If you’re wondering why I’ve locked my doors, drawn my curtains and settled myself down in a bunker filled with food, it’s because House of Lies is back (I never said my motive would be reasonable).
Now in its third season, the series centres around the antics of Marty Kaan (played by Don Cheadle), unscrupulous management consultant doubling as Hugh Heffner, and his ‘pod’, consisting of hot shot Jeannie (Kristen Bell), clueless Doug (Josh Lawson), and wannabe sleaze Clyde (Ben Schwartz), who go about conning horrible rich people out of horrible amounts of money, and then proceed to go on a bender until their next flight out.
Of course, a show doesn’t get to three seasons without a ‘will they won’t they’, and with House of Lies it is all about Team Jeannie and Marty- to the extent that when Marty spurred Jeannie at the end of season 2 and they didn’t get together it ruined my day.
But its a new season now, and it seems like season 3 is going to be the best yet- so far we’ve had none of the frantic cramming of season 1 episodes, and none of the bland filler of season 2. The episodes are pacing themselves with confidence and the season is setting itself up to be a cracker.
I could pretend that my love of House of Lies has something to do with its dark humour, great characterisation and vicious look at corporation politics.
But I don’t.
And I don’t enjoy it for its supposed realism either.
The reason I love House of Lies is because, somewhere in its sexy and yet slightly trashy portrayal of boardroom and bedroom antics, it seems to have lost whatever grip on reality it may have had and created a world that is supposed to contemporary and luxurious, but that actually teeters on dystopian. This is a show that has gone beyond entertainment, shot past mild escapism, and currently orbits around me in the stratosphere of pure fantasy. House of Lies is often as grounded in reality as Game of Thrones and I love it for it.
People don’t act like this! I sometimes sniff as Marty and his ex-wife Monica (an amazing Dawn Olivieri) have yet another tryst in yet another random setting, but I get the same enjoyment from watching these bastards scam each other as I do watching elves fight dragons. Sure, the show’s characters are horrendously nasty at times, but then, so is Sauron! Even the scenes of the consultants travelling through customs with their itty-bitty suitcases begin to take on the same epic connotations of Finn and Jake setting out on a quest with a sword made of demon’s blood. House of Lies makes me want to buy a suit and go out and consult people in the same way Labyrinth made me wish David Bowie would steal my sister so I could sing with goblins. It’s never gonna happen, but it’d be nice if it did.
As hippies once read The Lord of the Rings with wide eyed amazement and changed their names to that of their favourite hobbit, so am I shocked, awed and undeniably entertained by the antics of Marty and his associates. Move over Game of Thrones, I’ve found my fantasy of choice!
Is it the best show on the box? Nope, but it’s a lot of fun.
Anyway, I’m off to change my name to Olivia Jeannie Van der Hooven.
Only joking, that would be a shit name.