Obligatory ‘House Of Cards’ Title Here

Duana Posted by Duana at February 7, 2012 15:23:08 February 7, 2012 15:23:08

House of Lies Season 1 Episode 5 recap

How are you guys doing with this show?  Am I the only one?  Every time I worry about something thatΓÇÖs going on, some development IΓÇÖm not sure about, thereΓÇÖs something that just tickles me so much IΓÇÖm delighted.  Like how, at the end of an unbelievably dense ΓÇÿpreviously onΓÇÖ recap, Marty smirks ΓÇ£I wouldnΓÇÖt talk down to you like thatΓÇ¥.

So. What I liked:

I thought everything to do with JeannieΓÇÖs story was great.  It happens to everyone in the workplace, all the time.  ItΓÇÖs not usually so blatant, when you get to do something cool that your boss doesnΓÇÖt ΓÇô but it happens.  And it was telegraphed from the second he harassed her about not drinking in front of the Utah-ians ΓÇô Marty was going to be up JeannieΓÇÖs ass the whole time they were there.  She knew it, she knew it wasnΓÇÖt fair, and there was nothing she could do about it.

And still, she canΓÇÖt keep from seeking his approval.  Even though I think ΓÇÿDaddy issuesΓÇÖ is a really broad ΓÇô and kind of lazy ΓÇô label to apply to Jeannie, she lived up to it, didnΓÇÖt she?  She needed MartyΓÇÖs approval in the middle of the night?  And you know it KILLED her.  That she needed to do it, that she wanted his approval, and that at the end of the day, after telling her she wasnΓÇÖt up for it, she did, in fact, need his help.  You know how much she hated that?      

My friends and I call this ΓÇÿrevisionist historyΓÇÖ. YouΓÇÖre a boss who wants things (like, ΓÇÿJeannie canΓÇÖt take care of herself without my helpΓÇÖ ) to be true. So you create a situation that makes it so, and then itΓÇÖs undeniably true in your mind from then on.  I gather itΓÇÖs the mark of very successful people. IΓÇÖm a third of the way through the Steve Jobs biography and it seems to be coming up quite a bit.

So Marty ensures his place at the top of the dubious food chain, simultaneously endangering and reinforcing his teamΓÇÖs loyalty.  After all, heΓÇÖs proven heΓÇÖll pull the rug out from under them when he needs to ΓÇô then again, he didnΓÇÖt jeopardize the account in Utah for even one minute by trying to push through the bossΓÇÖ amazingly obvious racism.  ThatΓÇÖs the kind of professional savvy that nobodyΓÇÖs going to teach you in a book.  ΓÇ£If itΓÇÖs not going to happen for you, just stand down.  YouΓÇÖll save everybody a lot of trouble.ΓÇ¥

And in the end, Marty makes Jeannie feel lower than she was going to anyway, and also gets to make himself feel like sh*t, since she unleashes on him in a way that is authentically emotional and also what he needs to hear.  When she struggles not to cry when sheΓÇÖs telling him off ΓÇô that was nice.

These moments of brilliance and, even more than that, originality, allow me to overlook some of the less original elements of the show.  Okay fine, Doug and Clyde try to get laid in each new location ΓÇô but if thatΓÇÖs the case, theyΓÇÖd be much more adept at it, and wouldnΓÇÖt be so wide-eyed about the properties of corn when discussing the back door.  (Sorry if youΓÇÖre reading at work, thatΓÇÖs as sanitized as I can make it).  It makes me want Dylan on the show.  Our Dylan.  He has an elaborate vocabulary for each ΓÇô ahem ΓÇô unusual situation he gets in, and the fact that none of us know what heΓÇÖs talking about allows him to school us, while still sounding like the expert. ThatΓÇÖs who these guys should be.

I would have bought this more than ClydeΓÇÖs naivete ΓÇô and, if weΓÇÖre being really honest, I would have appreciated something indicating that a sliding scale of judging the quality of women comes into play at a motel company in Utah.  Is that mean?  And she would have eaten the corn with a fork. Sorry. And he got off way too easily after what he didnΓÇÖt do.  I was expecting this to come back on Clyde somehow.  Nothing?

I canΓÇÖt get into MartyΓÇÖs ex Monica, either.  When she first shows up, sheΓÇÖs waving what looks like a red Birkin bag ΓÇô and to me, that embodied everything I feel is wrong with her.  Everything about the over-sexualized, someoneΓÇÖs-mistress, ignoring-my-son vibe is, like the bag, reminiscent of seven years ago.  ItΓÇÖs just not interesting to me anymore ΓÇô although given how sweet Roscoe is in the face of two largely terrible parents, maybe IΓÇÖm supposed to be uncomfortable.  Still the breaking into the apartment felt clich├⌐, whether you rant and go all depressive and ruin the painting or not.  

Mostly though, I canΓÇÖt worry about a merger ruining MartyΓÇÖs life because as weΓÇÖve seen, nothing sticks to Marty. So why heΓÇÖs sweating Greg is beyond me.  Jeannie pays some lip service to it this episode ΓÇô that what IΓÇÖm sure about, after five episodes, is that these characters are really, really recognizable as coworkers, in a way I havenΓÇÖt seen in a long while.  They do all the things that are true when youΓÇÖve known each other for this long.

Their extra-curricular activities, though, are doing everything they can to make them seem not like real people, and also not like people I want to know.   


Attached - Kristen Bell on Conan last night.


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