Alpha House (TV Series 2013–2014) Poster

(2013–2014)

User Reviews

Review this title
29 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
10/10
Consider me addicted.
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.
44 out of 56 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Funny D.C. Comedy Drama -- A Great Start for Amazon Studios
SaxAndViolins28 September 2013
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!
46 out of 74 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Entertaining and Insightful
fung09 February 2014
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.
22 out of 33 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
I wanted to like it
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.
19 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Fantastic writing and characters!
angelawriter18 January 2014
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.
23 out of 37 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
What an unexpected, happy surprise!
kate-7130830 March 2015
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.
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Really funny
sammyadelaiye31 May 2015
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.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Cheap Shots and Manipulation
MrMcMurphy25 January 2015
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.
11 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Sharp and witty, I still keep checking for more episodes!!
bknb024 March 2017
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.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Great Political Comedy
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.
12 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
Liberal Propaganda Garbage
imdbtruth27 October 2014
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!
17 out of 41 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Trudeau does have an agenda
michael_weho24 October 2014
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.
12 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
The West Wing and Veep's love child...
HelenMary17 June 2014
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!
9 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Not a very good show, writers need to do some basic research
joeypants0531 January 2014
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.
17 out of 45 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
Good actors trapped in lightweight cartoon by left-wing buffoons ...
HaroldTheBear4 January 2014
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 ...
27 out of 80 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Very funny and totally fresh.
Shopaholic3513 August 2014
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.
6 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
West Wing meets Newsroom...Thumbs way up
TamPalm25 October 2014
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!
6 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Bring it back
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.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Amazon, why not promote this good stuff!
robertajcrowe10 August 2018
I've recently retired and decided I'd spend an hour or so each day watching television. In the past, most of the shows I've followed were not American television. I have very low expectation of our country"s offerings.

'Then I saw Marvelous Ms. M and LOVED it. So, so, so much better than Gilmore Girls. Now I've just finished Alpha House.

Such good writing, the characters were funny and clearly drawn--and I could actually tolerate our government, or lack thereof.

I know it's 2018 and several years have passed, but gosh, Amazon, bring this show back.

I seldom buy things from your company so shipping isn't important to me. Spotify can't be beat. I love it to death. But you sure can impact millions of people with high quality, non violent entertainment. That's definitely worth $10 a month.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Biting The Hand That Feeds You
jabrbi5 August 2014
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.
5 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Sad to see good actors involved this kind of nonsense
whookares12 May 2014
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.
10 out of 37 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Hoping for season 3!!
gina-reino9 March 2016
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!
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
John Goodman in the cast - You know it's a winner!
rcummings-631-13794625 October 2017
If you take life way to serious then you will find fault with this series and judging by the comments only a few fall into this group. Like the majority of the people who watch or have watched this series I found it to be extremely good. John Goodman was made for this type of role and I only wish it was still going on. If only more shows could come together like this one! Great while it lasted.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Gentle, likable political satire
runamokprods27 May 2014
This amusing, well acted political satire by Gary Trudeau isn't quite up to the level of the often brilliant "Tanner 88" he created with Robert Altman. It lacks that earlier series' sharp edges and dark moments that made that now legendary show far more powerful and even painful between the chuckles.

None-the-less, this tale of 4 likable if goofy Republican senators sharing a house in DC has a good number of laughs, and a larger number of slightly rueful smiles. (Along with a trove of enjoyable supporting characters). And while Trudeau's gently left leaning sympathies are clear, you can be sure he shows his Republican protagonists' likable, human sides, and isn't afraid to make Democrats look as opportunistic and small minded.
4 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
A politically biased movie
Sacjt30 April 2019
A movie written and produced by Democrats that make Republicans appear to be buffoons. Not enjoyable at all.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed