User Reviews (33)

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  • kcasey0333 December 2013
    What a great show. I stumbled across this by chance. I think Amazon should do a better job promoting the show to give others a chance to enjoy. Alpha House is a witty, fresh and addicting. Better writing than anything on network television. It's my escape from network reality shows. This is John Goodman's best work since the classic King Ralph. His character is believable. Such a great job. The entire cast does a great job. Hope to see the return of Bill Murray soon. There is greatness in the making with Goodman and Murray. Wanda Sykes shines. She brings her classic sarcasm and it just works. Andy Guzman couldn't be better. He must have researched that role very well. Matt Malloy's character is confused about his own place in the world and it's hilarious. Would be nice to see this show on a premium cable network.
  • glfnation28 September 2018
    This show was so much better than I had expected. Not a lot of big names but the writing and acting was amazing. I wish Amazon or someone else would pick this up for at least one more season. So many loose ends.
  • It's not easy to hear the voice of 'Doonesbury' cartoonist Garry Trudeau in the mouths of John Goodman and the other solid actors of Alpha House. The satire here is more subtle, and surprisingly affectionate. We tend to like these characters, even though they're ambitious, incompetent, self-serving and immoral. The show rarely goes for obvious one-liners. Instead, it gives Washington culture more of a slow-roasting.

    Alpha House may be a deliberate attempt to create a US counterpart to such behind-the-scenes British political satires as Yes Minister and The Thick of It. Like those classics, Alpha House depicts politicians not as evil, or Machiavellian, but rather as very human products of a certain unique culture. These are people who wield great power, yet they're just as slow-witted as the rest of us, and just as unaware of their own blinkered viewpoint. Their priorities are shaped by the relentless pursuit of re-election; the needs of the populace hardly enter into it.

    By letting us get to know these characters, and even to like them, Alpha House gives us a very different understanding of their world than we'd get from serious political commentary. It's a show you can't help thinking politicians themselves would enjoy, just as Maggie Thatcher was reputed to enjoy Yes Minister.

    I hope the Daily Show/Colbert/Realtime audience discovers Alpha House, and gives its approach a chance. This is political humor that's a bit more subtle, but just as worthwhile.
  • With Netflix and Hulu quickly becoming production powerhouses, it would only make sense that Amazon would join in. Their first attempt is "Alpha House", created by Garry Trudeau, the man behind the Doonesbury comic strip. I haven't heard a lot about this series so far. At the time of me writing this, it doesn't even have a Wikipedia page. Nevertheless, the show is off to a good start.

    "Alpha House" follows four United States Senators who live together in the same house. With rent so high in Washington DC, this is actually something that real life congressman end up doing. We see them go about their days with fund-raisers, committee meetings, lunches, and more. It appears a majority of this season will deal with re-election strategy as they try to hold onto their seats in Congress.

    One of the most refreshing things about the show is that even though the four Senators are Republicans, the writers don't have people constantly belittle them and put them down in exceptionally well-written monologues. They instead parody the culture of the right-wing by cartooning the facades of it. I personally find the humor funny, but I hope the writers will do it to Democrats as well. Goodness knows liberals can have a sense of humor about their party too.

    A lot of people have called this unoriginal and compared to "House of Cards". This isn't HOC, but it's not trying to be. It's a satirical comedy about the inner workings of the beltway. People crying 'Ripoff' seem to forget that HOC was a remake itself. I have a feeling once the show picks up, people will learn to like it. In the meantime, Amazon hasn't given a timetable saying when the next episodes will be released, but I can't wait to see them!
  • I love this show. I happened upon it accidentally. Amazon--what is up with that? You really need to promote this. The writing is fresh and witty and the characters are complicated, flawed, funny and oh so human. Actually, I am a partisan liberal and can actually smile sometimes now at the ugliness in DC See what a work of humorous fiction can do to make the world a better place?

    I have to say that I have always loved John Goodman and I find he is a wonderful character to humanize his house-mates. More than any of his fellow senators he seems accidental in his service--and probably the most honest.

