You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘House of Lies’ Leads Ho-Hum Showtime Lineup

Showtime’s Sunday lineup returns Jan. 13 with three
existing series, including “House of Lies,” starring Don Cheadle; and
“Shameless,” featuring William H. Macy. The third, “Californication,” is such a guilty pleasure it might be the
longest-running show on TV that no one has ever publicly admitted to watching.

HouseofliesSimply put, I’ve never been able to get
into any of them in a significant way. I stuck with “Californication”
for awhile before having my senses dulled by its sex-and-money in some new exaggerated setting formula (season six has David Duchovny’s protagonist becoming involved with a rock musical based on his novel). In similar fashion, while I was initially intrigued by “House of Lies'” inside-management-consulting niche and Cheadle’s talents, I found myself rather quickly tiring of its frat-boy mentality and personal subplots.

The second-season “Lies” premiere yields much
of the same, hinging on what Cheadle’s fast-talking closer, Marty, and his associate Jeannie
(Kristen Bell) can piece together from a drunken encounter neither fully remembers.

It’s perfectly fine — the pay-cable equivalent of a Saturday matinee — and perfectly
average, especially coming off a fall that featured a reinvigorated “Dexter” and “Homeland,”
even with my misgivings about the latter.

Showtime has a pair of promising-looking new shows in the wings (including “Ray Donovan,” starring Liev Schreiber; and
“Masters of Sex,” with Michael Sheen), which perhaps makes this troika feel even more like a placeholder until reinforcements can arrive.

Not that I blame Showtime for renewing
them. I’m sure each has a core of passionate loyalists — always valuable in the pay space — and the star quality alone is beneficial from an image standpoint. It’s just despite the ample time they spend fooling around below the belt, it’s hard to get up much enthusiasm. And that’s the truth.

More Voices

  • Scrips Discovery Partnership

    A Merger Between Scripps and Discovery Could Be a Smart Fit

    Showtime’s Sunday lineup returns Jan. 13 with three existing series, including “House of Lies,” starring Don Cheadle; and “Shameless,” featuring William H. Macy. The third, “Californication,” is such a guilty pleasure it might be the longest-running show on TV that no one has ever publicly admitted to watching. Simply put, I’ve never been able to […]

  • profiles theatre Sexual Harassment

    Sexual Harassment in the Theater: How Chicago Fought Back

    Showtime’s Sunday lineup returns Jan. 13 with three existing series, including “House of Lies,” starring Don Cheadle; and “Shameless,” featuring William H. Macy. The third, “Californication,” is such a guilty pleasure it might be the longest-running show on TV that no one has ever publicly admitted to watching. Simply put, I’ve never been able to […]

  • TV Television problems Expenses Placeholder

    Netflix Has Secret Weapon in Hollywood's Multibillion-Dollar Arms Race

    Showtime’s Sunday lineup returns Jan. 13 with three existing series, including “House of Lies,” starring Don Cheadle; and “Shameless,” featuring William H. Macy. The third, “Californication,” is such a guilty pleasure it might be the longest-running show on TV that no one has ever publicly admitted to watching. Simply put, I’ve never been able to […]

  • sweeney Todd Barrow Street Theatre

    Commercial Off Broadway Isn't Dead -- It's Turning Into Broadway

    Showtime’s Sunday lineup returns Jan. 13 with three existing series, including “House of Lies,” starring Don Cheadle; and “Shameless,” featuring William H. Macy. The third, “Californication,” is such a guilty pleasure it might be the longest-running show on TV that no one has ever publicly admitted to watching. Simply put, I’ve never been able to […]

  • Edie Windsor Appreciation

    GLAAD President Reflects on Edie Windsor's Impact on LGBTQ Community

    Showtime’s Sunday lineup returns Jan. 13 with three existing series, including “House of Lies,” starring Don Cheadle; and “Shameless,” featuring William H. Macy. The third, “Californication,” is such a guilty pleasure it might be the longest-running show on TV that no one has ever publicly admitted to watching. Simply put, I’ve never been able to […]

  • Game of Thrones

    Networks' Streaming Apps Make Minimal Revenue Impact (For Now)

    Showtime’s Sunday lineup returns Jan. 13 with three existing series, including “House of Lies,” starring Don Cheadle; and “Shameless,” featuring William H. Macy. The third, “Californication,” is such a guilty pleasure it might be the longest-running show on TV that no one has ever publicly admitted to watching. Simply put, I’ve never been able to […]

  • Avatar

    3D Shows Enduring Value, Delivering Entertainment Not Found at Home (Guest Column)

    Showtime’s Sunday lineup returns Jan. 13 with three existing series, including “House of Lies,” starring Don Cheadle; and “Shameless,” featuring William H. Macy. The third, “Californication,” is such a guilty pleasure it might be the longest-running show on TV that no one has ever publicly admitted to watching. Simply put, I’ve never been able to […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content