Shame. It’s a house of shame, obviously

Duana Posted by Duana at February 21, 2012 18:33:14 February 21, 2012 18:33:14

House of Lies Season 1 Episode 7 recap

So this is TV. While movies historically have been used to tell stories about the fantastic, incredible people who existed only in our wishes or trumped-up, watercoloured memories, television was always supposed to show people watching who they were. Who they are. ItΓÇÖs why movies take place on other planets and television shows take place in living rooms.

But not everyone likes this window into their houses, of course. A lot of people prefer to see everything shiny, happy, and light. And so to trick them, you call it humor or satire. But the best humor and satire makes you realize youΓÇÖre looking at yourself.

House Of Lies
is not a perfect show. But itΓÇÖs working really hard to tell us the story of Marty, a  guy who has absolutely no scruples about screwing over all kinds of people in his work environment, but who is, for whatever reason, trying to be a person in his personal life.  Not just because we see him committing to no sex for a full few days away (and are we supposed to believe Marty was a sex addict who would otherwise have banged Brenda? Or is he allowed to have some taste in the matter? I know he said heΓÇÖs done her a bunch, but he seemedΓǪnot interested, at best) but because we know things about his family.  We care about Roscoe and the threat that a custody battle poses.  We worry about GrandpaΓÇÖs ParkinsonΓÇÖs. Dammit, we even like April making various meals in the box-in-the-sky apartment. Or at least I did, and I didnΓÇÖt particularly want to.  But I find the actress ridiculously endearing.

So as usual, while Clyde and Doug are comic relief (despite showing us that Clyde, anyway, is worried about his job), itΓÇÖs Jeannie who has to walk the line of being MartyΓÇÖs prot├⌐g├⌐.  Every day she makes decisions about him. Should she follow his brilliance and go towards ΓÇÿDaddyΓÇÖsΓÇÖ money?  What is this persistent worry she keeps having?  ThisΓǪconscience of hers?

To be clear, I think Jeannie suffers from what a lot of us do in the workplace ΓÇô the utter shock that your boss is asking you to do what he is, and then the silent one-on-ones with yourself.  Are you doing this?  Can you actually live with yourself if you do? Sleeping with someone on MartyΓÇÖs say-so isnΓÇÖt in JeannieΓÇÖs moral code. Roofie-ing her is (and somewhere, Veronica Mars is PISSED right now).

But when it all came to a head at the end ΓÇô when Jeannie was right, and Marty tap-danced for Graeme Chase ΓÇô I wanted her to be a little more vindicated. To feel better ΓÇô that sheΓÇÖd drawn an accurate line in the sand ΓÇô or worse, that she shoved her feelings down and then they were proven right.  ThatΓÇÖs the most nauseating workplace feeling.  hat you knew that wasnΓÇÖt right but went along with it anyway.  And yet, she seems content, at the endΓǪeven though last week she told Marty what a f*cker he is.

To me I guess, this is whatΓÇÖs missing from the show. Every week they want Marty to change, and clearly he does by the end of each episode ΓÇô looking at himself in a mirror, either literally or metaphorically.  But then at the beginning of the next ΓǪno continuum of  terrible-person-to-successful-consultant graph.   

Is this speaking to anyone else? Am I in a bubble here? Please feedback me.  Terrible people shouldnΓÇÖt mean terrible show, but IΓÇÖm not sure who weΓÇÖre hoping on. And even though Cheadle is so unfailingly charming, neither is the show.  

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