House of Lies and the Management of Emotions

  • Stefanie Mueller


Following a group of corporate consultants in their private and professional lives, Showtimes’ House of Lies presents a world of luxury and irresponsibility that is almost untouched by the financial crisis and whose internal workings the show reveals through its most salient stylistic device: the main protagonist’s frequent breaking of the fourth wall. By translating the world of finance into the language of relationships, the show reflects a gendered transformation of the corporate workplace in the twentieth century and exposes the (male) anxieties that went with it. Drawing on Eva Illouz’s work on “emotional capitalism,” Mueller concludes that House of Lies offers a training site for its audience to practice the emotional habitus necessary to succeed within the culture of what Richard Sennett calls “the new capitalism.”


Emotional Health Female Character Corporate Finance Relationship Business Reality Television 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefanie Mueller
    • 1
  1. 1.Goethe University Frankfurt am MainFrankfurtGermany

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