House of Lies Review: Daddy Issues

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This week's episode - "Prologue and Aftermath" - took us back to the hometown of Jeannie and opened the door for us to her troubled past.

Jeannie, more than any of the other House of Lies character, has shown a willingness to do whatever it takes to make the deal. This personality trait is why Marty holds her in such high regard. We know Marty was scarred by the loss of his mother, but Jeannie's case has yet to be totally revealed. What we could gather from this week, though, was that her father was both abusive to her and her mom and may have had sexual relations with his daughter, judging by Jeannie's expressions during her late scene with Marco. 

I'm all for delving into the back stories of the Pod, but for the first two such to be so dark and filled with parental issues was a bit of a downer. Something about Jeannie asking Marco if he was proud of her post-coitus was delivered in such a strange manner, something about it did not rest well with me. After learning about Jeannie's abusive father, I was left feeling ashamed inside for laughing at Clyde and Doug for trying to get her mom drunk while they took turns flirting with her.

I don't ever want to feel bad for enjoying a Clyde and Doug scene. 

House of Lies Trio

This was the toughest episode yet for me to review. The beginning of the half hour - where Clyde and Doug teased Jeannie about her secret wedding with Officer Dangler - was the brand of comedy I've come to expect from House Of Lies, but the latter scenes were too far removed from the kind of humor we have come to enjoy about this show and which I featured in my best House of Lies quotes of the week. Is it still too young a series to hold such judgements? I found myself torn. 

There was one thing I was certain about, however, and that was my feelings toward Marty sleeping with Monica: it was downright wrong. It's nothing new that the Consultant King is messed up, but to allow himself to be seduced by the woman who is threatening to take away sole custody of his beloved son was a new low point... even for Marty. Even if he is in his "save a ho mode" like Monica said, April deserved better and her reaction was justified. 

The swings from levity to darkness might not rest well with viewers who have tuned in for laughs. I'm not opposed to the show getting serious from time to time, but to heap the story of Jeannie's troubled childhood on top of the still unresolved mother issues of Marty may have been a tad premature. 


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (37 Votes)

Hi Marcus. Sorry we didn't get to talk much last night.Without having read your pots on why white women don't date asian men, the quick aswenr is Some do', as my friend Lance was married to a white girl [yes, his asian], and my old Japanese teacher back in Sydney was married to a Chinese guy [she was a white Aussie chick ... she just teaches Japanese ... and Chinese for that matter].But, of course, there is a rather large disparity between white guys who date Asian girls compared to white girls who date asian guys I think the main reason for that is what I refer to as White girls like tall sperm.' [Sorry if that sounds a little crude].As a short white guy' [if I can call myself that], I used to get a lot of rejection from girls who wanted guys who were 6 foot or taller. I think that's the basic gist of it.[Like I said, I didn't read the post].Of course, their is the other old joke-Why do the white guys chase Asian girls?Cause all the black guys have the white girls! Cheers. Hope to meet you again soon.


JK how did you not get abuse from that story line? There was definitely sexual abuse hinted. The extreme shame the woman from the church thought she could hold over Jeanie. And yes definitely high functioning somehow the need to succeed to prove herself to her absent father who only gave her love maybe after winning those beauty pageants. I agree with the author waaaaaaayyyy too soon. I was kind of on the girl power trip thing taking charge of her sexuality...ooh wait screech to a halt what 9 shows in turns out its not a take charge situation but an act to make her daddy and/or her replacement daddies proud. I am all for multi-dimensional women characters but I thought this show was about laughing about how messed up Khan and the rest of these successful people are appearing like they got it all but really because of their past its all teetering on a toothpick not about feeling awkward and guilty about the dark elephant in the room


Thought Peggy Lipton the "perfect" mom for Jeannie. Remember Mod Squad, and that she is Radhida Jones' mom in real life? Very interesting also that Jeannie has major Dad issues. Her quest for approval made me squirm.


whats up with the dinosaur dawn oliveri or the mom in the show. They couldn't have picked a better person to play the role. All she does is mumble and roll her eyes. Please get rid of her character on the show. Walking dinosaur with no boobs!!!! Terrible actress. Stopped recording show only because of the terrible mom actress dawn oliveri.


Just realized that my first comment got cut off. To complete it: ... until he's somehow managed to remove Monica's hooks, which I don't see happening any time soon. If nothing else, though, I think we witnessed some character growth right at the end there: Marty seemed genuinely ashamed of what he'd done after April left. He knows this is his fault. There's been evidence right from the pilot that Marty doesn't particularly like who he is; maybe this is the catalyst he needs to actually begin doing something about it. (Emphasis: maybe.) All in all, a bit of a downer. But a good episode nevertheless.


I've got to say, I didn't get the "abuse" thing at all. If I had to guess based on the limited information available, I'd say that Jeannie's dad was simply a man who found fatherhood thrust upon him before he was ready for it (I also wouldn't be surprised if there was a bit of a shotgun wedding element to his marriage), and finally cut and run when the pressure became too much. Plenty to fuck up an 8-10 year old girl, but not quite so dark as you're suggesting. It's also a bit easier to draw a line from that to her need for approval and apparent Electra complex. (Were they the result of more direct abuse, I wouldn't expect her to be quite so high-functioning.) As far as it goes with Marty, Monica and April, I'm disappointed but not surprised. In Marty, that is, not the writers; it's the sort of self-destructive behavior I'd absolutely expect from him. As much as I'd like he and April to work it out, I can't really see Marty having a functional romantic relationship until he's somehow able to extract Monica's hooks. So yeah, a bit of a depressing episode. All in all, though, a good one.


One of the best episodes of the season for me so far. Didn't have the humor that the last few episodes have had but with so many plot lines building to the finale it was a great turning point.

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House of Lies Season 1 Episode 10 Quotes

Some men find pregnant women sexy. Me? My penis is sad!


Doug: Jeannie I wanted to get you a penis cake.
Jeannie: I'll take the penis cake as well, chocolate?