House of Lies has always been more than just a comedy. It’s a trip inside the surreal and often fantastical world of white-collar egomaniacs. Sure, the “sexcapades” are a little out of control sometimes, as is the nature of premium networks like Showtime and HBO, but this hyper reality is grounded in hard-hitting truths, socio-economic issues and the all-encompassing quest for the American dollar.
The first three seasons of House of Lies touched on issues of race, gender equality and sexuality without ever feeling the need to shove a moral lesson down your throat. Face it, on a Sunday night, nobody wants or needs a lecture about how to live life.
When we left Kaan and Associates at the end of Season 3, the FBI had hauled Marty Kaan off to jail. After his father bailed him out, he drove off into the desert to think. Season 4 picks up right at that spot, then jumps ahead several months. We learn that Marty spent some time in jail and Jeannie is pregnant.
The House of Lies writing staff doesn’t spend too much time belaboring the issues that exist in Marty and Jeannie’s fractured relationship. That wouldn’t be in the nature of these business consultants. Much like their personal lives, Marty and Jeannie are able to bury their feelings and relationship in order to get the job done. But all that angst still permeates to the top, through caustic jokes and not-to-subtle jabs. At every turn, Marty and Jeannie are deciding how best to manage a business decision, while simultaneously using that decision as a way to hurt or heal their personal feelings toward the other.
And that’s why the start of season 4 continues to feel fresh and true to the corporate world. The business must persevere and always come before your feelings. It’s as sad as it is hilarious. Jeannie even makes a comment regarding freezing her eggs, a new practice in Silicon Valley spearheaded by Apple and Facebook.
The first two episodes of Season 4 jump back and forth between the present and Marty’s time in jail. While Doug and Clyde are still trying to figure out who they want to be now that “daddy” isn’t as powerful as he used to be, Roscoe’s side story continues to be more compelling. His teenage rebelling has taken another step forward during Marty’s time in jail. And it looks like we’ll start to see three generations of the Kaan family seriously butt heads in 2015.