9. House of Lies (Showtime)
Stars: Don Cheadle, Kristen Bell, Ben Schwartz, Josh Lawson, Dawn Olivieri, Glynn Turman
Entering the year, Showtime’s House of Lies had all the potential in the world. Its cast, which includes Don Cheadle, Kristen Bell, and Parks and Recreation breakout Ben Schwartz, is top-shelf, and the subject matter, concerning a group of cutthroat management consultants, promised tons of R-rated, cable television promiscuity.
Playing a wholly shallow antihero, Cheadle fully commits, yet, only being human, is unable to generate much compassion, and that’s the overall problem with House of Lies: On top of its dull comedy, and in lieu of the strong actors behind them, the show’s inherently unfeeling characters leave us cold. How the show’s writers manage to freeze a hottie like Kristen Bell in that way is negatively impressive.