House of Lies

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House of Lies
House of Lies title card.png
House of Lies title card
GenreComedy-drama
Created byMatthew Carnahan
Based onHouse of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then Tell You the Time 
by Martin Kihn
Starring
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes36 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)Crescendo Productions
Totally Commercial Films
Refugee Productions
Matthew Carnahan Circus Products
Showtime Networks
Broadcast
Original channelShowtime
Original runJanuary 8, 2012 (2012-01-08)  – present
External links
Website
 
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House of Lies
House of Lies title card.png
House of Lies title card
GenreComedy-drama
Created byMatthew Carnahan
Based onHouse of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then Tell You the Time 
by Martin Kihn
Starring
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes36 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)Crescendo Productions
Totally Commercial Films
Refugee Productions
Matthew Carnahan Circus Products
Showtime Networks
Broadcast
Original channelShowtime
Original runJanuary 8, 2012 (2012-01-08)  – present
External links
Website

House of Lies is an American comedy-drama television series created by Matthew Carnahan.[1] The show, which premiered on Showtime on January 8, 2012, is based on the book, House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then Tell You the Time, written by Martin Kihn, a former consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. It follows a group of management consultants who stop at nothing to get business deals done.

On February 1, 2012, House of Lies was renewed for a second season.[2] The second season premiered January 13, 2013 at 10 pm.[3] The second season finale premiered April 7, 2013.

On January 29, 2013, House of Lies was renewed for a third season.[4] Season 3 began airing on January 12, 2014 and ended April 6, 2014.

On February 18, 2014, House of Lies was renewed for a fourth season. [5]

Premise[edit]

The show focuses on the personal and business lives of Marty Kaan (Don Cheadle), a manipulative, immoral, driven and cold management consultant.

Originally, Marty was a highly successful partner at consultancy firm Galweather Stearn, where he headed up a pod consisting of engagement manager Jeannie van der Hooven (Kristen Bell) and associates Clyde Oberholdt (Ben Schwartz) and Doug Guggenheim (Josh Lawson). He later leaves this position to head up his own firm, Kaan & Associates.

In addition to the questionable business practices of Marty and his team, the series also focuses on Marty's personal life; he deals with his psychotic management consultant ex-wife Monica (Dawn Olivieri), his retired-psychiatrist father Jeremiah (Glynn Turman) and his confidently flamboyant son Roscoe (Donis Leonard, Jr).The main character Marty often breaks the fourth wall, popular in shows such as House of Cards, he talks to the viewers in a freeze frame bit in which he alone moves and the others in the background 'freeze' but continue where they left off before the bit. Alternatively he talks to the audience while everyone moves but the others seem oblivious to the fact that he is on a monologue.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Recurring cast[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Season 2[edit]

Season 3[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Promotional poster for the first season of House of Lies.

Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker, reviewing the pilot episode, thought the show's premise "sounds terrific in concept", that "Cheadle and Bell are each in their own way exceedingly charming performers with a devilish aspect to their images", and that it has debuted at a good time: "at this time in history, who doesn't want to see undeservingly wealthy people get fleeced, or at least brought low by their avarice?" But ultimately Tucker found House of Lies wanting, writing that it is actually not "all that interesting", and that its "crucial weakness is its dead language". For Tucker, "there's no novelty or freshness in House of Lies' patter or its penis-placement" (the latter comment being a reference to House of Lies' "butt-load of the sort of sexual activity one can get away with on pay-cable").[6]

In stark contrast, Matt Rouch, writing in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, thought that "as a pitiless, biting satire of the debauched state of American big business, it's no lie to call this one of the smartest, funniest shows of the new year", praising its being "[d]eeply cynical, garish in its raunchiness and always rudely, lewdly hilarious". It "swims in a shark tank of such appalling survival-of-the-nastiest bad behavior it could launch its own channel: Human Animal Planet". Where Tucker finds House of Lies' lines and dialogue poor, Rouch praises Don Cheadle's character's lines: Cheadle's character "often steps out of a freeze-frame to deliver scathing stylized asides to the audience, talking straight to the camera to teach us his lingo and soulless trade secrets".[7] (By contrast, Tucker found these freeze-frame asides a "visual gimmick" and complained of derivative lines: "Creator Matthew Carnahan [...] loads his new show with lines that sound borrowed from Glengarry Glen Ross ("Closing is what I do!")."[6]

After the mixed reception of the premiere season, House of Lies received more positive critic reviews in its second season, with many critics commenting on the improved cohesion of the season and the more consistent tone.

