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House of Lies “Gods of Dangerous Financial Instruments” Preview 

Photo Credit: Patrick Ecclesine/SHOWTIME

Warning: Spoilers Discussed

I forget how much I like Don Cheadle until I see him in a role like this. He’s great as a confident, slick, yes man. He gets paid an obscene amount of money, has an interestingly dysfunctional relationship with his psycho ex-wife, and chases everything with boobs. And it’s surprisingly hard to hate him. He calls people on their bullsh*t, gives people what they want, and is a pretty decent to his gender-challenged (his words) preadolescent child. What’s not to love?

When I first heard about House of Lies, I have to admit I was in it for Kristen Bell. I’ve been hoping she’d come back to TV – and as more than just the voice of Gossip Girl. So when I heard she was connected to this project I was immediately intrigued. Sometime after that I heard Don Cheadle and Ben Schwartz were also involved and that meant I had two more great reasons to watch. I was sad to see Ben Shwartz leave Parks and Rec because he was brilliant as Jean-Ralphio but excited to see what he’d do here. I didn’t even realize TVD’s Dawn Olivieri or Glynn Turman was in this until I watched the episode. It’s such a happy coincidence because they’re both great.

In this episode we meet Marty Kaan and his team (or “pod”) of management consultants. One thing that may became irritating quickly are the “stop and explain” moments – when Marty pauses the action and steps out of it to explain what’s going on. One the one hand, it’s kind of nice to see him break it down in his very Marty way. In another, it happens a bit more than I think it should. But there are a lot of things about the management game that I don’t understand (and, quite frankly, don’t want to understand) that he explains to us. So when Galweather & Stearn goes to New York to meet with MetroCapital, Marty takes time out to guide us through the steps of the initial meeting. It’s actually quite interesting. I like seeing him go through his enormous flash cards and I really like seeing him squirm when things aren’t going well.

On a personal note, Marty is a mess. He’s got mommy issues, which manifest themselves in a few different ways. He’s got a love/hate – heavy on the hate – relationship with his ex-wife. He’s sleeping through the female population of both Los Angeles and New York as if he’s got something to prove, while flirting with Jeannie the lone woman on his team. There’s a moment in the episode where I think he might actually be showing some emotion. I can’t be sure; it might all be part of his game. Either way, I’m hooked. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

House of Lies premieres Sunday, January 8th at 10/9c on Showtime.

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