    The production values are wonderful in Alpha House and the tone is sweet underneath. Everyone is just trying to get through the day with their own craziness. Wives, lovers, dogs,subcommittees, social media, sex, power and meme are hysterically dealt with. Bravo, Amazon.
  • danj12714 January 2015
    I really wanted to love Alpha House. The 1st season was entertaining and an easy watch. The 2nd season turned hard left and preachy and the writing seemed high jacked with an agenda. The result was predictable...the funny suffered. Such a shame and big turn-off. Now it just feels like a left wing production designed to highlight liberal perceptions of Republicans thinly veiled as entertainment. Satire can be fun and entertaining but it is obvious when it goes over the line into digs to reinforce liberal perceptions. I am debating whether to give Alpha House another go. Like I said I want to like it. Why not lampoon with right as well as the left. There should be plenty of crazy on both sides of the aisle to find funny. The show would be so much better if it was the comical voice of the political class.
  • We are testing out Amazon Prime and looking for shows that we can't get on Netflix (since we don't subscribe to cable). We love political satire (and any satire, actually). What a great storyline and cast! John Goodman is funny, cuddly and likable. Mark Consuelos -- know who he is but never saw him in anything. Wanda Sykes has an interesting character with an unexpected outcome. Honestly the entire cast and story is terrific. Not sure that there will be more seasons but we certainly had a nice little interlude during Seasons 1 and 2. Some viewers will find this show leaning a bit liberal, but it doesn't have the weight and punch of West Wing or the melodrama of Scandal. Just settle back and enjoy.
  • The comedy was a bit broad for me at the beginning but as far as political comedy goes this is really funny. And it's one of those shows that builds as it goes, it gets more funny with each episode. While the political angle doesn't favor republicans, the characters are actually very likable and the timing is always on point. It's a very different sort of comedy with no dull moment. John Goodman does a good job as the old school politician with major issues, Clark Johnson also pulls some amazing comic chops really effortlessly, Mark Consuelos is also really good but I think next to john Goodman, Matt Malloy has to be the other star here. His character is really complex ranging from outright craziness and socially ineptitude of his character to the Likability and empathy he brings to the characters personal struggles. If you are looking for a political statement this is not the show for that, it is just pure fun with an older age group in mind.
  • If you have the same politics as the writer; if you don't mind him injecting his political positions every chance he gets; and if you don't mind him using your entertainment as a median to express his 100% partisan personal politics, you may like this show.

    It's amazing the extent of which the writer uses every opportunity he can to let viewers know where he stands on all the major political issues (abortion, religion, global warming, gay marriage, etc.), AND greatly disparage the other side in the process.

    (I'm not talking about satire. I'm talking about overt statements that are clearly not meant to be funny, just statements).

    The thing is, I AGREE with SOME of the writer's politics, and where his political enemies are being foolish. I just can't stand the writer using the dialogue of what could be a great show to let us know where he stands, and how much he loathes the other side.

    Great shows that do politics WITHOUT coming even close to taking advantage to the extent this writer does: The West Wing, House of Cards, & SNL.

    Sure, in the aforementioned shows, you can see which way the writers lean, but they're not using their position to take cheap shots and manipulate the audience.
  • This is a superb bit of television. Witty, funny, sharp, well acted (especially John Goodman), well produced and directed, everything. It is about four senators in their "house on the hill" away from their wives, for when they are in DC and their political and non-political shenanigans. It's an irreverent look at American politics but I would hazard a guess that it's not too far from the truth albeit with a smattering of hyperbole.

    Laugh out loud funny, yet with plenty of truisms and real soul, the Alpha House walks the fine line between adult-style frat house/coming of age and political "walk and talk" fly on the wall and doesn't mince it's words addressing matters of drugs, sex, racism, bigotry, religious intolerance and also putting new social media front and centre; Twitter is HUGE in this show as is Skype-type face-time, showcasing new problems that politicians face and ways they can address their constituents. It intersperses fiction with clips of real clips of Obama and committees on the Hill, and it pokes a bit of fun at far-right Republicans.

    Love this show, highly recommend it. Can't believe it's not had enough publicity!
  • I'm now on the second season of "Alpha House" and it's as good if not better than the first. I noticed that some reviewers have said that the characters are Democrats playing Republicans but I don't think that is fair. I am old enough to remember when our political parties were not so beholding to outside money and that I had a sense that both parties were working in good faith. It's not that way now. Whatever, I enjoy this show because I see how it relates to how our politicians, GOP and Democrat, and the media work. But in a humorous vein. It's not overly cynical. I found myself admitting that I would vote for Biggs because he is reasonable. I believe that this is what Trudeau has in mind. The GOP has been taken over by right-wing extremist who answer only to big money, i.e. Koch Brothers. I hope it comes back for many seasons to come.
  • pensman5 December 2013
    Warning: Spoilers
    Everyone on this show is outstanding especially Goodman, Johnson, and Malloy. Consuelos is just a bit too stereotyped for my taste. John Goodman as a senator elected into office because of his past college coaching is a great good old boy who finds himself facing a younger challenger. And Malloy as the senator trying to get reelected by overcoming his wimp image is point on. Wrestling with Colbert is hysterical. And Johnson is doing his best as a senator trying to dodge ethics violations. Watching these three playing the political game is probably a bit too close to reality for some but this show is just as entertaining as Spacey's House of Cards. The main difference is while profanity abounds, nudity plays no role here so voyeurs will be disappointed. Consuelos is the typical Spanish playboy and for me the weakest of the four characters. But if watching the antics of our "real" Congress gets you frustrated, you can at least get some great laughs watching this show. And there is an interesting mix of guest stars to spice things up.
  • In the first episode you're hit with global warming propaganda, and gay agenda propaganda, and it only got worse when I watched the next couple of episodes.

