Tag Archives: Congress

House of Cards (season 2)

Main Cast: Kevin SpaceyRobin WrightKate MaraMichael KellyKristen ConnollySakina Jaffrey;


I have read reviews in which Frank and Claire Underwood have often been compared to Lord and Lady Macbeth but I don’t think it is enough for this second season: the Macbeths are rank amateurs! The Underwoods are more “thy mother mated with a scorpion” kind of people. Unlike season 1 (here is my review, in case you were curious), this time around their end game is very clear from the start, which takes, a little bit, the fun out of watching Frank and Claire move the pieces on the chessboard. Frank utters in the second episode what should be the tag line of this brand new 13-parts story: “Democracy is so overrated!”. He also delights the audience with his personal version of Cersei Lannister’s “when you play the game of thrones you win or you die, there is no middle ground”, in his first breaking-the-fourth-wall monologue. After swearing in as United State Vice President and moving his “war room” to the White House, we see Frank still trying to work both fronts: loyal supporter of the President and eminence grise of the Capitol. Although the writers manage to ambush the audience with a couple of sudden twists and give us scheming and backstabbing, there are also scenes that seem a little out of character for both Claire and Frank, and the “nosy journalist” plot line is resolved hastily and it feels swept under the rug, which diminishes somewhat the overall good quality of the script. This aside, the season is rather enjoyable with an excellent cast (Spacey is superb) and strong, capable directors for each episode. Crafty —8/10


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House of Cards (season 1)

Main Cast: Kevin SpaceyRobin WrightKate MaraCorey StollMichael KellyKristen ConnollySakina Jaffrey;


Kevin Spacey is Frank Underwood, devious and machiavellian Congressman of South Carolina and House Majority Whip for the Democrats. After being blind-sided by the newly elected president and denied the position of Secretary of State, he decides to seek revenge with the help and support of his equally cunning and ruthless wife Claire (Robin Wright), head of an environmental NGO. Frank is also aided in his enterprise by faithful right-hand/consiglieri Doug (Micheal Kelly) who is not afraid of doing the dirty work, and ambitious, “new-media” journalist Zoe (Kate Mara), with whom he strikes a quid-pro-quo deal. Peter Russo (Corey Stoll), the rookie Congressman from Pennsylvania, is volunteered to participate in Frank’s game, well… more a “he received an offer he couldn’t refuse” type of situation. We see the characters move in this world of political maneuvering, back-room bargains and shady compromises, quite stunning in its infinite shades of gray. I haven’t seen a show this impressive since The Wire (well… Boardwalk Empire comes very close). The acting is brilliant and Kevin Spacey reaches an incredible level of bravura, and I love his breaking-the-fourth-wall monologues! The cinematography and the directing is top-notch, I’ll just say that the first two episodes have David Fincher at the helm. Last but not least the writers, chief among them the creator of the series Beau Willimon (The Ides of March rings a bell?), don’t drop the ball for a moment and keep you wondering about Frank’s end game. So if you like political drama, gritty and dark with a healthy dose of cynicism, this is for you, if not… well, it’s your loss. —9/10


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