After bingeing on the Netflix original television series House of Cards (2013) over the last couple of days, I’m doing a review on what to expect from this kind of show in case anybody is on the fence about it.
Firstly, House of Cards is an American political drama with 13 episodes per series. This was originally a novel written by Michael Dobbs and then adapted to a British mini series. Beau Willimon developed this to its current form, and Kevin Spacey as well as David Fincher are producers.
The main cast consist of Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Kate Mara, Michael Gill and Corey Stoll.
Synopsis: This tells the story of Frank Underwood (Spacey), a Democrat from South Carolina’s 5th congressional district and House majority whip who, after being passed over for appointment as Secretary of State, initiates an elaborate plan to get himself into a position of power. Frank lives with his wife Claire (Wright), who is involved with charity work. However, her motives are much of the same as Frank’s.
There are numerous secondary characters (from the White House to journalists) in the show. Kate Mara for instance plays journalist Zoe Barnes. Her and Frank make a secret agreement to help each other in various ways. Corey Stoll plays US Representative Peter Russo, a troubled alcoholic Democrat who is engaging in a secret relationship with Christina Gallagher (Kristen Connolly), a congressional staffer. The President of the U.S. Garrett Walker (Michael Gill) is also a prevalent figure in the series. Among these characters there are many more.
Frank is very interesting because despite his ruthless and cut throat nature, he makes for an intriguing character. Frank lies, cheats, manipulates and breaks all of the rules to get ahead. As a result, this hugely impacts on the rest of the characters. Frank often addresses the viewer with his thoughts and feelings which adds another dimension to the show. Whether it be him hatching a plan, or even delivering a sly look, this is very effective.
Spacey is a fantastic actor and has played an array of iconic characters in his career. His portrayal of Frank Underwood is certainly one of them. I couldn’t picture anybody else playing him and he truly makes the role his own. The same can be said about Wright, who is captivating and endearing as Claire. As a result, Wright won the Best Actress Golden Globe this year.
Initially I was sceptical about the show because I am not a fan of politics; however, House of Cards is so much more than that and I recommend this to anybody. It’s recent Emmy wins is a testament to how good the show is.
By Robert Spence