House of Lies “Gods of Dangerous Financial Instruments” Review

Ah, there’s nothing like starting a show off with some nudity and a man’s cross-dressing son to get your attention.

That’s how Showtime chose to introduce us to Don Cheadle’s Marty Kaan in “Gods of Dangerous Financial Instruments.” Then, as if they didn’t already have us hooked for the episode, they bring out the Zack Morris. Popularized by Mark-Paul Gosselaar on Saved by the Bell, the Zack Morris is the move where the lead character freezes everyone in the frame to explain something to the audience. Given that I am an unabashed Zack Morris fan, I can’t decide if I am excited or appalled by this tactic. I’ll probably decide in a couple of weeks.

Anyway, Cheadle is fantastic in this show. Frankly, I wouldn’t have expected anything less from a movie star making the transition to a half-hour comedy. He’s supposed to be fantastic. What I wasn’t quite prepared for was the enjoyable interplay between the four members of The Pod. Kristen Bell, Ben Schwartz, and Josh Lawson all do a nice job of playing off each other and Cheadle throughout the show. They are obviously setting up for the growth of the relationship between Marty and Jeannie. It’s unclear where they would go with it, but the relationship is worth exploring.

The one issue that can be taken with House of Lies is that it is difficult to see exactly what makes Kaan and The Pod so great at their jobs. Yes, they won the job at MetroCapital with a “different” presentation, but there was nothing within the episode that explained to us what makes these guys so great. I had difficulty discerning exactly what each member of the team really does for the collective. I heard talk of data points and computer programs, but I need more detail on the roles that Jeannie, Doug, and Clyde play within the Galweather & Stearn consulting firm. Given that it was only the premiere, I am willing to assume that I will get more information as the series progresses. After all, we had to clearly establish that Marty’s son is a cross-dresser that enjoys playing the female lead in musicals. That point was vital.

In any event, we had an interesting start to a promising show. I’m excited to watch Cheadle every week, the back-and-forth between members of The Pod, and the gratuitous nudity. What about you? Are you going to add House of Lies to your rotation? What are your favorite aspects of the show? Should Mark-Paul Gosselaar sue for copyright infringement? Let’s address these questions and more in the comments or on Twitter.

The TV Czar