Saturday, February 23, 2013

What I’m Watching: House of Lies

House of Lies: Season 2, Episodes 4 and 5 “” and “Sincerity Is An Easy Disguise In This Business” (B-/B+)

I’m sad to say that this season of this show just hasn’t been living up to the quality of the first, and I’m not sure exactly why that is. The awkwardness between Marty and Jeannie still exists, but at least they’ve stopped having flashbacks. While Cat Deeley had a memorable and brief cameo in season one, Matt Damon’s appearance as himself didn’t prove terribly effective, mainly because he was unlikeable and arrogant but only served as a device for Marty to be able to be brutally honest and impress his client by taking him down a peg. I’ve seen funnier self-parodies and hilariously over-the-top commercials, and, as a result, episode four just didn’t do much for me. Episode five, on the other hand, was more enticing. There is no one more skilled in the art of self-sabotage than Jeannie, who was having a pleasant date and managed to destroy it completely by mocking the way in which they had met. Surprisingly, Doug actually had a great time, which was an unusual occurrence whose timing proved humiliating for Jeannie. It was refreshing to see a dramatic moment from Clyde, thanking Marty for choosing him to come along for once. Lisa Edelstein’s Brynn was a formidable match for Marty, and her guest spot was equaled by the hilarity of Michael McDonald’s untested candidate Carl Criswell. Larenz Tate’s appearance as Marty’s brother Malcolm was strong, and this show tends to be most impressive when it veers into dramatic territory and analyzes the weaknesses of its main characters.

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