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House Of Lies: Season One DVD Review

House Of LiesCreator: Matthew Carnahan

Starring: Don Cheadle, Kristen Bell, Ben Scwartz, Josh Lawson

Running Time: 396 minutes

Certificate: 18

Extras: Hanging with Don Cheadle, Hanging with Kristen Bell, Who is Marty Kaan?, Commentary Episodes 1, 2, 5, 11 and 12, Management Consulting 101, The Rainmaker, Dress for Success

Showtime’s line-up includes DEXTER, CALIFORNICATION, WEEDS and HOMELAND, added to the list last year was Don Cheadle starring HOUSE OF LIES. Looking at the lives of four management consultants the series is profane, clever and very enjoyable.

Marty Kaan (Cheadle) can close any deal, he has the world in his hands, but his life is a mess. His cross-dressing son, broken marriage and huge ego leave him unfulfilled, as along with his team: Jeannie (Bell), Clyde (Schwartz) and Doug (Lawson), he flies around the country manipulating clients for monetary gain.

On the surface HOUSE OF LIES should be difficult to enjoy; egos and chauvinistic characters appear at every turn, and almost all the female characters are treated as sex-objects. Fortunately Matthew Carnahan, David Walpert and Karin Gist’s scripts are whip-smart, tidy and explanatory of the confusing jargon in each episode.

Lead Cheadle fills the screen with confidence and pomposity, particularly during cutaways as he speaks to the camera, yet manages to remain likeable thanks to his weaknesses. Doug and Clyde make a solid, if sometimes annoying, double-act offering the main source of comedy, whilst Kristen Bell’s Jeannie is the uptight backbone of the team.

Having just commenced its second season in the US, HOUSE OF CARDS is a nice change of pace for US television. It has a cleverness, debauched sense of humour and an excellent central performance from Cheadle. It won’t appeal to everyone because of its style, but those that take to it will find much to enjoy.

Extras: A few nice commentaries and some nice insight into the main players round off a nice two-disc package.

4 StarsHOUSE OF LIES: SEASON ONE is released on DVD 21st January

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Sam is a bloody lovely lad born and raised in Bristol (he’s still there and can’t escape). Favourite films include THE LOST BOYS, DRIVE, FIGHT CLUB and COMMANDO, well pretty much any 1980s Arnie film you can throw his way…even RED SONJA. Sam once cancelled a Total Film subscription after they slagged off Teen Wolf. He resubscribed 2 days later.

1 Comment

  1. Sasha

    January 30, 2013 at 2:37 am

    Thanks for sharing Sam! I’ve heard many great things about this show, so I figured now would be the perfect time to catch up with the series before I get too far behind with the second. I’ve always enjoyed Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell, so I made sure to add this to the top of my Blockbuster @Home queue from DISH. I’ll get it in the mail in the next couple of days and will most likely watch the entire season in one sitting. No matter what it’ll come at the perfect time since I took a few days off work at DISH and it’s pretty chilly in my area. It’ll be delivered right to my home and I luckily won’t have to go brave the cold to rent it any other way. I can’t wait to see what it’s all about! :)

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