Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What I’m Watching: House of Lies

House of Lies: Season 1, Episode 11 “Business” (B+)

There’s nothing like a monumental development that doesn’t go the way anyone expected. Greg Norbert is such an intriguing character, so easily riled up about something but never quite as vindictive as he initially appeared. Blatantly expressing his crush on Jeannie was awkward, and handing over the information about Galweather to her was quite a surprise, though not so unpredictable for the entertaining and inconsistent character. Galweather’s final show of power was highly memorable, as he left Marty a few nasty surprise in his briefcase and hidden around his office. The big shock, of course, was that the Rainmaker betrayed Marty and let the merger go through, throwing him under the bus and leaving his fate and that of his team entirely uncertain. Marty, never one to take betrayal lightly, seemed to be drowning his sorrows at a random bar, but leave it to him to go out that very night and bed the Rainmaker’s daughter to get back at him in the most stinging of ways. He’s ensuring his own destruction now, yet this show can’t function if Marty is unemployed, so perhaps change lies ahead, with Marty potentially starting his own consulting firm. Monica picked a particularly bad time to rub her new boyfriend in Marty’s face, and he’s already at risk of losing Roscoe thanks to his lack of effort in getting April to stay and his continued prioritization of work over his home life. This Sunday’s finale is sure to be intense, and I already can’t wait for season two.

I had a rare and exciting opportunity yesterday to video chat with two of the show’s stars, Ben Schwartz, who plays Clyde, and Josh Lawson, who plays Doug. The way they interact with each other is much different than the way their characters do on the show, but both of them quickly established a shared desire to mock me in the same manner that Clyde does to Doug on the show after I stumbled momentarily when they caught me off guard. The two recounted stories of goofing off on set, deciding that Doug’s first name should be pronounced “Doog” and his last name should be “Gugg-enheim,” and explained that they do get to improvise and are always excited when their little jokes make the final cut. Both are writers, and create short films in their spare time. Mid-interview, Josh had a blast drawing stick figures of George Clooney and Mr. T and holding up a framed photo of Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell. Both actors expressed an interest in sharing scenes with Jeremiah, Marty’s father, and Richard Schiff’s Galweather or Megalyn Echikunwoke’s April. I was pleased to learn that Ben enjoys watching other Showtime shows like “Dexter” and “Homeland,” while Josh failed to come up with any coherent answers to that question. All in all, they’re a fun duo, and the most surprising things for fans unfamiliar with Josh may be that he’s actually Australian! And, for all the “Parks & Recreation” fans out there, I did ask Ben if he’s returning to play Jean-Ralphio, and he said he may just be. Enjoy the screenshot above of the chat. Thanks to Kareem and Showtime for the opportunity, and to Ben and Josh for their energy!

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