• Network: Showtime
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 8, 2012
Season #: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 25
  2. Negative: 4 out of 25

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jan 4, 2012
    100
    The series is so pervasively cynical--and, by the way, brilliantly funny--it has the potential of making any viewer feel his or her life isn't so bad after all.
  2. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Jan 6, 2012
    88
    There is much to admire here, from the snap in the dialogue to the show's willingness to tackle issues of race in the workplace--but there might be even more if creator Matthew Carnahan (Dirt) could learn when to stop pushing.
  3. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jan 6, 2012
    80
    House of Lies is giving him (and the rest of the actors) something fresh and different to devour, which makes it a show you need to consult with.
  4. Reviewed by: Sarah Rodman
    Jan 6, 2012
    80
    It helps that Cheadle is surrounded by characters, and actors, who seem like they will go interesting places.
  5. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Jan 6, 2012
    80
    Lies is cynical enough to make "Up in the Air" look like "Once Upon a Time," but it's a stylish, sometimes witty cynicism.
  6. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jan 6, 2012
    80
    As a pitiless, biting satire of the debauched state of American big business, it's no lie to call this one of the smartest, funniest shows of the new year.
  7. People Weekly
    Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Jan 6, 2012
    75
    It takes a few half-hour episodes before the tone gels. [16 Jan 2012, p.39]
  8. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Jan 5, 2012
    75
    House of Lies somehow manages to be funny despite it all. That's mostly do to great casting. Cheadle, particularly, is brilliant.
  9. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jan 3, 2012
    75
    House of Lies' excesses tend to be counter-balanced by its overall look and feel. The production values are first-rate and the storytelling is crisp.
  10. 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.
  11. Reviewed by: Neil Genzlinger
    Jan 6, 2012
    70
    This Good Marty/Bad Marty dynamic may prove more fruitful for the show in the long run than the well-worn punching bag that is corporate America.
  12. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Jan 6, 2012
    70
    Well-crafted and a little--sometimes more than a little--unpleasant.
  13. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Jan 6, 2012
    70
    House of Lies is sharp, but not big on subtext.
  14. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Jan 4, 2012
    70
    House of Lies is not a revolutionary show, but it is a fun study of men behaving badly.
  15. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Jan 5, 2012
    67
    There's enough involving the main characters that I'm willing to stick around for a bit to let the rest of House of Lies find itself.
  16. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Jan 6, 2012
    60
    Like many of Showtime's most cherished series, House of Lies can be annoying and entertaining at the same time.
  17. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jan 3, 2012
    60
    The program is moderately entertaining and very much in keeping with the tone of "Californication."
  18. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Jan 5, 2012
    58
    Too brittle and full of bile to cleanly hit the target.
  19. 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.
  20. Reviewed by: Michael Landweber
    Jan 9, 2012
    50
    With the subtlety of a sledgehammer, the show right away telegraphs that there is more to Kaan than meets the eye, that he's not just a con. We're just not inclined to believe him.
  21. Reviewed by: Andrea Reiher
    Jan 9, 2012
    40
    House of Lies lacks the heart of "Shameless" and Kaan lacks the likability of Duchovny's Hank Moody, which means we care very little about the characters after two episodes.
  22. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Jan 6, 2012
    30
    [The actors] are cramped by obvious, unsubtle writing and a show that doesn't seem to have much of an idea of where to take these sardonic characters.
  23. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Jan 6, 2012
    30
    House of Lies about the thievery of management consultants, manages to turn a theme with reasonable comedic potential into a vehicle for 16-year-old males, though dressed up as satire for sophisticates.
  24. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Jan 6, 2012
    30
    In trying to be about over-the-top characters, it forgets to be about people.
  25. 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.
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
  1. 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 whereLike 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. Full Review »
  2. 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 andAre 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. Full Review »
  3. 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 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.
    Full Review »