If you have not yet tuned in to Netflix to watch this fast-paced show and are looking for a few reasons to watch House Of Cards, I can help you with that. This political thriller debuted last year and blew my mind. It was a much needed new take on an old concept: corrupt U.S. political system. When a political thriller is done right it is a joy to be viewed! Here, for your consideration, are a few reasons to watch House Of Cards. Please note: there may be a few spoilers below.
1. Backseat Politico
Each time I sit down to watch an episode I have a fly on the wall perspective of insider politics. Now, you and I both know that this show is fictional but, wow! One of the best reasons to watch House Of Cards is because it gives a new cringe-worthy portrayal of political wheeling and dealing. Watch ideas develop, shift, and change into tools of negotiations so altered that it diminishes the initial potential value to the general public. At the same time I become a backseat politico challenging a bill's design and the parties that support it.
2. Fantastic Performances
Robin Wright delivers a wonderful performance as Claire Underwood. It is clear from the moment we meet her that she is a force to be reckoned with. Together with her husband, Congressman Francis (Frank) Underwood, this couple are a deadly duo. Kevin Spacey is fantastic as well-seasoned Congressman Underwood. As usual, Spacey devours a role and delivers it so completely you are mesmerized with the results. Equal parts quiet storm and charm Claire and Frank are delivered to deceitful perfection. Then there are the fantastic performances by an incredible group of supporting actors like Kate Mara, Corey Stoll, and Michael Kelly. Stoll delivers a performance of drug and alcohol addicted Representative Peter Russo that is stunning.
3. Dedication at Any Cost
Claire and Frank do anything for each other; they have a relationship not many would be able to handle or accept. Their relationship is built on a different sort of deep respect. It is definitely not a respect that means sexual fidelity to the marriage. If you are looking for that you will not find it here. No, theirs is a respect in the sense that they accept nearly anything and everything one is willing to do for the other to achieve mutual benefit at any cost even in the face of affairs and criminal behavior. Insane! Neither operates in secret from the other; they know all the gritty backdoor details and dirty laundry, and it works for them. All of which leaves you scratching your head wanting to know "why" and see more. What will they do next?
4. Love/Hate Characters
One of the best reasons to watch House Of Cards is the cast of characters. This bunch is a brash, bold, and deadly ambitious complicated lot. Some are despicable in their support of and collusion to help Congressman Underwood achieve his goals, while others are malleable and broken or naively ambitious. House Of Cards is loaded with characters that call into question our sense of right and wrong vs. ethical and unethical. For example: the drug and alcohol addicted politician. Do we cheer for him or not? This is not a straightforward answer once you learn his story and watch him in action.
5. Snappy One Liners
Frank Underwood has some of the best lines on the show. But the snappy one-liners are just insanely succinct and creative! In one scene, Frank looks straight into the camera and says: “Money is the McMansion in Sarasota that starts falling apart after 10 years. Power is the old stone building that stands for centuries. I cannot respect someone who doesn't see the difference.” The show is riddled with fantastically quotable phrases like that from Senator Underwood.
6. Out with the Fourth Wall...sorta
Speaking of those snappy one-liners. What joy! And the delivery is perfection. When Frank delivers those two second statements it feels like he is sharing a secret with us. As he often does, Frank (and only Frank) breaks the "fourth wall" for just a moment to clue us into the action. This break from the action allows him to slip us a moment of truth before delivering a crushing lie to another character. As a result, we feel as though we are along for the ride, not just watching the action.
7. Washington without Fluff
If you want to see a version of Beltway politics from a different angle, without the implied positive happy endings, then this might be the show for you. House Of Cards is a hard show to watch sometimes. The show provides a version of the political system that does not flinch nor hold punches on life inside those federal walls; a version that is a bit extreme and exaggerated but highly entertaining. Who doesn't like lots of "thrill" and intrigue in a political thriller! After each episode you walk away with a hard lesson that not everyone on your team wants the best for you.
This look at the sick and twisted things Senator Underwood, his wife, and many of his colleagues will do to achieve a goal just gets juicier in season two. Have you watched House Of Cards? What are your thoughts?