Category Archives: House of Lies

house of lies recapping: microphallus

Previously on House of Lies: Amsterdam

Synopsis: Marty arrives at the offices to find Greg Norbert there to announce the possible acquisition of Galweather by MetroCapital; the Pod flies to Indiana to consult for a beverage company, where Marty applies his management skills to turn a loss into a win; Clyde questions whether Doug really hooked up with a transvestite; Roscoe struggles with the confusing feelings of liking both a boy and a girl (via Showtime)

Similar to Spaulding Winter (John Ross Bowie, The Big Bang Theory), Marty has “deep primal wounds”. If you don’t realize his Ari Gold-style posturing is compensating for something, you probably didn’t notice that. Fortunately, the writers kicked off this episode with a brief, nightmare induced visit from Marty’s dead mom on the anniversary of her death. See? Marty has issues.

You may have also noticed that this show has no limits and doesn’t really seem to have a line, or even a moral compass. I was convinced that was Jeannie’s role, but this episode nullified that theory. I’m not sure if they’re shoving their ‘limitlessness’ in our faces and if they are, I’m not sure if this will continue or if they’re trying to grab attention because the show is still new. Regardless, Marty and his kids’ level of depravity is growing on me.

MetroCapital and subsequently, Greg, is back and it looks like this will mean very bad things for Marty, but not too bad since Marty clearly has nine (untouchable) lives. Skip Galweather (Richard Schiff, The West Wing) has sold (?) his company to MetroCapital and he’s more than willing to let Marty fall on his ass…for business purposes, since it’s clear during their brief interaction that those two aren’t friends. Skip takes that lack of friendship personal, which he uses as justification to make any future screwing over of Marty ‘just business’. There’s a story there and hopefully it’s a fun one.

While we wait for that to develop, as well as Roscoe, who I must note was an absolute vision of pastel, getting more screen time next week, here are the best (and weirdest) moments of Microphallus:

  • “Daddy, it is a very bad day.” – Clyde…who should have more scenes with Marty, but please, no more pseudo-suicidal cliffhangers to close out episodes.
  • Marty telling Greg that April says Rachel (his wife) ‘tastes like Pink Berry’.
  • The Pod going to Indiana, which is home of the Raggedy Ann Doll, no really. Was there a brief stop to Pawnee perhaps?
  • Alan Dale (The O.C.) as John, the CEO of IBC. He was also on Once Upon a Time last night.
  • Spaulding and Janelle Winter (Amy Landecker) as…swingers? Or at least she was fine with him unleashing his foot fetish on Jeannie. And he was relatively OK with her pursuing Marty’s ‘black dick’, ‘big black cock’ or ‘big black dick’ (yes, all three were used at some point in the episode). Also seen and/or mentioned: a kinky sex den, ‘micro dick’, ‘man clit’ and ‘teenus’.
  • Marty selling IBC out to Pepsi, which was his long-term game plan all along. In case you were in doubt of how completely on top of his game Marty is, even when it seems like he’s not.
  • Roscoe playing what looked like Gears, with his girl…and boyfriend.

Next week’s episode: Mini-mogul


Nicole is a TV junkie and TVDM helps her feed a lifelong addiction. She can be found here, providing biased commentary (sprinkled with a few Pop Up Video-esque insights) on her favorite shows, every week.

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house of lies recapping: amsterdam

Previously on House of Lies: Gods of Dangerous Financial Instruments


Marty and his team (Jeannie, Clyde and Doug) head to Phoenix to wield their magical consultation powers and repair a fractured sports franchise. The Huskie owners are divorcing and as is usually the case, things are messy. Jeannie thinks she’s meeting up with her ex-beau, Derek, for brief hookup, but finds out that he’s really there to offer her job opportunity. Throughout all this, Marty continues his ongoing battle with Roscoe’s Principal Gita over his son’s affinity for cross-dressing.

Marty and Monica continue their ex-sex, which results in an amazingly crass exchange and a mention of tickling taints. So far, I love the way Marty’s little life lessons are interlaced into his personal and professional life. He was able to instruct us on being ‘willing to violate’ so that ‘all that’s left is the yes’ using the visual of him “violating” his ex-wife”. The opening scene ending with them choking each other until they were both forced to cry out the safe word, “Amsterdam” of course.

Doug and Clyde immediately knew Marty recently had sex, which notes the closeness of their team, something I really want to see develop over the season. Jeannie is the perfect fit in their boy’s club, but she does consider leaving them for another firm. Marty’s obvious “maybe I did, maybe I didn’t” response to Jeannie when she realizes that he killed the deal she was working on let us know that Marty has a bit of a heart and that in his eyes, Jeannie is an invaluable part of their puzzle. Speaking of that puzzle, if Doug is the numbers guy and Clyde provides the visuals, and Marty’s obvious role is obvious…what does Jeannie bring to the table?

