House of Lies Season 1 Episode 6

I did a terrible thing recently.  I read some spoilers of this show, a couple of episodes on.  So maybe this is why I found this episode so bland – it’s not where I know the show’s going.

Or maybe it was the premise, set up at the beginning. That what happens when they’re at home in LA is boring, marking time, until they go back on the road on Monday mornings. There’s a bit of a rule in writing that you’re not supposed to use words like ‘boring’ or ‘exhausted’ because the reader or the viewer will take that on.  I used to buck against this rule. Not anymore. Because this episode had no real stakes, nothing bad happened or people were saved at the last minute, making ‘home’ a less important place than ever.  No wonder you’re more interested in life on the road, if things can get tied up this easily.  

The thing is that what we like about Marty – his ability to manage any situation – is completely absent when he’s at home.  He freaks out about his family and his work behavior – and though I still love Roscoe very much, Marty doesn’t exactly derive joy from bringing him up. The fact that Roscoe loves him unconditionally, yes. But not the rest of it.    

Which is apparently how it’s supposed to be.  We see this from Jeannie in a really overlong, overwrought cake scene that isn’t like this show. Usually they don’t need too much to get to the point but the hyper-annoying bakery situation would never have happened.  A woman like Jeannie would have a planner who would be doing all of this for her.  She’d never set foot in a bridal shop. It’s part of the continuing dichotomy they’re trying to set up for us where Jeannie is strong at work (notice how effortlessly she shrugs off Greg) but not at home.  In fact, I know we’re meant to believe he’s the Wrong Guy – but what are the pressures causing her to get married?   What makes her think her weekend life needs this thing that is causing her to have palpitations?

An interesting thing I noticed this episode is that Clyde and Doug are not going to get developed any more. It’s only Marty and Jeannie. One already-successful man and one young woman who’s trying to emulate him and also is terrified of becoming him, that’s the whole story right there.    

But that means Jeannie should look 11 years into the future – at Marty’s pre-teen son – to see what her double life could look like…

Though I found this episode really tedious, I have to say that  Marty’s stripper friend, April, is really winningly played and I like her a lot, even when I’m not supposed to.  Also, if you’re fascinated by the world as a whole, I just discovered this exists:

Next week we’re back out on the road.  Finally.

Photo from Cinemablend.