House of Cards – a first look

House of Cards, a Netflix original series. All of its 13 episodes of the first season were released on the same date. A new in the world of TV shows.

I just watched House of Cards (or rather, the first two episodes), starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. Ever since Kevin Spacey announced on his Twitter account (which I of course follow) that he was in a new TV series, I’ve been quite excited, for mainly two reasons. First, Kevin Spacey is an amazing actor and one of the (many) actors I have tremendous respect for. One of those actors who can pull off being the nice guy and the bad guy at the same time. Second, House of Cards is a political series, and I absolutely love political dramas.

That being said, having the first three episodes at my disposal, it took some time to actually start on them, which is something I almost never do when it comes to US TV shows. But knowing it was a political drama, and one that looked as dark as Homeland without any of the crazy family dramas like in Political Animals, I knew this was going to be ‘hard-core’. I could easily spend 50 minutes in front of my lap-top without getting the message or the plot the right way. So it’s an adventure I could not easily start, without preparing myself for the complex political system that is the White House and the intricate political schemes.

A few lessons I’ve learned from the first two episodes:

  1. Never break a political promise, especially when said promise involves a high rank position at the White House and a man who’s devoted his life in the alleys and corners of the Capitol Hill.
  2. Never underestimate such a man and the length he will go to to take his revenge.
  3. It’s never okay when someone has been pushed far below one’s political aspirations, even if he/she may say so.
  4. If you’ve made any mistake at any point of your life, don’t go into politics. Your opponents will dig anything they can chew on, even if it’s not tasty.
  5. Politics and the media – what an intricate, sickening yet at the same time fascinating (and perhaps necessary) relationship!
  6. Don’t trust your most trustworthy ally. Because he/she is just a political ally, not a friend.
  7. Where there is man, there is sex (and booze).
  8. There will always be a handful of young ‘interns’ killing themselves off to do all the most difficult and demanding work in a hidden room, while the successful politician will be strolling around in his/her nice suit.

So far, the political revenge plot orchestrated by Frank Underwood, Kevin Spacey’s character, who is not given the position of Secretary of State as promised, emanates hints of both genius and evil, which are the two key ingredients in a good political drama.


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