Dear Netflix: Thank you, for bringing back House of Cards on Valentine’s Day. What better way to celebrate true love and devotion than jumping headfirst back into the most dysfunctional, glamourously seedy, back-stabbingly bloody and all-around deliciously satisfying series produced in quite a long time; possibly ever.
For anyone who has not yet started watching Season 2, don’t worry; I will head President Obama’s request: No Spoilers.
But on a very general note: Holy crap it’s fantastic.
The series continues in much the same vein as it left off. Brilliant writing, shocking twists and a never-ending circle of betrayal and counter-betrayal. There is so much scheming that I sometimes have a hard time keeping track whose side everyone is on. But who cares? That’s kind of true about real-life politics as well! I just take my cue from the character reactions to any given event. If Frank Underwood is happy (as happy as one can be without a soul), I know things must be going well.
What is it about this show that is so addictive? Kevin Spacey, of course, is fab-u-lous. Somehow I manage to utterly hate him but strangely want him to prevail in all his schemes.
His wife Claire shares an almost equal soft spot in my heart. She is devastatingly perfect; perfect clothes, perfect house, perfect office, perfect body, perfect hair, perfect composure – almost always, which makes her human and therefore somehow – sympathetic? She’s the world’s biggest cold-hearted bitch. In real life I would hate her. But somehow I watch her and Francis together and feel a bit in awe at the depth of their connection and commitment. I feel like this is foreshadowing the most epic betrayal of all – her of him or him or her, but I suppose I’ll have to keep waiting to find out about that one.
Somehow, the series makes politics glamourous when lately politics is anything but. Can you imagine any current politician with even the tiniest sliver of Frank Underwood’s cunning and manipulation skills? I think I would trust them all more if I thought they were anywhere near as smart as him.
But while smart they may not be, clever they do think they are: In a recent interview, Kevin Spacey recounted his meeting with a real-life politician who offered his take on the hit series: “He told me that 99% of House of Cards is realistic, and the 1% that isn’t is that you could never get an education bill passed that fast,”. Har har har…. murder and sex-for-power, yes! Competence and effectiveness, not so much. Welcome to Washington!
In any event, the show is superbly entertaining, the characters are sharp and the betrayal is juicy. Like a big piece of chocolate cake or a glass of wine, my only problem has been trying not to devour it all at once. Welcome back, Mr. Vice President!