Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What I’m Watching: House of Lies

House of Lies: Season 1, Episode 9 “Ouroboros” (B+)

Having characters sit and talk to the camera, or in this case an unseen audience, can produce iffy results. Yet in this case, it’s an effective tool, allowing each one of the primary four characters to air their strengths and weaknesses, and to show how they handle themselves under pressure. Perhaps the most fascinating was Doug, who stumbled all over himself explaining his family name and lineage but emphasized how good he is with numbers, making a surprisingly strong case for his worth. Clyde was predictably casual, while Jeannie was quick to anger and Marty had no patience from the very start. The episode’s most interesting moment came when Jeannie rushed outside to stop Wes from coming into her office, but she couldn’t stop him from introducing himself to Marty. That moment was intense, as Jeannie told Marty the full truth, hoping he wouldn’t ruin things for her. To his credit, he played along, though he did murmur quite a bit about a “Westery” while he was high with Greg Norbert out on the town. Greg seems like he may not be much of a threat to Marty after all, and Monica and her new protégé James are much more fearsome enemies for him. That subtle scene in which Marty discovered his father’s condition just before watching a performance by Roscoe and April was extremely strong, and as always, this show does a formidable job with its more serious material while continuing to bring the funny on a weekly basis.

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