If Amsterdam is any indication, this show will follow a basic formula: team gets a client, team visits client, team saves client and/or team loses client, team bonds and episode ends. It also demonstrated that this show has something that makes it fun to watch, with Don Cheadle’s Marty channeling Ari Gold if he was single as one of the main draws. Outside of Marty the Kaan-man (I’m sure whoever thought that up was especially pleased with themselves), here were the other great things about this episode:

  • Doug wears vanilla lightly spritzed behind his ears for the ladies, because we associate that scent with romance. Apparently, this isn’t entirely untrue.
  • SYTYCD reference followed by an actual Cat Deeley appearance. Her look was toned down from her usual sparkly garbs, but she was still credited as “the dime piece of all time” and had the ability to make Doug jizz in his pants. Deeley win.
  • “What’s another word for cunt?”
  • Watching Clyde “school” Doug on how to be smooth and land a lady. As a woman, I’m not at all ashamed to admit Clyde would have gotten a “yes” when his fake sister, Amelia, was mentioned. Jean-Ralphio would be proud. We already knew Marty has the magical ability to woo any woman, but apparently it extends to those around him as well….I want to see more of that.
  • “You have to be willing to violate. Violate personal space. Violate manners. Violate the law. Hell, violate every molecule so all that is left is the yes.”
  • I have a feeling I’m going to slowly fall in love with Roscoe, but the whole fudge packer exchange hints that it won’t be all jokes and video games for the father and son as the season progresses.

Next week’s episode: Microphallus

Nicole is a TV junkie and TVDM helps her feed a lifelong addiction. She can be found here, providing biased commentary (sprinkled with a few Pop Up Video-esque insights) on her favorite shows, every week.

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house of lies: gods of dangerous financial instruments

Are you a Parks and Recreation fan who feels Jean-Ralphio is one of the show’s best characters? This show has Ben Schwartz.

Did you cry when Veronica Mars was cancelled without a proper ending to the Logan/Veronica epic love saga? This show has Kirsten Bell.

Were you a fan of The Golden Palace and Picket Fences? This show has Don Cheadle.

That line-up was enough for me to tune in and promise to follow my “three episode minimum for new shows that look kind of interesting” rule. However, after watching House of Lies’ premiere episode, which is perfectly placed between two other raunchy comedies (Shameless and Californication), I think I’ll stick around for the full season.

Cheadle plays Marty Kaan, the showman of the consulting firm he works for and “daddy” to his team: Jeannie (Bell), Clyde (Schwartz) and Doug (Josh Lawson). As management consultants, the group specializes in making each company feel accomplished enough to justify paying for consultation services but not quite perfect enough (“Make them think they’re almost a 10”).

The episode didn’t focus on their dynamic all that much, but we did see that each member plays a particular role and together, they run as a seamless unit. How all of this plays out over the season will be interesting to see, particularly the sexual tension between Jeannie and Marty. With Entourage off the air, cable television was really missing a cocky, flawed and potentially loveable character, a role Marty could easily slip into.

We also didn’t see a lot of Monica Talbot (Dawn Olivieri, Veronica Mars, Heroes, True Blood, etc.) as Marty’s crazy ass, pill-popping ex-wife. But the few moments she was on the screen hinted that it was just the tip of an insane iceberg since Monica is the ex and Marty’s professional competition.

Before we head into the best parts of the episode, I have to address my least favorite: the freeze frames. Zach Morris perfected the “time out” and maybe it’ll work for this show too…but for right now, I’d prefer the narration without the added gimmick.

The pacing of Gods of Dangerous Financial Instruments (I can’t be the only one that finds that episode title just a tad lengthy) allowed for some great moments:

  • Marty’s son Roscoe (Donis Leonard Jr.) tries out for the role of Sandy in Grease, but is given the role of Rizzo….which he kills!
  • Perception being defined as “horse shit you can leverage.”
  • Marty making out with April (Megalyn Echikunwoke, 90210). Yes, April is a stripper and yes, Marty is aware that he’s not her first or last “love” affair, which is what made their interactions so fun.
  • Which one of you is she fucking, or is it a group thing?” Followed by one of the suits with Monica turning around, smugly.
  • Greg Norbert (Greg Germann, Ally McBeal) and his trophy wife, Rachel (Anna Camp, True Blood). Greg calls her a “dead lay” while she’s engaging in some girl-on-girl bathroom sex with April.
  • The drunken fight between Greg and Marty, which demonstrated that neither guy would ever put ‘fighter’ on his resume.

Next week’s episode: Amstredam

Nicole is a TV junkie and TVDM helps her feed a lifelong addiction. She can be found here, providing biased commentary (sprinkled with a few Pop Up Video-esque insights) on her favorite shows, every week.

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