House of Cards: Season 1
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Ruthless and cunning, Congressman Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and his wife Claire (Robin Wright) stop at nothing to conquer everything. This wicked political drama penetrates the shadowy world of greed, sex and corruption in modern D.C. Kate Mara and Corey Stoll co-star in the first original series from David Fincher and Beau Willimon. Updated Synopsis for Seasons 1 - 5 Ruthless and cunning, Congressman Frank Underwood (Golden Globe® winner Kevin Spacey) and his wife Claire (Golden Globe® winner Robin Wright) stop at nothing to conquer everything. This wicked political drama penetrates the shadowy world of greed, sex and corruption in modern D.C. Kate Mara and Corey Stoll co-star in the first original series from David Fincher and Beau Willimon.
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Here's the scoop. Kevin Spacey plays congressman Frank Underwood, a very bright, savvy individual who knows his way around Capitol Hill. He knows how to get things done because he knows what's in people's souls and how to play them to his advantage. His wife, Claire (Robin Wright) heads up a a more socially conscious organization in the private sector but is no less addicted to power than her husband. They have a peculiar relationship to say the least. This is almost a diary of the various 'projects' in which they are involved and how they play them, even when unforeseen things happen.
This is some ugly, scary stuff. In my heart of hearts I don't want to believe this view of our government, but I fear it is probably a closer take on reality than is "The West Wing." The manipulation of people, the press and other politicians will make you puke in your shorts. The relationship between Frank and Claire alone can only make me wonder what world they must have lived in as children that allowed them to grow up in a way that would make them think behavior like this was Okay.
David Fincher (one of my favorite directors) helmed the first 2 episodes and well establishes the color and tone for the rest of the series. There is a greenish pallor to it which gives it a sickly feel. All the acting is top shelf and a fleet of veterans are on hand to insure that. The directing is good. The writing is exceptional. This is as good as any series I've seen on TV. My hat is off to Netflix in that they didn't feed it to their audience one episode at a time. They released the entire series in one fell swoop allowing their viewers to watch it when they please.
This is a remarkable effort and I hope the ratings are such that Netflix keeps it going.
I watched alot of tv shows, Breaking Bad, Rome, Wire, Claudius, Band Brothers, Walking Dead, some great documentary Planet Earth, Life, and Universe.... but House of Cards is more poetic in its script, acting, tension, relation, narrative shot cut and switch.
And I love the new narrative method in tv drama series, Kevin speaks to camera (viewer) directly from time to time, it does not break the scene, actually a perfect touch of connection. Kevin is fantastic in this role, reminds me him in American beauty, and I am very glad he is playing this role, the curve-shot storyline and poetic script in ground-breaking plan English truly exposed his wings hovering in a dark haunting kingdom. I can't recall any other good tv drama script can match this series, poetic = brutally truthful, swiftly sharp, like a surgeon blade.
I cannot wait to watch the season 2 dvd.
But I don't agree with its overly cynical and sometimes impossible plot. Two newspaper reporters are not going to make an easy transition into the new media, and if they do, they certainly will not have the time to investigate a vote in Congress, the entangled relationships, and the suspicious death of a member of Congress. New media is not producing Woodward and Bernstein.
Amazing that Frank moves on with his relationship with Claire, or Remy, after they sunk his vote. If he stayed in character, he would be plotting their demise.
And something just plain sloppy. Frank was in the driver's seat, and the would-be Governor was in the passenger seat when he closed the garage door. The police would not rule that a suicide by any means if they found the victim in the passenger seat.
And finally I'd like just one redeeming character and a touch of real humanity. Politics is tough but most people get into it for the right reasons.