Given the Occupy Wall Street movement and public sentiment toward corporations and individuals with seven-figure salaries, the cultural atmosphere for Showtime’s new series House of Lies seems just about right – despite the irony of the program airing on pay-cable. Still, in an effort to build buzz before the January 8 premiere, the network is tossing the 99% a bone by offering a glimpse at the first episode online.
Described as a dark comedy centered on a big-money consultant team headed up by Marty Kaan (Don Cheadle), the series is based on the book House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then Tell You the Time by Martin Kihn. In addition to starring, Cheadle will be executive producing alongside creator and writer Matthew Carnahan and Stephen Hopkins, who has worked on Showtime’s other series Californication in the past.
Rounding out Kaan’s team – or “The Pod” – are Jeannie Van Der Hooven (Kristen Bell), Clyde Oberholt (Ben Schwartz) and Doug Guggenheim (Josh Lawson). According to Showtime, “Marty is the ultimate power player and under his direction, this ruthless, pull-no-punches team is here to stick it to the man by beating the corporate suckers at their own game.”
It’s not all power brokers and corporate maneuverings for Marty, though. Making things more complicated are his drug-addled ex-wife Monica (Dawn Oliveri) and his son Roscoe (Donis Leonard Jr.) – who wants to play the role of Sandy in his school’s production of Grease.
For those who have followed Showtime’s original programming, this release of House of Lies should come as no surprise. Recently, the network has offered early episodes of Dexter, Shameless and the newest hit Homeland, and the subsequent buzz accompanying each sneak peek has seemingly paid off in terms of garnering an audience. No doubt this free taste, combined with the appeal of Cheadle and Bell, will have many viewers hooked and wanting more.
Of course another great trick is to tease viewers with all the ‘’extras’’ they’ll be missing. Within the first few seconds, it’s clear all the naughty bits are obscured and most of the language is edited out, so those wanting to see the uncensored version of the show will have to wait a few more weeks. While the truncated dialogue can sometimes sound like you’re watching the episode on a dial-up connection, it’s far from PG, so if you’re tuning in, consider yourself warned.
Watch the premiere below:
Though it comes off a little disjointed due to the questionable editing, one still gets a sense that, in terms of adults-only material, House of Lies will feel right at home with the new seasons of Californication and Shameless.
House of Lies premieres January 8 on Showtime.