His love for The Wire and television sports is already well-known--he mentioned The Wire as his favorite show a few times on the campaign trail, and he was featured on ESPN on a Barackatology segment, where he picked the NCAA tournament. (For the record, he picked a lot of chalk, and of course, he ended up picking the champion, North Carolina.)
Two shows are signaled out by the two articles: Entourage and Gossip Girl. For the uninitiated, Entourage is about a movie star who bring three of his friends, one of them himself a former star, to California with him as he tries to make it big. The show is based loosely on Mark Wahlberg's life and the agent is based on Ari Emanuel, the brother of Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.
But the familial relationship is not why Obama watches the show--like everyone else, it has to be the fantasy aspect of an existence lived by a different set of rules and standards. Though the show has legitimate drama and tension, the underlying message to me is the fantasy of American men living in a world of work and play without female guidance or less sinisterly, the positive but complicated nature of male friendship. Of course, it's about the glamour of Hollywood too.
There might be some parallels between life in the White House, though it's not exclusively a male-oriented world, and gritty details of running government seems essentially less romantic.
Gossip Girl is at its essence about class, and the difficulties class relationships cause among a relatively undifferentiated group of privileged prep school students. And it's about the essential seriousness of high school, and of course, adults watching it see the parallels between it and their own complicated lives, which remind them of high school.
There might be some parallels between life in the White House, though it's not exclusively a male-oriented world, and gritty details of running government seems essentially less romantic. The fact that Obama loves Entourage is just another piece of evidence that confirms his essential masculinity. Combine that with at least a reference to Gossip Girl, also shows his desire to keep up with pop culture.
Though their popularity exclude them from true cult status, the fervent nature of followers of Gossip Girl--New York spends many column inches each week confirming its authenticity--and Entourage point to popular culture watchers--count our president among them--that at least knowing about the shows is crucial.