House of Lies : Season 1

  • Network: Showtime
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 8, 2012
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
User Score
5.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 119 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 60 out of 119
  2. Negative: 39 out of 119

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User Reviews

  1. Feb 2, 2012
    9
    The show is quick and Clever. I was surprised to see Don Cheadle as the slick manipulator Marty Kaan but he made me believe. Kristen Bell has steals the show as the feisty Jeanie. She also ruins any preconceptions I may have had about anal sex (yuck).
  2. Jan 15, 2012
    7
    Sex sales! The show is still wet behind the ears...but it has potential if you like raunchy comedy By the balls!
    Mad Men meets Entourage! It won't make you mad or waste your time if you've watched it when nothings on.
  3. Jan 9, 2012
    0
    The Pilot episode was horribly constructed, i'm really surprised that Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell signed up for this train wreck. I'll give it a couple more episodes before i can it, only because It's on after Shameless, but its not looking good for House of Crap... i mean Lies.
  4. Jan 8, 2012
    1
    Watched the pilot online, there is no logical reason for this series to be airing. The critics are under Showtime hypnosis. One of the most terribly written pilots in pilot history. Don Cheadle doesn't even save this show. Lots of improvement and growth needed. Too many homosexuality jokes.
  5. Jan 8, 2012
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I only wanted to watch this for Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell. When the pilot leaked online I jumped on it. The first thing you see is Don Cheadle's ass. Then you meet his extremely flamboyant son. Hundreds of jokes about gays follow. Cheadle's character breaks the fourth wall a lot, and it's annoying. Then there's a scene in a restaurant where a hooker talks about having sex with women. Seriously? This show is terrible, the critics are wrong. Expand
  6. Feb 16, 2012
    10
    To give it the benefit of the doubt I'm guessing the show plans to humanize Marty little by little as it progresses. I hope so, I found the relentless manic cynicism in the first two episodes insufferable and depressing. Is this really the 'Modern World'? Then please shoot me now.
  7. Jan 11, 2012
    0
    TERRIBLE. Not worthy of following Californication. Not worthy of even being on the same network as Weeds. One of the worst pilots I've seen in my life. Any good reviews are simply biased. Nobody watch this, this needs to be cancelled so Don Cheadle doesn't lose his good rep.
  8. Apr 12, 2014
    1
    I saw the show when it first came out and thought is was awful. Since it's lasted a couple of years (and I was desperately searching for something to watch) I gave it a second chance and took in some episodes from season 3.

    My verdict is in. House of Lies is still a terrible television show. It's all flash and no substance. The plots are preposterous, an insult to the intelligence
    I saw the show when it first came out and thought is was awful. Since it's lasted a couple of years (and I was desperately searching for something to watch) I gave it a second chance and took in some episodes from season 3.

    My verdict is in. House of Lies is still a terrible television show.

    It's all flash and no substance. The plots are preposterous, an insult to the intelligence of viewers.

    Lots of crudeness and vulgarity, which isn't necessarily a bad thing when it's clever, as in "Veep", but here it's just gratuitous, dumb, and repetitive.

    All the characters are unlikeable. Don Cheadle, who is a fine actor, is embarrassing in his role as the star of the show. He periodically talks to the camera like it's a cool inside joke but it just doesn't work.

    The mantra of the show is cynicism about the profession which may be appropriate but needs a more subtle presentation to be either insightful or entertaining. Here the characters are all just vile, dishonest, and despicable.

    The show has introduced an ongoing Cosby-like back story about Marty'si relationship with his adolescent son and dad. It's totally mawkish, manipulative drivel and out of character with everything else about the show. The writers will throw in anything to pretend there's some redeeming value in their artless, uncreative television show.

    Oh, and for some reason Kristen Bell has a reputation for being a sexy, funny comedienne. In this she is not. She comes across as a horrible actress, not amusing, and not particularly likeable.

    The weak material sabotages all cast members, even Jenny Slade.

