Friday, 11 January 2013

House of Lies Review: Can you find truth in the House of Lies?

Big business is a boogeyman in today's world. When the subject of corporations and wealth come up, things often turn to talking about lies, greed an grabbing power. So it's no surprise that these ideas are front and center in House of Lies. But where a lot of shows would explore the consequences of a life built on lies and deception, this show attempts to see the benefits. In a world of full of liars, the best liar is the one who succeeds. Enter Marty Kahn, played by the great Don Cheadle, a management consultant who is second to none at the game they play. He can sell anything to anyone on a bad day. On a good day he can talk them out of house and home and make them think it was their idea.

It's often said that with any new business or industry that there are bound to be spinoff industries looking to take advantage of the relatively uncertainty that comes along with establishing it. With the multi-million or billion dollar conglomerate it seems, management consultancy is that spinoff. A business built upon coming in and telling a massive organization how to be more efficient at high costs. And there in lies the fun of the show. Marty Kahn and his team of consultants are masters of manipulating businesses.

You might say that it is one of the best examples of shows which fight back for the anger and resentment towards corporate greed and power. In the same way that Arrow and other shows in recent years have been like rallying calls reflecting society's perspective, House of Lies shows that even within the system itself there are people who look for ways to screw the big boys out of their money.

Adding to this modern story is the phenominal talent of the previously mentioned Don Cheadle, the fantastic Kristen Bell as Jeannie Van Der Hooven, the incredible Dawn Olivieri as Marty's psychotic ex wife Monica Talbot ultimately rounded out by what can only be described as the comedy duo of Ben Schwartz and Josh Lawson as Clyde Oberholt and Doug Guggenheim. They are today's unsung heroes, the wish-fulfillment of the audience in a world where things just don't tend to go their way. And it's a joy to watch them work. Set from the personal perspective of Marty Kahn as he struggles to balance work, home and his relationships we still never lose sight of the lives of the people around him and their own struggles.

Can you find truth in the House of Lies? Absolutely, especially when a lot of those lies also happen to be the truth. If you haven't seen this show, then you're lying to yourself if you say you don't need to.

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