Netflix's House of Cards: OPEN SPOILER edition

I didn’t see a prior open-spoiler thread for House of Cards and it’s clumsy to try and discuss a show using spoiler frames. So… get out of here if you don’t know Frank Underwood shoots the President in the last episode.

Oops. Sorry. (Just kidding.) Now that quite a number of non-gulpers have likely completed the series, let’s talk amongst ourselves.

So… can anyone explain to me what Claire’s role in much of any of the maneuverings was? Nearly everything she did, besides tolerating Frank’s philandering, seemed to serve other purposes than their Big Maritally-Joined Conspiracy.

Firing nearly all of the CWI staff? Was that just to enable her to act more freely?*

Helping draft the watershed bill? That wouldn’t have required major conspiriting.

So what did she contribute to what was presented as a Clintonesque life-pact to subvert every branch of gummint?

  • My wife and I found the firing sequence horrifyingly hilarious… because a couple of years ago we closed down a company and our office manager had to be the hatchet lady for nearly 100 people. She was a nice older woman named Evelyn.

I was home sick earlier this week and binged through the all the episodes, which is easy to do when you’re bed ridden and don’t have cable. I was left with one burning question about the series. Who the fuck stores Poptarts in the fridge?

I’d love to know how much Netflix got for the all product placements. I found an article about it but apparently they’re quite tight lipped about the actual numbers.

I also found it mildly amusing that the show featured three Italian American characters, and they were all portrayed as overly emotional people who get involved in fistfights and are associated with shady unions. I felt like I was watching Boardwalk Empire for a minute.

Overall I thought the series was decent. A bit dry and joyless, but the story sucks you in, the acting is top notch, and the production is just well executed in general. The cinematography and the way it was shot builds mood and atmosphere very well. I felt there was certainly something… very theatrical about the performances, but I think it was intentional and it works. I wouldn’t rank it among Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and the early seasons of the Sopranos, but I’d give it a solid B. Worth watching if you’re interested in Machiavellian political thrillers or if Iago* was one of your favorite Shakespeare characters.

*I realize the original British series was often compared to the play Macbeth, but Kevin Spacey’s character is more like Iago than the character Macbeth.

Most of that post came from the other thread, but it seems more appropriate for this one.

Simply having the spouse associated with charitable work would be great for Underwood’s image. I think that her ruthlessly expanding the scale of her charity work so quickly is a response to Frank’s accelerated plan for national significance as an heir apparent being put into action.

The fact that she loses sight of that big picture for her own (relatively small) victory is interesting, if a little out of character for how they established her until that point. The fact that this betrayal doesn’t yet seem to drive a huge wedge between them or get them off track on the ultimate goal is even more interesting. As cold and calculating as that relationship is, there is obviously real lasting love there. I think ultimately that’s the point, Frank is the most vindictive revenge-minded character you can find, yet being betrayed by his own wife doesn’t seem to throw him off all that much.

Can someone who has seen the BBC version tell me if the US version tells the same story? Is there a Roger O’Neill (drug addict), a Mattie Storrin (journalist), etc.?

I’m watching it now, early on but yeah those basic characters are the same.