    This show is a dumb knockoff of lots of better, smarter shows like LA Law, Entourage, Veep. My advice, stay away.
    Expand
  9. Jan 17, 2013
    8
    I have no idea why people does like the show. Its better than most shows that are on tv. Its really funny, compelling, smart and Cheadle is a beast.
  10. Jan 11, 2012
    0
    Vomit inducing. Awful, awful, awful. Hopefully it gets cancelled before the world has to see any more. Why is Kristen Bell doing this? A waste of her talent.
  11. Jan 11, 2012
    0
    I watched this because I heard that the guy who plays Jean-Ralphio on Parks and Rec is on it. Not only is he barely featured, the show itself is a mess. I highly recommend against it.
  12. Jan 11, 2012
    0
    Love Kristen Bell. Hate big business. Thought I'd love this. I hate it. The worst pilot ever written, a stupid adaptation of a good book. Please Kristen Bell don't ruin your career with this **** show.
  13. Jan 8, 2012
    0
    My management consultant parents encouraged me to watch this and tell them what it's like since they don't have Showtime. I found it to be awful and they agreed, saying that the things happening to the characters are unrealistic. Critics gave it inexplicably good reviews.
  14. Feb 5, 2012
    0
    Damn this is bad. Ive loved krsten bell since her earliest days but this show is so unwatchable. It blows. I hope kristen bell quits and the show gets cancelled.
  15. Mar 5, 2012
    0
    The biggest turn off about this show are its characters. Every single one of them is vile and morally repugnant, which in itself is fine: there have been many great shows and movies about irredeemable characters. But on top of it all, they are just flat out annoying. In particular the two male side-kicks on the show fill the screen with their idiotic juvenile banter and act like utterThe biggest turn off about this show are its characters. Every single one of them is vile and morally repugnant, which in itself is fine: there have been many great shows and movies about irredeemable characters. But on top of it all, they are just flat out annoying. In particular the two male side-kicks on the show fill the screen with their idiotic juvenile banter and act like utter douche bags. I have always been fans of Don Cheadle and the lovely Kristen Bell, but watching this show makes you wonder what they were smoking when they signed up for this pile of dog crap. Expand
  16. Jan 8, 2012
    0
    Terribly written pilot, already a contender for worst show of the year. Possibly the decade. There's no well thought out reason to explain what caused this show's all-star cast to accept these roles. I'm not understanding how any critic could give this a 100.
  17. Jan 8, 2012
    0
    Are the critics reviews a joke?? This is the worst episode of television I've seen in my life. All of the jokes about gays are just sick and rude. Kristen Bell is absolutely killing her career.
  18. Jan 11, 2012
    0
    Was persuaded to watch this by a friend of mine. Turns out we both hated the pilot. I really hope it improves. It looks like there's little to grow on and hopefully Don and Kristen don't trash their careers.
  19. Jan 8, 2012
    5
    It's okay. By no means an advancement in the comedy genre like the shows on NBC, but it's better than Showtime's other crap like Nurse Jackie and The Big C. The writing needs to be better.
  20. Jan 10, 2012
    10
    Refreshing new show. I am eager for more. Don Cheadle is hilarious. Too bad not everyone gets the comedic devices used here. I cannot wait to see what happens next.
  21. Jan 8, 2012
    3
    Like many, I expected this Showtime "comedy" to be a drama. It wasn't a drama, but it also wasn't a comedy. In this day and age where marketing and economics is such a rich topic to explore, this show comes and decimates it. One of the worst pilots. Giving it a 3 for Don and Kristen and Jean-Ralphio from Parks and Rec.
  22. Jan 11, 2012
    0
    Absolutely awful. House of Lies is a big mess. It's an insult to people who like television. I can't believe that Showtime, the same network that has Weeds, also has this show (and The Big C). So much of it needs to improve, immediately.
  23. Jan 11, 2012
    0
    Watched it for Don Cheadle, sucked hard. Way too many stupid jokes about gay people. Absolutely terribly written, one of the worst pilots ever. Shocking that showtime would accept this.
  24. Jan 17, 2013
    2
    I watched the first season after hearing that Cheadle won a GGlobe. I don't get it. It's barely funny, cheaply vulgar, and if it is a satire or indictment of modern business culture the show is not good at it. There was a canadian show about banking called Traders (?) on CBC that I remember being better at this. Oh well. I say avoid it.
  25. Jan 6, 2013
    1
    I would watch Don Cheadle in just about anything and that's what the 2 stars are for. This show had potential (I used past tense, b/c I for one will not be giving it a second chance). The premise is engaging enough, but the over-the-top gratuitous sex (starting with the opening scene) was not what I was looking for or expecting. There are a lot of opportunities for the show to developI would watch Don Cheadle in just about anything and that's what the 2 stars are for. This show had potential (I used past tense, b/c I for one will not be giving it a second chance). The premise is engaging enough, but the over-the-top gratuitous sex (starting with the opening scene) was not what I was looking for or expecting. There are a lot of opportunities for the show to develop and stand on plot lines and characters, but instead the producers (Cheadle being among them) decided to launch an endeavor where anyone who has watched the show could describe as: "I was watching a cheesy porno and a show about Management Consultants broke out." IMO, AMC still holds the title of best network for dramatic TV (Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, The Killing, Mad Men, etc. ) I think "Suits" on USA and "Shameless" on showtime are also noteworthy. But this entire House of Lies debacle seems like something sex industry workers would watch in their spare time. Pity...there was potential. Expand
