House of Cards built with a blueprint

I’m a big House of Cards fan. I’m a big Kevin Spacey fan. There is much to like about the show. It’s tightly written, with enough scheming and back stabbing to seem almost real.  Then you meet Spacey’s character, Frank Underwood, and you realize you’re watching the DC version of 1980’s Dallas. Frank Underwood (FU) is JR Ewing (JR). A tasty character who wrangles respect, sincerity, shame and greed all in one handshake. I imagine writing this character is a blast, since he has no limits, only refinements in delivery. Would Frank kiss the hand while he stabs her in the back or just hold the hand?

Frank has not made deals with the devil, he’s made reservations. Dante would have to rewrite the Inferno so Frank’s soul could occupy more than one floor. He’s that rich.

Netflix has done a great job with the accessibility of the show, by releasing a complete season at once – I enjoy being able to cue any program up when I want, during the current season. Can we kill the old TV model of week-to-week viewing? Yes, it’s time to bury old viewing habits. You want to binge? Start now. I imagine most original programs will follow the Netflix model, however that puts more pressure on writers, who usually are still writing the last shows of a season when that season begins.

Most original programs push the edge in language and sex with little innuendo. The ‘watch out’ moment for House of Cards will be how quickly they Jump the Shark. Which, will probably be sooner than later given the torrid pace of events. I can take one well planned killing, I can stretch my belief to two, but if I have to believe three people died at the hands of the most influential beltway insider… then I’m done. And I don’t want it to end too soon – there’s too much scheming to watch.

 

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