The Truth Is Hercules
Has Little Good To Say About Showtime’s HOUSE OF LIES!!
A new Showtime sitcom about management consultants, “House of Lies” comes to us from Matthew Carnahan, who earlier created the short-lived Courtney Cox hourlong “Dirt.”
It stars Don Cheadle (“Iron Man 2”), Kristen Bell (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”), Ben Schwartz (Jean Ralphio on “Parks and Recreation”), Dawn Oliveri (Lydia the tattooed lady on “Heroes”), Griffin Dunne (“Damages”), Greg Germann (“Ally McBeal”), Richard Schiff (“The West Wing”) and Glynn Turman (“The Wire”).
A lot of swell actors in a poor show, I say. Its characters are unconvincing, often behaving in ways inconsistent with any reality I find familiar. This would be forgivable were the show as funny as, say, “Veronica Mars” or “Picket Fences” or prime “Ally McBeal,” but I laughed at the “House of Lies” pilot not once. There is, however, loads of pay-cable sex and nudity (for Cheadle, not Bell), which could come in handy in the event YouPorn ceases to exist.
... To make those engaged in such cynical transactions appealing, or merely interesting, a show's writing would have to be very, very smart and its characters would have to be extraordinarily charismatic indeed. Despite an insanely talented cast, "House of Lies" fails on those counts. ...
... while it's more entertaining than "Dirt" - thanks primarily to the chemistry of a cast headed by Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell - it suffers from the same wobbly sense of tone and direction. ...
... This Good Marty/Bad Marty dynamic may prove more fruitful for the show in the long run than the well-worn punching bag that is corporate America. ...
... Well-crafted and a little — sometimes more than a little — unpleasant ...
... slimy and almost pointlessly sordid …
... not a revolutionary show, but it is a fun study of men behaving badly. …
... so pervasively cynical - and, by the way, brilliantly funny - it has the potential of making any viewer feel his or her life isn't so bad after all. …
... I didn’t laugh much. I did, however, check my watch, still secure on my wrist, to determine when the show would be ending... .
… [Cheadle] might overplay the smarmier side of Kaan … but he also parcels out precise emotional moments as well …
... The show’s crucial weakness is its dead language: The lines have no comic lilt; no exchange between any two characters gives off sparks. When you have an actor with a tongue as adroit as Cheadle, this seems nearly cruel. ...
... There is much to admire here, from the snap in the dialogue to the show's willingness to tackle issues of race in the workplace — but there might be even more if creator Matthew Carnahan (Dirt) could learn when to stop pushing. He takes Marty too far, relying on Cheadle's skill and presence to keep us attached to the character despite Marty's behavior and the show's mannered approach. The trick works for now, but it's a bad strategy for the long run. …
... aggressively raunchy and audaciously funny …
... Although [“Lies”] isn't as smart as it might have been -- falling well short of the movie "Up in the Air," to which it bears a thematic resemblance -- the program is moderately entertaining …
10 p.m. Sunday. Showtime.
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
+ Expand All
Jan. 8, 2012, 9:10 a.m. CST
He's a good actor but no amount of writing can help when its time for him to be funny or just chill. Thats why he was terrible in IM2. And Kristen Bell on SHO is just a waste! She not getting naked like that chick on Shameless!
Jan. 8, 2012, 10:04 a.m. CST
But I don't see it going that long. Maybe if it makes through a full season she'll have to show her tits for the finale, but I would guess it won't happen until season 2 if its a success, so I'll wait. Also, I'd rather have it get cancelled, because then Ben Schwartz can go play the character he was literally born to....Jean-Ralphio.
Jan. 8, 2012, 10:52 a.m. CST
by Michael Lunney
I fucked her.
Jan. 8, 2012, 11:37 a.m. CST
Jan. 8, 2012, 11:43 a.m. CST
of course some of these same "critics" found that POS "The New Girl" funny......
Jan. 8, 2012, 12:26 p.m. CST
by Paul Hanlin Jr
Not yet, anyway. I'm getting Showtime for the first time ever and that's in large part to KB's return. Give HoL a chance. I've still not seen the pilot yet; I've exercised a great deal of self-control :)
Jan. 8, 2012, 12:37 p.m. CST
by Toe Jam
She narrates that show, but doesn't actually appear in it. I'd hardly call it "must-see TV," though my wife begs to differ.
Jan. 8, 2012, 12:46 p.m. CST
by Judge Briggs
No way I am watching this show ... it's like watching my colleagues be douche-bags on television... no, thank you!
Jan. 8, 2012, 12:55 p.m. CST
reminds me of a joke from Scrubs. Dr Cox says "If they took all the porn off the internet, the most popular site would be www.bringbacktheporn.com" The cast of this show is enough to get me to watch Even if it is bad as those above claim it to be, I'll watch a few more episodes in the hopes the cast can salvage the show.
Jan. 8, 2012, 1:52 p.m. CST
by Prof. Pop-Cult
Only thing going for this show is Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell, both of whom I really like watching. But this show concept manages to make their characters unlikable. I think the funniest thing is Cheadle's character's sexually ambiguous son.
Jan. 8, 2012, 2:35 p.m. CST
Jan. 8, 2012, 3:04 p.m. CST
Example: The scenes between Thomas Jane and the blonde girl who used to be his student in HBO's HUNG this past season. THAT'S how to do sex in a premium cable show.
