Let’s start this article off with a slight warning: While Showtime has not put the premiere of “House of Lies” on their network yet, the first episode has aired on YouTube. Therefore, there are some minor spoilers below for the season 4 premiere. We’re intentionally not going to give too much away here.
We’ve said for some time that this is a show that we’ve always wanted to love more than we actually do. Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell are magnetic, and great in almost everything that they do. The same goes for Ben Schwartz. Yet, for some reason we just never find this show to be particularly hilarious. It almost tries too hard to be edgy, and it forgets to go for laughs sometimes. There are some good moments in the season premiere, namely as we see Marty Kaan struggle with all aspects of his life, from his new business, to figuring out how in the world he is supposed to work with a woman he considers both an ex-lover and a traitor … who also happens to be pregnant. You find out a little more about the baby in the episode.
We do appreciate very much the way that flashbacks are employed to tell this story, mostly since it gives you more of a full-circle scope when it comes to how the world is operating, and why Marty is in a position as desperate as he is in. Jeannie really is not in that much better shape, given that she also ended up making big sacrifices as a result of her decisions.
Now that we’ve said all of this, this entire premiere blew by really quickly, and other than setting up where Marty and Jeannie are, it did not do a whole lot else. We haven’t gotten deep into a business storyline yet, nor have we a personal story involving the supporting cast. The whole “Marty has family troubles” is not exactly something we get thrilled about anymore.
The biggest flaw with the show once again is that there’s no defining moment, no single gag that is so great, it’s worth telling others about. We still wish the show would take a cue from “Silicon Valley” and be just a smidgen more absurd. As it is, “House of Lies” is again a pretty captivating show and worthy of a watch, but not so much that we’d recommend going out of your way to see it. Grade: B-.
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