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Home » TV

Quick Impressions of HOUSE OF LIES & THE FIRM

Submitted by on January 9, 2012 – 2:43 am 8 Comments

Sunday night brought two anticipated TV debuts, but after I saw them, I was ready for them to go away. Showtime’s House of Lies starred Don Cheadle as Marty Kaan, head of a team of management consultants. He’s a slut, having casual sex with various women in the pilot, including his ex-wife, and a shark at work, landing a big account with a bank by telling top execs how to make themselves look good publicly while still taking fat bonuses and screwing the little people. Despite Cheadle’s charm, Kaan is so slimy, I couldn’t root for him, especially when he’s hitting on one of his team members, Jeannie, played by Kristin Bell. The erstwhile Veronica Mars doesn’t have much to do yet except resist Kaan’s advances, but even if the role gets meatier, I probably won’t be around to see it. Nerd verdict: House of sleaze.

The other show was NBC’s The Firm, taking up the story ten years after the events in the movie starring Tom Cruise as Mitch McDeere. Josh Lucas has taken over the role and boy, is he bland. I never thought I’d say, “I miss Tom Cruise.” He can be intense, while Lucas just looked frazzled and couldn’t hold my interest for two hours. So I can’t give it a verdict, because I bailed after about forty-five minutes, but that alone is a sign that—its title aside—the show didn’t hold up well.

Did you watch either? What did you think?



  • Jen Forbus says:

    Hey! I actually watched TV last night. I watched THE FIRM and had the opposite reaction. I preferred Josh Lucas to Tom Cruise. I’ve always felt Cruise was overly dramatic and he came off as fake. I think Lucas did a nice job of handling all the internal conflict his character was dealing with.

    I love the brother Ray and his girlfriend. Abby was the character I wasn’t all that thrilled with. The nasty, bitchy law firm owner did a nice job with that role. I’ll tune in again…

  • le0pard13 says:

    I love Cheadle’s work, but what I saw in the promos didn’t enamor me (and I don’t have Showtime). Even if I did, there’s other stuff coming out I’m more interested in (JUSTIFIED’s third season, for one). THE FIRM was opposite a brand new THE GOOD WIFE so that lost out, big time. Thanks for the heads up, Elyse.

  • EIREGO says:

    I am a huge fan of Don Cheadle, but I do agree with you, PCN, the show was just too damn sleazy to watch again. Not a single person I could relate to despite that moment at the end of the episode in which he asks he tries to ask his co-worker if he might be too “something” (no, he never actually says the word, but he appears to be questioning his behavior). Just too little too late for me. I devoured the entire free Showtime weekend offering and if you line up (as did the programming execs) Californication, House of Lies and Shameless back to back, it’s a wonder I didn’t slit my wrists. Pretty bleak stuff and definitely not a line up I would want to watch on my own if I am feeling even slightly depressed. Just messed up people doing really messed up things to themselves.

    As for The Firm TV reboot: I have agree. Josh Lucas just can’t hold a scene together in a compelling manner. He’s got that perpetual deer-got-in-the-headlights syndrome. I began wondering if he was just absolutely charmless or did they hand him a new script seconds before they yelled ACTION. The villains all did well and I’m a fan of Callum Keith Rennie (playing Lucas’s private detective brother), but that was some serious posturing and indicating on behalf of Juliette Lewis’s trashy/sarcastic secretary. The woman playing Abby was as pale as her performance.

    Won’t be back for either of these shows. Glad we agree.

  • I’m not sure if either of these has been picked up here {maybe on cable, which I don’t have} but it’s good to know I’ll be better off for missing them. I’m so disappointed in the sound of House of Lies ~ I’m a big fan of Don Cheadle’s work and I don’t want to taint that by watching him play a scuzzball. Even setting that aside, it wouldn’t be my cup of tea regardless of casting! Thanks for enduring these for the sake of giving us reviews, PCN.

  • Poncho says:

    I had almost the same reaction as you did when watching THE FIRM: my body bailed out… as in I fell asleep. It isn’t that I didn’t like it, but it just wasn’t that appealing.

    Thanks for the heads up, Elyse!

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