“House of Lies” gives us a lesbian sex scene to remind us its on Showtime 

Finally, Kristen Bell is back on our TVs — and not just in a voiceover.

House of Lies premiered this week on Showtime and with it, Bell makes her fans forget all about Veronica Mars — at least for a half hour per week.

Bell plays Jeannie, a whip-smart management consultant for Galweather & Stern. Jeannie is part of "The Pod," the firm’s star team led by Don Cheadle‘s Marty. Jeannie is very much the smart girl in the midst of a boys’ club, but she certainly refuses to play anyone’s game but her own.

As per usual for Showtime, House of Lies is heavy on the sex. Jeannie seems to prefer men, but doesn’t hesitate to enjoy the company of a lady when the team spends the evening at a "gentleman’s club."

Far be it from Showtime to settle for hinting at lesbian sex, though. You probably recognize the lovely ladies in the scene: Anna Camp plays Caitlin on The Good Wife and Megalyn Echikunwoke plays Cassie on Supernatural. In House of Lies Camp plays the wife of a client The Pod is pitching and Echikunwoke is a hooker pretending to be Marty’s wife. (NSFW)

I had flashbacks to the Jenny/Marina scene from Season 1 of The L Word, so I had to watch both scenes several times for research purposes. I am nothing if not dedicated.

Almost as good as the sex is the exchange when the two women return to the table.

House of Lies also explores gender identity in the form of Marty’s son Roscoe (Donis Leonard Jr.). In the first episode, Roscoe tries out for Grease — he wants to play Sandy.

Although Marty clearly is uncomfortable with his son’s genderqueer expression, he does his best to support what Roscoe wants. Roscoe gets the part, but school principal Ms. Gita (Mo Gaffney) tries to persuade Marty to talk his son out of playing it, since a female student’s mother complained about a boy getting cast in a girl’s part. Marty’s not having it.

"He didn’t audition for a boy’s part; he auditioned for the part of Sandy. He wants to sing ‘Summer Nights’ and wear poodle skirts. He got the part of Sandy because he was the best Sandy."

Go, Dad.

Roscoe’s exploration of his sexual orientation continues throughout the season and is treated with respect and positive humor. Marty doesn’t always say or do the right thing, but he always returns to the place of putting his son’s happiness above his own notions. Kudos to the show’s producers for its handling of this storyline.

Honestly, though, I’m not in love with House of Lies — at least not yet. The characters are unlikable (with the exceptions of Roscoe and Marty’s dad Jeremiah) and the story seems to be trying so hard to be offbeat that it borders on ludicrous. Part of the problem is that it’s a half-hour show trying to cram in a case-of-the-week, lots of partying and sex, and lessons in consulting while trying to give the characters more than one dimension. (Right now, the only dimension is a sexual one.)

I do, however, love House of Lies‘ actors. Cheadle certainly has the energy to lead a show like this and Bell is the perfect balance for him. While I’m not convinced that the writers know who they want these characters to be, I found enough here to keep me watching for at least a few more episodes. I’m hoping for a bit more focus as the show progresses; give me some substance to match the style.

You can watch an edited version of the first House of Lies episode online at Showtime’s site. Check it out and let us know what you think.

Does House of Lies sound like your kind of show? How many times have you watched the lesbian scene so far?

More you may like