  26. Apr 17, 2013
    6
    This season of House of Lies starts off very slow, and it hit-and-miss the entire season. It is a dramedy starring the talented Don Cheadle (he won a Golden Globe for "Best Comedy Actor" this season) and the lovely Kristen Bell. The season overall turned out to be moderately entertaining with the exception of a few bad episodes, including the Pilot episode. The cast is quite funny, andThis season of House of Lies starts off very slow, and it hit-and-miss the entire season. It is a dramedy starring the talented Don Cheadle (he won a Golden Globe for "Best Comedy Actor" this season) and the lovely Kristen Bell. The season overall turned out to be moderately entertaining with the exception of a few bad episodes, including the Pilot episode. The cast is quite funny, and I especially enjoyed the interactions between the characters Clyde (Ben Schwartz) and Doug (Josh Lawson) throughout the entire season. Overall, I think you should give this series a chance (watch more than the first episode), because I have also seen Season 2, and it is a major improvement. Expand
  27. May 6, 2014
    7
    House Of Lies is a great comedic-dramatic show with great charming performances by Don Cheadle as Marty and Kristen Bell. But it has its cons too, it's got to put more elements in itself
  28. Apr 10, 2017
    0
    Yeah it sucked. Lousy show I would not watch it if you paid me. No artistry or entertainment value. In fact it was a waste of my time even reviewing it. I only decided to because it would be a catastrophe for it to stay on Air knowing there is one less channel I can chose from because it sucked so bad. I think I am going to be sick watching it. The guy was the worse actor I have ever seenYeah it sucked. Lousy show I would not watch it if you paid me. No artistry or entertainment value. In fact it was a waste of my time even reviewing it. I only decided to because it would be a catastrophe for it to stay on Air knowing there is one less channel I can chose from because it sucked so bad. I think I am going to be sick watching it. The guy was the worse actor I have ever seen like a dry toast, no personality and the rest of the caste were basically a bunch of hacks who didn't know what they were doing. I would rather go to my local theatre watching children in a play than watch such a lousy show and I haven't been to a theatre in 10 years. Not impressed at all and I actually think this show is a embarrassment to what should be a continuation of the golden age of film under great directors like Steven Spielberg. I have no idea how it got over half a star even half a star is being generous it is sad what has happened to our education system if people find such garbage entertaining without culture, or sophistication. Expand
  29. Jan 8, 2012
    8
    The first showtime comedy that boasts its ability to stay a comedy and not fall into dramatic territory is actually pretty good and it sticks true to its promise for the most part. It's less insightful about fatherhood, relationships or business than it may think it is, but it resists cliche and offers a pretty good chance for Mr. Cheadle to show off his comedic chops week after. I wouldThe first showtime comedy that boasts its ability to stay a comedy and not fall into dramatic territory is actually pretty good and it sticks true to its promise for the most part. It's less insightful about fatherhood, relationships or business than it may think it is, but it resists cliche and offers a pretty good chance for Mr. Cheadle to show off his comedic chops week after. I would give it a second look if the pilot was the less than sensational for other viewers. Expand
  30. Jan 10, 2012
    10
    I hold out hope for future episodes, however the writing of the first episode bordered on unbearable, with single-dimensional caricatures that were both predictable and groan inducing. The wife, the son, the prostitute, much less the bathroom scene..just horrendous stuff. The core idea of the show is novel and enjoyable, as is the Fight Club-esque techniques and narrative, however theI hold out hope for future episodes, however the writing of the first episode bordered on unbearable, with single-dimensional caricatures that were both predictable and groan inducing. The wife, the son, the prostitute, much less the bathroom scene..just horrendous stuff. The core idea of the show is novel and enjoyable, as is the Fight Club-esque techniques and narrative, however the execution has me expecting the axe to fall on it soon. Expand
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 25
  2. Negative: 4 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Catlin
    Jan 31, 2012
    70
    House is more solidly built [than "Dirt"], thanks mostly to the bracing quality of Cheadle, who scarcely has time in the mayhem to reconsider what he does.
  2. Reviewed by: Luke De Smet
    Jan 11, 2012
    25
    Because from its embellished execution to its uninspired writing and very conception, the smarmy House of Lies is like so many speculative financial bubbles that characters like Marty have had their hands in: There's just nothing there.
  3. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Jan 9, 2012
    50
    I didn't laugh much. I did, however, check my watch, still secure on my wrist, to determine when the show would be ending.