Wednesday, March 4, 2015

House of Cards (Spoiler Alert)

Dark. Poignant. Disturbing.  Ruthless. Finally, politics I can get behind.

On February 1, 2013, Netflix introduced the world to a new political drama starring two-time Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. Now, I was a bit skeptical at first. Seriously, another political drama.  But I of course gave it a whirl. I do enjoy my political dramas.  I was a big fan of The West Wing and I am one of the millions of Scandal addicts. 

Season 1 starts off with a bang with lead character Frank Underwood (Spacey), a congressman from South Carolina, killing a dying dog with his bare hands.  That scene was so pivotal because right off the bat, we are introduced to the ruthlessness of Frank and we, as the audience know he is not going to be Mr. Rogers.  Underwood is on a whole other level of disturbed. He is power hungry and losing pretty much anything is his kryptonite.  This man will literally stop at nothing to have everything he wants.  Kevin Spacey portrays him in a way that almost chills you to the bone.  In other words, in a way only Kevin Spacey can.  At first, his wife Claire, was a little difficult to analyze.  At first, my thought this was just another cold fish of a television wife, trying too hard to be a cold fish.  This is not the case.  This woman is stone cold and I think I love her.  There is a reason Robin Wright is the first actor to win a major award for a web only television series when she won the Golden Globe for best actress in a drama series.  She is able to grace the screen with such a frosty stoicism that the temperature practically dropped while I was watching.

The writing is superb with some of the words hitting you like a bullet in the dark. I think many people would agree when I say that Frank and Claire Underwood are probably the most intriguing yet darkest pair of characters on the small screen these days.  House of Cards is a very different kind of political drama.  It is no secret that at the helm are a husband and wife team with some very serious control issues.  There has also been a threesome with a Secret Service agent, beer pong in the White House, a reporter pushed in front of a train, and a first lady peeing in front of a Russian diplomat.

Season three was revolutionary in writing, acting, even camera angles at times.  However I am sorry to say, the ending, although not expected, was too generic for this show.  Claire is a stone wall, maybe even titanium and she does a 360 and turns into every other wife on television, whining about not enough attention right at the very end of the season finale.  This is not Claire Underwood.  I only hope at the beginning of Season 4, it goes back to extraordinary and quickly leaves this very ordinary and, I am sorry to say, trite way to end what was an exceptional season.  House of Cards so far has been a tight, taunt structure full of subtle twists and turns that will, at times, leave you speechless. Hopefully, it will soon not all fall apart.

Thank you and see you at the next blog.

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