    The ONLY reason I gave this show any more than the minimum 1 star, is because John Goodman can still act... But they obviously used almost all of their budget to get him, because the supporting cast sucks almost as bad as the show's writers.

    But all political bias aside, this show honestly sucks! Is it supposed to be comedy??? Or a drama? It FAILS epically at both! It is NOT funny! (No, not even with John Goodman) And the story lines are not at all enthralling! Absolute garbage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Instead watching this mindless drivel, you should watch the great Kevin Spacey give an accurate portrayal of the sociopaths and scumbags who rise to power on Capitol Hill.

    This show sucks! WATCH HOUSE OF CARDS INSTEAD!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The show overall isn't very good although there are worse comedies on broadcast TV. The show paints anyone republican as an oafish stereotypical hyper partisan with the only sane people being any democratic character.

    Looking beyond all of that the writers show their ignorance through some of their jokes. In the third episode John Goodman makes a joke about how Bagram Afghanistan is the hottest place he has ever been and he is from a swamp. Bagram never actually gets that hot while Kuwait where they had just came from is always horrendously hot. If they wanted to do that joke they should of done it in Kuwait not Bagram.
  • I had high expectations. Watching and enjoying the success achieved by Netflix and Hulu had whetted my appetite for deliciously wicked comedy wrapped around politics with sophistication and wit.

    Make no mistake. Plenty of money and time was expended here. The acting and technical direction is excellent, first-rate. But the writing and the end result is, to be charitable, sophomoric buffoonery. And more than a bit off-putting.

    This is not good. Surely those writing the Amazon checks for this effort expected total excellence. Instead, they have a mess that could only please the low-information Daily Kos crowd, perhaps drug-addled sophomores on the slow end of the bell curve.

    Amazon, I love you. I support you. I recommend you for your service and your value. And I will continue to do so. But. I could not be persuaded to pay for this. Indeed, you could not pay me to watch it. I went four episodes deep, and it did not get better.

    Spend your development dollars elsewhere, Amazon. This 'series' is a shameful, tasteless, and painful loser ...
  • OMG, this show is outrageously funny. I love seeing a different take on politics. Whether you want to admit it or not, there is definitely a lot of truth to this show. Politicians aren't gods they're normal people who believe they're gods and honestly it is probably more accurate then other shows on the subject.

    The cast is brilliant in their respective roles especially John Goodman as Gil John and Matt Malloy as Louis. They all play very stereotypical characters but they do it damn well. Everything they do is a contradiction and depends on public opinion. When they're not in the public eye you get to see the real them. It's refreshing.

    It's new, it's fresh, and it's definitely worth watching.
  • I knew this cast might be hard to keep together, a lot of heavy hitters in one place. A person can hope though! Loved it while it lasted. I love John Goodman in power roles, Mark Consuelo in sexy roles and Wanda Sykes is just funny as all get out! The whole cast was great! I had heard they were trying to make another season, but then it didn't happen.
  • I have now completed the second season and thought that based on the small number reviews, it would be a good idea for me to write a review to give those who haven't seen it or don't know about it, to give an idea of what to expect.

    If you liked West Wing, you'll like this show. Just as witty and equally thought-provoking on current-day political culture without Aaron Sorkin's lightning speed dialogue style (thank goodness). Like West Wing, the acting is superb and there are numerous cameos of newspeople and politicians for your political/news junkie pleasures.

    If you like Newsroom, you'll like this show. Newsroom was satire at its core. So is Alpha House. Both mostly pokes fun at the current day Republican Party but AH does it better. Both use characters who are Republicans to satirize the party's platform but AH is less preachy and thus more effective than Newsroom was. So far AH hasn't gotten too preachy but there is a possible vulnerability there that I hope the show manages to avoid going forward. This specifically surrounds one of the biggest subplots of the show concerning one of the characters and his inability to reconcile the conservative values he feels pressured to uphold with his sexuality. In fact this character and his family provide the bulk of not only the humor but the backdrop for the overall satirical message of the show. I will stop here to avoid giving too much of the show away.

    I hope Amazon continues this show. It really is a breath of fresh air. And I think it's better that it's on a forum like Amazon versus television. I didn't think so at the time but in hindsight I concede that HBO may not have been the best venue for Newsroom. The type of audience it and shows like AH attract is quite specific. It's not a general audience type of show. I'm glad the powers that be apparently realize this. Speaking of those producers, I noticed Jonathan Alter, a regular commentator on MSNBC is executive producer of AH. This is simultaneously fascinating, impressive and alarming. It alarms me because MSNBC has become way too biased and preachy for its own good. I am hoping the kind of disingenuous proselytizing it does doesn't spill over to this show. I am hoping the setup of the show--the interaction of four Republican lawmakers--keeps it grounded and somewhat balanced. I am looking for a positive future for this show.

