WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS
I’m late to the hype, 100% guaranteed. However, if I am late, why the hell has nobody told me about how amazing House of Cards is yet!?
When I came across the TV show on Netflix I was skeptical (mainly due to it’s 35 minute long intros… Or so it seems) but I have recently become obsessed with the twists and turns of the Underwoods in the battle for power.
If you haven’t watched it yet for yourself, I hope after these 6 reasons you will scramble to type in your Netflix password and binge watch a season for yourself. If you are in fact a fan of the show, I would love to know what you like the most about it too!
Reason One: The Underwood Dynamic
The relationship between Claire and Frank Underwood is so interesting that their dynamic alone is enough to keep you hooked (I have actually read about them being compared to the Macbeth power couple – which may imply a downfall for the pair??). Their lack of physical intimacy is replaced by this unique connection that they use to aid each other’s progress to power and ruthlessly ensuring they maintain it. The tension in their relationship is often palpable – I sometimes forget they’re not a real couple having a marital spat! – and you know that every disagreement between them will result in most things they touch around them imploding. Affairs, political disagreement and hunger for power is what both keeps them together and separates them, making for a very interesting watch.
Reason Two: Kevin Spacey’s Performance
I wanted to link this reason to the one before due to how the pair act together. Kevin Spacey’s performance in House of Cards is honestly amazing. He is ruthless, rugged and raw and suited perfectly to the role of a Washington politician. He often talks directly to the audience, something I have only ever found effective in The Office, which I was wary of at first but soon came to love the relationship it built; almost feeling like his diary.
Reason Three: Shock Factor Moments
The amount of shocking moments seems to escalate with each season. Deaths you didn’t expect, affairs that come to light and other press scandals that result in firing staff. You do also get some weird moments that you feel so awkward you could laugh at. Meechum, for example, partakes in a threesome with the power couple – something you have no idea is going to happen. Sex is often used as a power card in the show (and real life, eh?) and it’s interesting to see it at play here. As Frank himself said: “A great man once said, everything is about sex. Except sex. Sex is about power.”
Reason Four: Glimpse in to Washington Politics
I know that realistically (well maybe, who knows?!) that House of Cards isn’t like Washington, but there is something about the idea that you’re getting a sneak peek in to the corruption in politics and how people bargain to get what they need and want that is kind of thrilling to watch. You don’t have to be put off by the whole politics idea though… You literally need to know nuttin to understand what is going on – something I will admit put me off watching the series at first.
Reason Five: The Long Game
You will often sit waiting for a whole episode for something to happen but every moment has you sitting on the edge of your seat. I’m currently in the middle of Season 3 and Frank is running for re-election and the last episode featured a debate between 3 candidates. You knew that one of the candidates was actually working alongside Frank but had met with his main rival and so the whole episode I was leaning forward wondering whether she would stick with Frank or swing to the opposition. You do get your shock moments, like I mentioned, but they often take a lot of waiting – a dedication required by the fans. This is actually something I really like about the show as you have to put in time (much like Claire and Frank do to their work) to get the reward.
Reason Six: Villains
The first two seasons generally see Frank as the calculating villan who does whatever he has to to gain power. Often we as the audience find ourselves rooting for the hero but I feel now that many shows find you instead backing the villan who doesn’t really deserve to win but you can’t help but love him anyway. Frank is marmite in that sense I guess. You hate to love him but love to hate him – almost cheering him on or ‘ooing’ under your breath when he calls out someone for undermining him. As the seasons go on, you see more and more people step up as villans which is very interesting. I have yet to watch Season 4 but I’m aware that Claire becomes a lot more convining… Something I am really looking forward to Robin Wright performing.
I was recently disappointed when I discovered Robin Wright had to demand to be paid the same as Kevin Spacey. I do understand that he is generally the focaliser of the show but without Robin there is no Underwood dynamic, a massive drop in the twists and turns of the plot and definitely no amazing female lead role. Robin noted herself that the on-screen couple “are equal” and therefore deserve equal pay – such a Claire move!
I really hope that you all now check out House of Cards after reading these 6 reasons behind my love for the show. After watching it is so easy to understand why the American series has been nominated for 8 Golden Globes and won 33 Primetime Emmy Awards.