House of Lies: Season 2 DVDThere have been plenty of brash and cocksure characters on television before, but none quite in the amalgamation that House of Lies offers during its second season on the air. Things are changing for Marty Kaan (Don Cheadle) and his pod (Kristen Bell, Ben Schwartz and Josh Lawson) as a brand new boss takes over at Galweather & Stearn. Faced with a bad boss and a new set of priorities, Marty decides to take his career in a brand new direction, although that decision comes with unexpected consequences.
It sounds like more of a drama, but Showtime considers House of Lies to be a comedy that runs in a half-hour timeslot. Luckily, our cast of characters are at their best when they are fast-talking, so a lot gets said and done in a short time period. The writers on the show are pretty good about weaving Marty’s personal narrative in with acquiring and maintaining high-end clients. While we get some personal life stuff from Bell, Schwartz and Lawson’s characters, House of Lies is frequently focused on Marty, highlighting this idea through the character’s direct addresses to the camera (although this device has been finessed since Season 1).
When House of Lies is on, the show balances complicated and narcissistic personalities with quick-paced wit. The conversations are often fun and funny, and later during Season 2, the show even goes out on a limb and delves more and more frequently into serious issues. The biggest problem with House of Lies, then, is its set of characters, who forever feel as if they are on a circular trajectory, learning little and making many of the same mistakes. Maybe that’s how life is for a lot of people, but it doesn’t make for the greatest binge watch. At a half hour a week, Showtime’s drama could be worth tuning in, though, especially as it continues to work through its growing pains in Season 3.
The DVD set is nothing to write home about and should be reserved for those who will want to peruse the episodes again and again. Bonus features are typically lackluster with TV sets that don’t inspire crazy amounts of fandom (See: Game of Thrones), however, all fans will get with the Season 2 set are a few lackluster audio commentaries and a nearly worthless "Biographies" feature. Luckily, Amazon’s pricing for House of Lies: Season 2 has already been knocked down from the original list price quite a bit.
Other Special Features:
Biographies of the cast