When I was a boy, my mother always knew when I was lying. Whether I was nonchalantly fibbing or attempting to sell a whopping pork pie, she was uncannily adept at seeing through my deceit. Now I'm older and uglier, I get to call her out on bending the truth - but her "little white lies", she claims, are meant to prevent the truth from hurting someone.

Still lies, though, Mum. Still lies.

If there is a smidgeon of truth to Showtime's black comedy drama House of Lies (FX, tomorrow at 9.30pm) then I'm grateful I didn't choose a career in the big-money world of management consultancy, because I wouldn't have lasted a day.

Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda) plays Marty Kaan, the brilliant but ruthless leader of the "pod", a team of manipulative, fast-talking consultants high on profits and low on ethics who assist the filthy rich in getting richer and filthier. With the motto "screw or be screwed", Kaan's cutthroat team include spin doctor Clyde, number-cruncher Josh and Marty's protégé, Jeannie (Kristen Bell; Veronica Mars). They ferociously fire off complicated business jargon to convince their deep-pocketed clients that only they can fix an assortment of financial problems.

Thankfully, for those who, like me, aren't fluent in the language of the 1 per cent, Kaan frequently translates the terminology direct to camera.

Cheadle plays Kaan with oodles of charisma, but these are not loveable rogues. The competing management consultancy firms (one is run by Kaan's ex-wife) are just as shallow as the corporate fat cats they are trying to fleece. Much of the humour comes from their hedonistic and fruitless search for happiness.

Based on Martin Kihn's book, House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then Tell You the Time, the show plays like an Entourage-for-city-suits and, while not quite a scathing commentary on the rich-poor divide, it makes selling your soul look like good ol' flashy fun.

Now for something more appetising. It's been at least a fortnight since a new cooking show rolled into town, so this week serves up a double helping. Affable French chef Raymond Blanc apparently taught himself how to cook and with his new series, Raymond Blanc: How to Cook Well (TVB Pearl, tomorrow at 8pm), he promises to teach us, too. Monsieur Blanc may be banging his baguette against a brick wall if he thinks he's going to get me - someone who can barely pour milk over cereal - sweating over a hot stove, but for anyone who is passionate about food, Blanc is your man.

However, the programme is certainly not aimed at novices, or those living in box-sized Hong Kong flats. Blanc's talent, relaxed approach and apartment-sized kitchen make everything look easy, but as one of his first recipes calls for the dissecting of a squid, you're going to need knife-wielding skills aplenty.

As Blanc plays with his artichokes, MasterChef begins its seventh series over on BBC Lifestyle, at the slightly later time of 9.40pm. Restaurateur John Torode and bubbly fruit 'n' veg man Gregg Wallace (above right, with Torode) slurp and gobble their way through hundreds of dishes in their hunt for another young chef with the skills to make it to the top. An X Factor-style audition for the contestants this season adds a little spice to the well-established recipe.

And with the absence of an annoying celebrity cook, MasterChef continues to be one of the more enjoyable foodie shows for non-cooking viewers. Honest.

Mark Peters