Monday, 7 July 2014

House of Cards review

When I first heard of House of Cards, I was picturing some dry political drama, but this programme is as much about politics as Breaking Bad was about making drugs. Based on the three part BBC drama from the tale end of the Thatcher years, Kevin Spacey plays Frank Underwood, the personification of Machiavellian nastiness. When he is denied the Secretary of State job by the President (Michel Gill), Underwood does all he can in order to get the main job himself. From the first episode, what is good is bad and what is bad is good. Underwood and his wife Claire (played with restraint brilliantly by Robin Wright) do all they can to achieve their goals, and often you are left thinking just who will they betray next.

Suspense is created with the addition of reporter Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara), who thinks she is playing the game with Frank in order to get up to the minute White House gossip. Her trust is betrayed more than once, and when she starts getting too close to the source of a scandal involving the suicide of a US Representative, what can Frank do to help her?

There have been complaints about House of Cards, saying that it is not as critical of Washington as it pretends to be. To be honest, it isn't even a programme about Washington. It is a drama about a man who is willing to lie, cheat and murder, just so he can get what he wants. This is not a documentary, it is an extremely gripping drama that leaves you questioning your own morals. If I was more of a bastard, would I get what I want?



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