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Customer Review

50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Washington's chief political gambler keeps his cards close to the chest, May 11, 2014
This review is from: House of Cards: Season 2 (DVD)
And in the powerful and accomplished second season of Netflix's HOUSE OF CARDS (USA version), Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey), having doubled down and won every chance he gets, consolidates power along with his NGO-controlling wife Claire (Robin Wright). Francis, or Frank ("It's 'Francis' on buildings and 'Frank' on bumper stickers," he is joshed during Season 1) grows in finesse and power but as always has his eyes on the next prize. Some colorful new characters join the cast, among them Gerald ("Major Dad") McRaney as Raymond Tusk, a "sage" but manipulative multibillionaire from a Midwestern city, and Jimmi Simpson ("Liam McPoyle" on IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA) as Gavin Orsay, a quirky but ultra-advanced hacker in uneasy alliance with the FBI. The growing but, sadly, all-too-believable sense of menace from big power, big bucks, and domestic covert ops is lightened somewhat by Gavin's companion, a charming guinea pig named Cashew. (Note well, though, that cavy owners maintain the critters should not be kept in such confining cages.) Then Cashew comes under the foot of the Feds.

I didn't think it possible for Season 2 to outdo Season 1, but it does. Probably owing to enhanced budgeting, interior decor suffers far less from the sterile monotony often visible in the prior year, that sense of first-class hotel furniture accented with Restoration Hardware fixtures. Sometimes the fictional political events swirling around this show's main characters seem a little too strong for the circumstances -- Frank's boss the President has an eighteen percent approval rating, lower than that of any real modern President -- but it is as a character-driven saga that HOUSE OF CARDS excels. Francis Underwood's wry asides to the camera maintain that tone of impishness so necessary for our sympathy toward a very ruthless character. Robin Wright, that vessel of ambition as the Vice President's wife with an agenda of her own, gets more of a chance to act. Be sure, though, to see all of Season 1 before embarking on Season 2--both are well worth the effort but should be seen in sequence. After that, no Cook's tour of modern Machiavellianism would be complete without the remastered British trilogy that started it all.

House of Cards Trilogy: The Original UK Series Remastered
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 30, 2014, 9:35:05 PM PDT
puddleriver says:
GWB's approval got as low as 19%. Three points below Truman, and four below Nixon.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 1, 2014, 2:19:43 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Mar 4, 2015, 10:49:45 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 1, 2014, 2:21:54 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Mar 4, 2015, 10:49:53 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 1, 2014, 5:11:02 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 1, 2014, 10:56:46 AM PDT
I didn't know that, puddleriver. Thanks for pointing it out. I altered my review to take into account that material.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 1, 2014, 10:54:02 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 1, 2014, 10:54:39 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 4, 2015, 3:55:10 PM PST
BMK says:
...and now the current occupant has sunk even lower!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 4, 2015, 4:09:14 PM PST
Is anyone watching Year 3 of the (USA) HOUSE OF CARDS drama on Netflix? I did not think they could keep the excitement and drama going, but IMO they have.
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Review Details

Item

Reviewer

Allen Smalling
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Top Reviewer Ranking: 150