The show's third season received similarly positive reactions from critics, with the lead performances of Cheadle and Bell, as well as the guest roles of Harris and Phifer, being singled out for praise.

Development and production[edit]

The series is executively produced by Matthew Carnahan, Jessika Borsiczky, and Stephen Hopkins, with the pilot written by Carnahan and directed by Hopkins. On December 13, 2010, House of Lies was given a pilot order.[8] On April 7, 2011, the series was given a 12 episode pick-up by Showtime.[9] The series is based on Martin Kihn's book, House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then Tell You the Time.[10] David Nevins, president of entertainment at Showtime, announced during the 2011 Television Critics Association press tour that the show was set to premiere on January 8, 2012.[11]

Casting[edit]

Casting announcements began in December 2010, with Don Cheadle as the first actor to be cast, as Marty Kaan, "a highly successful, cut-throat consultant who is never above using any means (or anyone) necessary to get his clients the information they want". The next actor to be cast was Dawn Olivieri who plays Monica, "Marty's crazy, pill-popping ex-wife and biggest professional competition as her consulting firm is No. 1 compared to Marty's No. 2."[12] Ben Schwartz and Josh Lawson were cast next, Schwartz playing Clyde Oberholt, a member of Marty's team and his closest friend, and Lawson as Doug Guggenheim, Marty's Harvard-educated associate.[13] Last cast were Kristen Bell, who plays Jeannie van der Hooven, "a razor-sharp, Ivy-League graduate who works at Marty’s firm", Donis Leonard Jr. as Roscoe Kaan, Marty's son, and Glynn Turman as Jeremiah Kaan, Marty's psychoanalyst father.[14] Later, Richard Schiff was cast as Marty's boss.[15]

House of Lies Live[edit]

On December 29, 2013, Showtime presented "House of Lies Live" which featured members of the main cast and guest actors on the show performing at the UCB theatre in the first broadcast of long form improv.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Awards and nominations for House of Lies
YearAssociationCategoryNominee(s)Result
2012Primetime Emmy AwardBest Actor in a Comedy SeriesDon CheadleNominated
Golden Globe AwardBest Actor TV Series – Comedy or MusicalDon Cheadle[16]Won
2013NAACP Image AwardOutstanding Actor in a Comedy SeriesDon CheadleWon
Critics' Choice Television AwardBest Actor in a Comedy SeriesDon Cheadle[16]Nominated
Primetime Emmy AwardBest Actor in a Comedy SeriesDon CheadleNominated
Golden Globe AwardGolden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or ComedyDon CheadleNominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ng, Philiana (April 7, 2011). "Showtime Greenlights 'Homeland,' 'House of Lies'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 23, 2011. 
  2. ^ Gorman, Bill (February 1, 2012). "Showtime Renews 'Shameless,' 'House Of Lies,' & 'Californication'". TVByTheNubmers.com. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Californication Season 6, Shameless Season 3 And House Of Lies Season 2 Premiere Dates Set". Cinemablend.com. 2012-09-17. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  4. ^ Seat42f. "House Of Lies Renewed". Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  5. ^ Seat42f. "Showtime Renews House Of Lies". Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Tucker, Ken (January 8, 2012). "'House of Lies' premiere review: Too often, a house of pain". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Seattle Pi TV Guide". [dead link]
  8. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (December 13, 2010). "It's Official: Showtime Picks Up Comedy Pilot 'House of Lies' Starring Don Cheadle". Deadline.com. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Showtime(R) Moves Into House and Home: Network Orders 12 Half-Hours of "House of Lies", 12 One-Hour Episodes of Drama "Homeland"". The Futon Critic. April 7, 2011. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  10. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (June 15, 2011). "5 Things to Know About 'House of Lies'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 23, 2011. 
  11. ^ Sellers, John (August 4, 2011). "TCA: Steve Carell Set to Produce Showtime Interview Series". Reuters. Retrieved August 9, 2011. 
  12. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 20, 2011). "Showtime's Comedy Pilot Starring Don Cheadle Finds A Lead". Deadline.com. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  13. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 24, 2011). "TV CASTINGS: Ben Schwartz, Sherri Shepherd, Jeffrey Nordling Join Pilots". Deadline.com. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 31, 2011). "Kristen Bell To Co-Star In Showtime's 'House of Lies' Comedy Pilot". Deadline.com. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  15. ^ Ben Block, Alex (September 15, 2011). "Showtime's 'House of Lies' Adds Richard Schiff". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  16. ^ a b "All the winners from the 2013 Golden Globes". news.com.au. January 14, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 

External links[edit]