I’ll admit, I came late to the party that is Netflix’s Original Series House of Cards. I’d heard tell of the phenomenal acting, and the constant review that was simply stated: It’s soooo good! And I thought, well, it’s Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, of course it’s good. But that’s because I didn’t know. I didn’t know how good it was. Honestly, I didn’t know good could be this good. So, let’s start from the beginning, shall we?
Due to financial snags in my life, I opted to cancel my cable, and just rely on the likes of Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Netflix for my television viewing pleasure. And on a random Thursday night in February, I decided to watch the first episode of Season 1 of House of Cards. And my world was changed forever!
Attention, attention! Spoiler alerts coming!
After the first three episodes, the deception haunting my dreams, the acting feeding my artist’s soul, and the writing so good, I was green with jealousy, I knew I’d found something spectacular. As the Underwoods weaved their treachery over the United States Congress, and the Vice President, my intrigue grew with every new move. The manipulation. the underhanded dealings, and the flat out lies were so delicious, and I developed an addiction I did not know was possible. I flew through the first season so fast, my head literally spun from the way the story unfolded, and when the Underwoods took over the Vice President’s office, my soul soared with joy! And I sat, with anticipation as episode 1 of Season two loaded on my screen.
And within the first episode, my mind was blown! Murder! Murder! and more Murder!!! He threw that girl in front of a train! He threw. That. Girl. In. Front. Of. That. TRAIN! I didn’t see it coming, I wasn’t ready, I liked Zoe and was curious to see how this would play out. And then, he threw her in front of that train! I gasped, and rewinded it twice to make sure I hadn’t hallucinated it! And then, not two episodes later, the Mrs. informed that ex-partner of hers that, “I’m willing to let your child wither and die in your womb if that’s what it takes, now am I really an enemy you want to have?” The blood chilled in my veins, the breath caught in my throat, and it hit me. This is familiar. This level of evil and corruption. This power hungry man fueled by his even more power hungry wife. Alas! Methinks this is the clan Macbeth!
I have yet to google whether others have drawn this same conclusion, and done so on purpose, as I don’t want to be influenced by their take on it. For me, a self proclaimed Shakespeare addict, once that correlation was made, I began to enjoy the series even more. As if that was possible, because I already adored each moment so very much. But now, watching the modern day Scot and his cold hearted Lady M maneuver their way from the Vice Presidency to the Presidency so skillfully, so artfully, I was fully immersed and mesmerized by this show.
In a day and age where reality television reigns supreme, it’s refreshing to come across a series that is, first and foremost, impeccably written. The plot lines are so thoughtfully put together, so unbelievably interwoven that it takes the viewer on a whirlwind trip through the lives of these highly developed characters. The depth and level of these characters are able to be achieved by these outstanding actors because the writing sets such a strong foundation for them to play upon. The stage is complex, and gritty, and exciting, and any actor worth their salt would sell their grandmother to get to play on it!
And let’s talk about the actors, shall we? Kevin Spacey! Kevin friggin Spacey! He’s so honest in this character, and the back and forth from talking to the camera and then delving back into the scene is masterfully done. When he talks to the camera, I truly feel like I’m engaged in the scene with him, and to make that happen through a camera lens is a level of talent that can’t be described in words. Robin Wright is a breath of fresh air! A dark, smokey, evil fog of fresh air that may choke you to death, but you’d go down happy breathing in every last drop of her! She’s relentless, and classy and strong and determined all wrapped up in a sleek body and designer clothes that makes this girl want to be her for Halloween, if only I was taller. I mean, she alone, may bring back the knee length pencil skirt, because she makes it look so good. She’s ruthless and feminine at the same time, and is a perfect compliment to Kevin Spacey. Together, they make the most formidable couple on television, and have hooked me into their world as easily as they got Russo hooked back on booze!
As season 2 came to an end, between the hooker killing Doug to the Underwoods seducing Mecham in a threesome I so did not see coming, I became more and more involved in these two terrible people and their rise to the top. I found myself cheering as Robin Wright held that bible for that lying, deceiving, murdering husband of hers to place his hand on and take the oath to take the office as the leader of the free world. What’s wrong with us that we enjoy watching people so heinously awful get success? Are we secretly waiting for them to get what’s coming to them? Do we really want them to get everything they’ve clawed towards?
My guess, people fall all over the spectrum of answers to that question. And it’s an age old question, as Shakespeare started the conversation all those years ago, and the story still holds true to entertain, doesn’t it? This show is, in a word, simply outstanding. I hope everyone takes the time to experience it, and let themselves be emerged into the world of the Underwoods. For this writer, it will be a long agonizing wait for Season 3. I will feel like an addict going through withdrawls until then. But I’ve no doubt, the fix will be well worth the wait.