Judge David Johnson lies in his house.
Our reviews of House of Lies: The Third Season (published January 27th, 2015), House of Lies: The Fourth Season (published April 16th, 2016), and House of Lies: The First Season (published January 9th, 2013) are also available.
Pants on fire.
This stylish, sultry corporate comedy returns for a follow-up to an underwhelming first season. Does the sophomore effort raise its game?
Facts of the Case
Marty Kaan (Don Cheadle, Iron Man 2) is still the man. As one of the most ruthless and sought-after management consultants, he's smack in the middle of some of the biggest deals, making bank and banging hotties. His latest venture gets him in the casino business, and in it he sees a potential career-altering strategy.
Meanwhile, his colleagues are tackling their own life-changing issues: Jeannie (Kristen Bell, Veronica Mars) is dealing with a tumultuous love life; Clyde (Ben Schwartz) confronts the human consequences of his money-grubbing; and Doug (Josh Lawson) meets his dream girl.
I think this show is pretty brutal, but I'd be a hypocrite if I said I hated watching it. It manages to keep my attention throughout, even though I did sort of hate myself for it. Well, that might be overstating things a bit; House of Lies isn't garbage mechanically. The production is stylish, the actors are top-shelf and you can tell there was through put into the writing and plotting.
Where the series faltered was two-fold: 1) it wasn't funny and 2) there wasn't a likable character within eyesight. That's a tough summit to crest if you want to deliver a respectable thirty minutes of small-screen entertainment. The first season? Total failure in both respects. The second season? Total failure in both respects.
Calling House of Lies a "comedy" is employing the word far too liberally than it was designed. There are smarmy elements, but this show is more soap than anything. So, you know, I'll let complaint number one slide. The show is not funny; but I'm not entirely sure that's the point.
The characters? Yeah, I'd assume the writers did want us to give half a crap about their lot in life. If that's the point, then the scope of the show's failure is staggering. Not a single one these stiffs bring anything worthwhile to the table:
Actually, none of these detestable morons are real. And when the writers hint at putting them into positions where their smallness is revealed (Jeannie's blind date, Clyde tying a man's death to a deal eh worked), the repercussions are glossed over and it's back to partying and pimping. Are we supposed to be pulling for these ass-clowns?
Twelve episodes, two discs, 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, Dolby Digital 5.1 and cast commentaries on two episodes.
Perhaps we are supposed to live vicariously through these people? I'd rather live vicariously through a gerbil being digested by a python.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Showtime Entertainment
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