Jan. 8, 2012, 3:53 p.m. CST
No nude...no view.
Jan. 8, 2012, 3:54 p.m. CST
"Look, why don't I just *give* you my panty drawer?" - MST3K
Jan. 8, 2012, 4:07 p.m. CST
You must have missed Out of Sight. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_P8CFPYXGkA#t=03m54s Or him as Captain Planet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwJaELXadKo&ob=av3e Or his hilarious turn as Fredrick Douglass: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipV2u-MxlFc
Jan. 8, 2012, 4:19 p.m. CST
by Bass Ackwards
But if it weren't for Cheadle, I wouldn't bother giving it the show chance after such a flat, obvious opener.
Jan. 8, 2012, 4:24 p.m. CST
and it's a weird combination of sadness and terror. It's hard to watch someone in a comedy when the whole time you just want someone to give them a reassuring hug.
Jan. 8, 2012, 5:16 p.m. CST
Jan. 8, 2012, 5:37 p.m. CST
Jan. 8, 2012, 6:47 p.m. CST
Veronica Mars? Picket Fences? Yeah I guess if you like those shows, this one is not for you. I thought the pilot was clever, hilarous, outrageous, over-the-top, cynical, sexy, good times, and very timely topic-wise. Cheadle can do clever comedy brilliantly, like anyone who respects him would suspect. I'm not sure if Greg Germann will be recurring but he was hilarious also. Oh yeah, and Up In The Air was a piece of over-hyped shit. Thankfully this show is the opposite.
Jan. 8, 2012, 6:58 p.m. CST
by Truxton Spangler
Not horrible, but not great, either. But, it's way too soon to pass judgement on the series. Bell's probably not gonna get nekkid, but the chick from the 4400 is no slouch.
Jan. 9, 2012, 12:43 a.m. CST
Up all night Whitney Free Agents Terra Nova Hell on wheels Franklin & Bash The increasingly bad decisions of Todd Margaret Tyler Perry's_____ __ _______ Raising Hope Alan Gregory Torchwood: Miracle Day Which means it won't last
Jan. 9, 2012, 12:50 a.m. CST
noticing a trend with the pay cable male dramadies 1. Middle aged over sexed male leads 2. Are divorced but maintain a relationship with ex wife...why... 3. They have a quirky child or children Examples: Californication Hung House of Lies Spartacus
Jan. 9, 2012, 3:41 a.m. CST
...only for how incredibly SHORT that sex scene was between Cheadle and the mother in the van at the school play. That had to be one of the hottest set ups to a sex scene I've seen in YEARS on premium cable, including the weak crap Cinemax is offering as "softcore" now... AND-IT-ONLY-LASTED-THREE-SECONDS! Her bent over, tits out, cursing, all while her and his kids are acting in Grease? Jesus. Its almost as infuriating as AMERICAN HORROR STORY never putting Alexandra Beckinridge in a decent sex scene wearing that maid outfit. Fucking fascists.
Jan. 9, 2012, 9:56 p.m. CST
Jan. 10, 2012, 3:48 p.m. CST
by rakesh patel
i work with with these kind of masters of their universe, do really need to see this on tv, and doing a show about corporate america at this time? no, not good. cheadle comes of as an asshole, not even a likable asshole, crazy ex wife, kid, dad ugh.. fast smart dialogue is great if your sorkin, here it just falls flat. I like bell, i liked her in veronica mars, her part here, nothing special. and the ending? the corporate guys win? well it's true in real life, and if the art imitates life, why bother watching the substitute? No fucking CEO hugs.
- Capone feels slightly in limbo about HEAVEN IS FOR REAL!!! -- 263 total posts 238 posts
- Capone desperately wants to pull the plug on TRANSCENDENCE!!! -- 203 total posts 159 posts
- Harry rambles fondly about Eli Roth's THE GREEN INFERNO a real red meat Jungle Cannibalism kinda movie! -- 225 total posts 82 posts
- Does This X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST International Poster Get you X-Cited?? -- 563 total posts 40 posts
- Watch the Opening 3 Minutes of Joss Whedon's IN YOUR EYES! -- 187 total posts 30 posts
- Two Images From Michael Fassbender’s MACBETH Movie!! -- 115 total posts 25 posts
- HERCULES ON THE RADIO!! Learn What Ain’t It Cool’s TV Critic Thinks Of The First Jack Bauer 24 Adventure Since 2010!! Plus GAME OF THRONES, MAD MEN, HANNIBAL, AGENTS OF SHIELD, And More!! And The Return Of FX MOVIE DOWNLOAD Star Sasha Perl-Raver!! Listen And Call In LIVE Saturday 8pm PT / 11pm ET!! -- 11 total posts 11 posts
- ‘There Is Only One Hell!!’ Stannis, Davos, Melissandre, Varys, Bran, Hodor, Reek And The Bastard Of Bolton Return For Tonight’s Big Second GAME OF THRONES Of 2014!! -- 357 total posts 10 posts
- REAL HISTORY OF SCIENCE FICTION Premiere!! The Return Of ORPHAN BLACK!! Hallmark’s A LESSON IN ROMANCE!! Lifetime’s A DAY LATE AND A DOLLAR SHORT!! Herc’s Saturday TV Talkback!! -- 10 total posts 10 posts
- Check Out Thomas Haden Church in this Trailer for WHITEWASH! -- 66 total posts 10 posts