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Back In The Muck With Showtime

House of Lies Season 3

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It's always hardest to go in transition whenever Showtime begins a new year. We usually go from the sublime (Dexter, Homeland, Masters of Sex) to the scatological--- the disgusting but watched favorites Shameless and Californication. But for a change, the network seems to have found an interesting mix this January, with the programming ascending in quality the later it gets, going from Shameless at 9, to House of Lies at 10, and Episodes at 10:30

House of Lies started with such promise two seasons ago, that it's kind of sad to look at it now. Considering the solid array of talent involved in the black comedy, one would expect far more from the series. It doesn't help things much that 'the pod'--- the management consultant team heading by Marty--- is now split among three companies, Marty has opened his own shop, Josh and Jeanie are still at Gallweather, and Cal has jumped ship to Monica's firm. This might be more inspiring if there was any sign of growth among any of our characters in the last two years, and there really hasn't. Monica, who showed signs of becoming more enlightened last season, has reverted to her inner bitch so abusive that one of her employees stabs her in the second episode, and she doesn't seem to have gotten anything out of it. Furthermore, Marty, having jumped ship to form his own company and losing all his friends as a bargain, has apparently learned nothing, and is still trying to manipulate and outmaneuver people and companies that work for him.

The only person who seems to have gained any power is Jeanie, and it's not in a good way. Having had her heart ripped out when she bared her feelings to Marty last season, she has now become a lot more determined to raise her game at Gallweather. Now running her own pod, she is more determined than ever to become a female version of Marty, and if that means screwing over her colleagues, and working with the devil himself to gain power, she is more than willing to do it.

This was a brilliant show when it began in 2012, but has been becoming a typical Showtime series with each passing year. Don Cheadle is a galvanic volt of talent, and he is still a lot of fun to watch, but the series has become less fun, and more vitriolic. Even the family situations, involving Marty's bisexual son, have been becoming more cliched. There are still some good things about this series, but it seems to be disappearing into the general decay that is Showtime.