Average User Score: 5.6Apr 12, 2014I 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 forI 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
Average User Score: tbdOct 29, 2013You know how there are certain projects that critics love just because they think the concept is clever, they like the people, there's a slyYou know how there are certain projects that critics love just because they think the concept is clever, they like the people, there's a sly insider prospective, etc. This is one of those projects. The reviews were good, I like Alec Baldwin, I was expecting to like it. BUT about half way in, I was bored and not really appreciating it.
The concept is unusual, a movie about making a movie loaded with interviews with real people we all know. Many of the interviews were tedious, (Ryan Gosling an exception)
Baldwin and James Toback fill in the gaps with lots of footage of themselves engaged in various activities related to making their faux film. This may be entertaining for those who find Baldwin and Toback as fascinating as they themselves apparently believe they are.
The critics may like it, I was disappointed. Feel like this is a case of "The Emperors New Clothes," nothing really there.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.3Aug 31, 2012Good show, Kelsey Grammer is fabulous and a real revelation for those who remember him only from Cheers and Frasier. This is definitely noGood show, Kelsey Grammer is fabulous and a real revelation for those who remember him only from Cheers and Frasier. This is definitely no sitcom. It's a dark and cynical view of politics in general and big city Chicago politics in particular.
Though the themes are generally depressing, the production is stylish, exciting and keeps our interest. We know from the start the Grammer's Mayor Kane is a heavyweight antihero.
My only complaint is that the plot seems to go slightly overboard at times to demonstrate Mayor Kane's villainy. No doubt successful villains do evil things, but I presume they must be done selectively and not gratuitously.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.3Jul 3, 2012Sorry but I have to agree with the critics on this one, the show just isn't very good.
I started watching, predisposed to liking thisSorry but I have to agree with the critics on this one, the show just isn't very good.
I started watching, predisposed to liking this series, based on the coming attractions and the fact that most HBO original series are generally pretty good. But try as I might, I couldn't get over all the self-righteous speeches, overly obvious plot devices, and manipulative audience-pleasing elements.
I like all the actors, particularly Sam Waterson, but this show is just too cheesy for me. No subtlety, just a lot of over-dramatic speechifying. I started watching the second episode and not sure I'll even bother finish watching.
Sorry HBO, you can't hit a home run every time.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.6Apr 5, 2012This show is OK. It's enjoyably splashy to look at, plenty of beautiful naked woman and other attractive romanticized images....
EverythingThis show is OK. It's enjoyably splashy to look at, plenty of beautiful naked woman and other attractive romanticized images....
Everything about the plot seems vaguely familiar: a little bit of Godfather 2, Hiram Roth; a lot of the recently cancelled LUCK from HBO and a lot of Boardwalk Empire...
Bottom line is that STARZ doesn't seem able to get it right. Their shows are too broad, not subtle enough, and not as smart as AMC or HBO. Maybe they cater to a less sophisticated audience but they don't seem able to produce a smart or original product.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.2Mar 29, 2012I watched this last night and was impressed with the cast but the show stinks. Amanda Peet is not a comedienne and that's a real problemI watched this last night and was impressed with the cast but the show stinks. Amanda Peet is not a comedienne and that's a real problem since she's the start of this attempt at comedy. The writing is awful and the plot makes no sense.
Aside from the actual content, the show could be palatable.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.3Mar 11, 2012I don't know why the critics are so soft on mediocre productions like this . Could be that because everyone kind of likes Julianna Moore,I don't know why the critics are so soft on mediocre productions like this . Could be that because everyone kind of likes Julianna Moore, Woody Harrelson, and Ed Harris, there's an inclination to cut them a break. To me, the movie is just a cartoon with actors we can recognize impersonating real world characters and superficially portraying events we all know about but not necessarily illuminating them. It fun to remember the campaign and how shockingly unprepared Sarah Palin was to assume national office. Moore is OK as Palin, Harris is lame as McCain. Harrelson was fun as Steve Schmidt. The Nicole Wallace character is likeable. But most of the other characters were pretty weak. The Todd Palin character was pathetic. He looked nothing like the real one and didn't act like him either. Seems like they grabbed someone off the street and just asked him to stand there. This is one of those movies that suck and get lots of award nominations.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.8Oct 7, 2011Horrible people are what makes reality programming memorable and that's what sets Dance Moms apart. The little girls mother's are horrible.Horrible people are what makes reality programming memorable and that's what sets Dance Moms apart. The little girls mother's are horrible. Little star Maddie is rotten, but the very worst of all is Abby Lee Miller, the star of the show and the major domo of the allegedly world-famous Abby Lee Miller Dance Studio, a small cinder block building in a suburb of Pittsburgh.
Abby is hysterical in every sense of the word. She is a dead-ringer for Divine as Edith Turnblad in the original Hairspray movie. Abby is so over the top that one wonders if this is a Christopher Guest - "Wating for Guffman" type satire rather than supposed reality. Episodes are loaded with "Waiting for Guffman" type moments as we meet an variety of third-rate show business detritus presented as "one of the biggest talent scouts on Broadway", etc..
The little girl dancers are generally innocent victims of their attention starved mothers - who should know better - and the tyrannical Abby. The one exception is little angelic star Maddie who is easy to detest.
The show has turned into a suprise hit and has been renewed for a second season. I'm wondering is someone from Alleghany County Child Protective Services should intervene.services is… Expand
Average User Score: tbdSep 30, 2011Cavett Unbearable
I have always loved Mel Brooks. Even his misses offer something. In particular I would recommend his under-appreciatedCavett Unbearable
I have always loved Mel Brooks. Even his misses offer something. In particular I would recommend his under-appreciated film "To Be or Not to Be" (1983). Unfortunately, the cringe-worthy Dick Cavett makes this TV special unbearable to watch. I'm sure someone must like Cavett but I can't imagine why. I wouldn't call him an entertainer because he doesn't do that and I wouldn't call him a comedian since he's not funny. He presents himself as the droll observer with witty comments and pithy observations except that he's not witty but he is pretty pithy. Also he wears stupid hats which suggests he's not embarrassed to look foolish, which is good. Mainly he comes across as being uncomfortable which is appropriate.
Having said all those unkind things about Cavett, the show is uncomfortable to watch probably for reasons other than the host. The format for one of these tribute shows is difficult. Just two people sitting on stage is too static. There has to be more stuff going on; movie clips, guests, something else to add energy. If they're just going to sit there and talk, they have to mesh and work well with one another. That's not the case here. The awkward Cavett was too busy telling his own "witty" stories to allow Brooks to do his shtick which is the reason I tuned in.
Maybe I'm mistaken and the point of this production was to present Brooks and Cavett on together as co-equals. That wouldn't make any sense would it, kind of like Ed Sullivan and the Beatles: Together Again.… Expand