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.