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'House of Lies': 5 reasons to watch Showtime's insanely fun comedy

Showtime’s House of Lies returns in full force for its fourth season this Sunday. Last we saw our group from Kaan and Associates, Marty Kaan (Don Cheadle) was in the desert, naturally. Jeannie van der Hooven (Kristen Bell) was dealing with the fallout from her power grab that basically blew up in her face—not to mention got Marty arrested. And Clyde Oberholt (Ben Schwartz) and Doug Guggenheim (Josh Lawson) were doing what they do best, which is basically freak out and insult each other. So what’s next for this merry band of management consultants?

This is that all-important plug to tune in to House of Lies. In a Showtime world dominated by Homeland, Masters of Sex, and now The Affair, House of Lies should by no means be forgotten—and honestly, it’s got one of the best comedic casts on TV right now. Considering it’s a half-hour comedy, with seasons only 12 episodes long, it is a perfectly binge-able show for a lazy afternoon. So seriously, what are you waiting for? If you still need more convincing, here are just five simple reasons you need to be watching House of Lies.

1. Because Done Cheadle can act.

Full disclosure: first thing I think of when I hear “Don Cheadle” is that scene in Ocean’s Eleven when Basher tells Rusty Ryan that he’s excited to be working with “proper villains” again. Then I think about the fact that Don Cheadle is in both Iron Man 2 and 3. Then I remember that he’s in Hotel Rwanda. And Hotel for Dogs. So far, there doesn’t seem to be anything that Don Cheadle can’t do.

In saying that, there’s a pretty good reason he’s been nominated for a Golden Globe for the past three years for his portrayal as Marty—and he took home the trophy in 2012. For the most part, Marty is a calm and collected guy, but there are moments when his madness comes out. Cheadle is able to balance that so well with the character, and sometimes it’s hard to figure out if we should be rooting for Marty or simply pity him. That’s the sign of a truly fine actor.

2. Because it’s got one of the best father-son relationships on TV.

I’m of course talking about the stellar relationship between Marty and his son Roscoe (Donis Leonard Jr.). Right from the very first episode, we were told that Roscoe was going to grow up and be different—heck, he was wearing a skirt the first time we saw him. And since then, he has grown and matured into a wonderful young adult who still likes whatever he’s going to like (including whoever he wants to like). And the best part? Marty has supported him through all of it. Sure, Marty’s put his foot down a couple of times, but Marty has never once told Roscoe that he’s wrong about anything. Marty encourages Roscoe just as much as Roscoe encourages Marty. It’s also so wonderful to see a character on TV trying to figure out his identity at such a young age, and a parent who simply wants nothing but the best for him.

3. Because Ben Schwartz is a national treasure.

It appears that Ben Schwartz is actually a very nice Jewish boy in real life, and he just happens to play slimeballs on TV (I’m looking at you, too, Jean-Ralphio). So far, we’ve seen the rise and the sad fall Clyde Oberholt, but that hasn’t stopped him yet. So what if Clyde gets addicted to drugs for a little bit of time? He can work through it!

Schwartz is also quickly becoming one of those actors who is everywhere and in everything. Not to mention that before the start of season 3, “House of Lies Live” was a thing—produced by Schwartz—and it was perfect. Basically, it was the cast doing improv together, reminding us how quick they are at thinking on their feet—and that they’re downright hilarious. Not to point fingers, but I don’t see Homeland doing any sort of improv team builder. Is there a chance to do another “Live” event after the end of season 4?

4. Because it’s got an insane roster of guest stars.

Richard Schiff, Adam Brody, Eliza Coupe, Lauren Lapkus, Mekhi Phifer, and that’s only scratching the surface. That’s not including the time that Matt Damon played himself—or a much more hard-partying Matt Damon who got Marty punched at a club. And let’s not forget the fact that Jenny Slate, playing Doug’s kind of crazy wife, Sarah, isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

For season 4, the guest-star lineup so far includes Mary McCormack, Demetri Martin, Kevin Pollak, and Simon Templeman.

5. Because maybe this season we’ll finally figure out what it means to be a “management consultant.”

One of the running jokes of the first season is that Marty would kind of subtly wink-wink nudge-nudge that we weren’t exactly supposed to know what exactly they do for work. There’s a lot of lying, and a lot of cheating, and a lot of sleeping around, and a lot of first-class flights, and it appears to be a lot of fun, too.

But somewhere along the line, it no longer mattered that their professional jargon didn’t make sense and that a lot of people had helicopters at their disposal. That’s what makes House of Lies so much fun—it appears to be a huge party for Kaan and Associates, and we’re invited along for the ride, too.

Also, bonus reason: This season Jeannie is pregnant. So THAT’s going to be amazing. Is it Marty’s? We’ll soon find out.

House of Lies returns Jan. 11 at 10/9C on Showtime.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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