Right now I am watching a Netflix original show titled House of Cards which is an American version of the famous BBC show by the same name. As I view episode seven I am amused that I am also going through The West Wing, a show that paints a more lighter picture of politics in Washington D.C. One is light the other dark, both having some realistic aspects of the political world yet also are fantastic versions of what is going on. At the heart of this gripping thriller drama is Francis “Frank” and Claire Underwood, who after being turned down for an important cabinet position go on the offensive and take the power that they were denied.
One of the best things about this show is watching Kevin Spacey act deliciously evil each week. Robin Wright is also excellent as his wife, Claire, who might be worse than he is at times. The subplots include Zoe Barnes (played by Kate Mara), an opportunistic journalist, and Peter Russo (Corey Stoll), a young Congressman. Both people are used by Francis and his sinister chief of staff, Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly), to advance Francis’ agenda. A favorite moment of mine is when Francis delivers a sneaky and lie filled sermon to a church in the third episode. Its textbook Spacey and a shining example of his brilliance as an actor.
Although the subplots are rocky at times the main storyline is incredibly well crafted. Wright and Spacey’s scenes together is the foundation of House of Cards. Some of the comedy that actually occurs is unintentional or subtitle yet the drama is very focused and engaging. Plus for some reason Francis is from the South and therefore Spacey has a Southern accent that makes him appear friendly even as he stabs people in the back and destroys anyone who gets in his way.
There are no episode titles as each one is called a chapter instead. The pilot episode was as long as an actual movie and the show has the look and feel of a cable show. David Fincher is involved although different people direct each episode. I also enjoy it when Francis (or Frank as he’s usually called) breaks the forth wall and talks to the camera. I’m amused when he says what he is thinking even as he pretends to act civil. So far this is one of the best young shows and I like that Netflix is challenging traditional TV. Right now I need more than two seasons. Badly.