    Check it out!
  • In a world where Hollywood preaches to us as to how we should be, think, act, and vote, there is one thing worse: when Hollywood tells us what we are. There is a shallowness of writing here which is at once hackneyed and amateur. One of the reasons for The Donald's roaring success in that the Left truly does not understand him, or us. As a series written years before he rose to political Leadership, my remark may sound like a non sequitur. It is not, if you think about it.

    Instead of being a parody or expose of the Right, this series is a fascinating parody of the Left's writing style, and a demonstration of its infantile predilection for projection - where everyone else is as simplistic and without moral compass as they are. In that accidental success, this series is spectacular.

    Since the acting in this thing is generally excellent, I could not sink below a 6. Too bad, that, really.

    I suppose, if a person was so dense that he did not realize the 12 pound sledgehammer subtlety of the messages here, we are also treated to the X Ray Trivia, which literally underscore and document the agenda with all the sophistication of a high school term paper. This distortions contained therein truly feel like a cartoon.
  • It's rare that a political satire can cross the Atlantic and be liked, and understood, by those on the other side. With "Alpha House" the characters are really just generic politicians. you don't need to know if these people are Republican, Democrat, Conservative, or Labour; they're just pigs at the trough.

    This is a comedy in the same vein as "Yes, Minister", where there's no laugh out loud moments, but the wit shines through, the situations are absolutely believable and the politicians are shown to be real people, just like everybody else. Admittedly, these people have more power and influence than others, but they're just as incompetent, vain, self-serving, out of touch, ignorant, and grubby as you'd expect any politician to be.

    Although there are threads that run through the series, each episode is also sufficiently stand alone that you can miss one or more programmes and still enjoy the show.

    I can't help thinking that any detractors of this show are Republicans, annoyed that these men are Republican senators but, really, they're just politicians. Ignore whatever views these people spout and just enjoy the messy business of 21st Century politics.

    If you care about politics, watch this show. If you enjoy wit, imagination, and satire, watch this show twice, it's that good.
  • Pretty original idea from the good folks in the democrat party. Here we have 4 democrats playing republicans and made to look like fools. Brilliant, what will they think of next, maybe a show making fun of 5 or 6 republicans. Imagine the gales of stupid laughter in the living rooms of left-wingers everywhere.

    I was hoping with the election of Obama that we could come together as a country and both parties would work together and do great things but the left wing extremists are just malcontents and need to keep the ugliness of our political system alive for the foreseeable future.

    Would be nice to see an attempt by the media in this country to produce something fair as we know there are numerous democrat politicians with criminal indictments and felony records but I guess they wouldn't want to trouble the American public with trivial information like that.
  • I loved this show from episode one which is rare for me! I love the characters. Without spoilers, I cannot wait to see what happens with certain story lines! And the witty dialogue is fantastic.. John Goodman, Clark Johnson, Matt Malloy, & Mark Consuelo make a great ensemble! I also agree with other reviewers who make comparisons to VEEP, West Wing and Newsroom in the D.C./political arena but it is satire and everyone is fair game Democrats and Republicans.

    If you are in anyway entertained by politics, DC, and cameos from IRL politicians and journalists, then give this show a try. C'mon, as Kevin Spacey, said, it's hard to make jokes about a town that Is one. This show does it well. Plus, it's an election year!
  • louiepapp4 July 2020
    I just discovered this show. Now that VEEP is gone there isn't much political comedy out there that isn't hard core left. This show was right in the middle making fun of everyone which is what I like. It also shows the friendships between roommates and even across the aisles which used to be common but now rare. There is talk of a revival which I am really am hoping for. It was a really funny enjoyable show.
  • I recently watched this great show again from beginning to

    It never ended. I would rate a 10 but there was no ending or closure. It just stopped. Enjoy what there is of it but don't get involved with the characters or the show. You'll be disappointed like me.
  • I came across this series on DVD at the local library. I was surprised by how smart it was and ahead of its time. The four senators are Republicans with Robert Bettencourt from Pennsylvania; Andy Guzman from Florida; Gil Hogs from North Carolina and Louis Lasser from Nevada.

    Garry Trudeau who wrote the Doonesbury cartoons and is married to Jane Pauley has created, developed, directed, produced and wrote this clever series before the success of Amazon television series.

    I enjoyed Mark Consuelos as Andy Guzman and John Goodman as the North Carolina Senator. Julie White played his wife. Amy Sedaris played Louise Lasser, Louis' wife. The cast also included Wanda Sykes and Cynthia Nixon. Too bad, it didn't get the accolades like Emmys and Golden Globes. It could have really swept the awards ceremony.
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