Sunday, January 13, 2013

House of Lies vs Scandal

Successful black businessmen are a rare find on television and movies. We’ve had our share of cops, lawyers, doctors, pilots, thugs, athletes, soldiers, bus drivers, slaves, trash men, barbers, farmers, singers, and preachers (what did I miss?).

Sure, George Jefferson owned a successful dry cleaning business and Bill Cosby was a successful baby doctor, but neither of them come close to Marty Kaan, the Don Cheadle character in House of Lies.

Cheadle is a management consultant earning a 7-figure income working to ‘fix’ things when corporate CEOs find themselves in a pinch. Like Olivia Pope fixes political things in Scandal, Marty Kaan fixes things in big business.

Cheadle has been the workingest (is that a word) black male actor in movies, but rarely in a leading role.  Hotel Rwanda earned him a best actor Oscar nomination, and his other leading roles as Petey Green in Talk To Me and as a member of the Islamic Brotherhood in Traitor were both great but not big at the box.  His versatility makes him a favorite supporting actor having played big roles in: Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve &Thirteen, Crash, Brooklyn’s Finest, Flight, Iron Man 2, to name a few.

House of Lies and Scandal are similar in many ways. Marty Kaan and Olivia Pope both lead small teams of brilliant young professionals; they both are primadonnas at their craft; and they both make you wish you could think on your feet like them.

Scandal is serious and sensitive; House of Lies is wild and crazy. But, politics is serious, and rich business owners are wild and crazy.

Unlike Olivia Pope who doesn’t seem to have a family life, weaving Marty Kaan’s family life into the show is as fun and interesting as his business life. His high rise Los Angeles condo is to die for; his son is the best child actor on TV; his dad lives with him; and his ex-wife is his #1 competitor. Marty Kaan is the king of ‘work hard-play hard’.

House of Lies is on Showtime, Sundays at 10pm. Season 2 starts tonight. It’s not for kids.

There’s never been a show like it.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats Mr. Cheadle for winning a Golden Globe Best Actor in a Comedy Series last night. House of Lies is awesome.