May 16, 2016

House of Cards Thoughts


Believe it or not, I only recently watched House of Cards. That’s got to be surprising for some because I do tend to speak about politics a lot and I’m a big Kevin Spacey fan. Here are some thoughts I had after finishing all four seasons:
  • It's well-written, superbly acted, and beautifully shot. First two seasons are the best. Season Three lost something big with the Frank versus Claire turn. The two of them working together is part of what makes the show work. In season Four, I think the show jumped the shark with the Underwood/Underwood ticket. I don’t think that would ever fly in real life.
  • I’ve seen people ask about why they made Frank Underwood a Democrat. Well, making him a Republican would be too obvious and you’d have a lot of people accusing the show of “liberal media bias.” Secondly, if you’ve paid any attention to the current election, you’ve hopefully woken up to the fact the DNC is crooked and shady as hell. So, yeah…
  • Not surprised the show  is popular with folks in Washington. Is politics that shady? If you have to ask, then, again, you haven’t been paying any attention to the presidential primaries. But what House of Cards does is make everyone hyper-competent at getting away with manipulation and dirty dealing so it’s a kind of political wish fulfillment for the assholes in office.
  • I think The Underwoods are the Clintons if the Clintons were more attractive and adept at hiding their underhanded dealings.
  • When Will Conway says, "And I'm a New York Republican, which is basically a Democrat,” I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my life. Because marketing is the only thing that hides the lack of any real divide between parties.
  • The biggest problem I had with House of Cards is a problem that I’ve run into with a lot of shows. Everyone is so terrible that there’s no one to cheer for. No one you really want to see come out on top. Hammerschmidt, in Season Four, probably comes the closest. Unfortunately, he's a plot device character. And while I really do want him to bring the whole thing toppling down, my guess is that’ll probably never happened.
  • Watching House of Cards and thinking about the rise of hit shows starring completely terrible people like Frank Underwood, Don Draper, and Walter White and all those shows being populated with a cast who are generally unlikeable, made me understand Trump and really grok something about the dark undercurrent of the American psyche: Deep down in our heart of hearts, we like a bully. Specifically, a white male bully with an overblown sense of self who gets and does what he wants.


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