Make It in America (HBO, Sundays, 10 p.m.), from the producers of Entourage. America’s young-guy main characters are still working on their big breaks, not yet reaping the benefits, and it focuses on a core of two friends rather than Entourage’s quartet of best pals. But it has the same obsession with celebrities, brand names and trendy night spots, only with a New York City bent that’s even more insular than Entourage’s Hollywood focus: The big guest appearance in the early episodes of America is fashion designer John Varvatos.

The Details

How to Make It in America
Two and a half stars
HBO: How to Make It In America

The characters on America are slightly less vapid than their Entourage counterparts, though, and the fact that pals Ben (Bryan Greenberg) and Cam (Victor Rasuk) still have to hustle to achieve their dream gives them a bit of an edge. Creator Ian Edelman also makes more of an effort to give screen time to the female characters, especially Evan’s interior designer ex Rachel (Lake Bell).

Still, the ins and outs of creating and marketing designer jeans, along with which clubs and parties are the best to hit up, don’t exactly make for riveting, high-stakes television. There’s a decent lived-in vibe to the character interactions, and a good sense of place thanks to the NYC location shooting, but the show is so casual and uneventful that there isn’t any reason to come back for the next episode.

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