3 thoughts on “Chapter 7

  1. 118 of 126 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Is Underwood a sociopath? You may think so but he couldn’t possibly comment, 12 April 2013
    By 
    Sam Woodward (UK) –
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)
      

    From what I remember of the 1990 BBC version of House of Cards, this one is spiritually faithful but sufficiently different to make watching both a satisfying experience. The central dynamics remain – the sociopathic politician whose asides to the audience reveal the Machiavellian nature of his schemes & the extent of his contempt for those around him, like a predator curling up its nose at its prey; his equally ruthless wife, for whom getting her own way is justified by virtually any means; the naive yet ambitious journalist who lets Underwood manipulate her in exchange for career progression; and occasionally they even slip in that tongue-in-cheek acknowledgement of hypocrisy, the memorable mantra ‘you may think so but I couldn’t possibly comment’. Indeed, the opening credits cite Michael Dobbs (writer of the original novels) & Andrew Davies (who adapted them for UK screens) as being Executive Producers for this series.

    Nevertheless, transplanting the story to the good old US of A with its different political system has ensured this series is very different from the British one. This newer version is more visually striking, no doubt due to the reigns being held by David Fincher, director of aesthetically bold Hollywood films including Fight Club. Fincher decided to work on an ongoing series because of its greater scope for character development & analysis, which this setup delivers in spades. Fincher previously worked with Spacey in Seven & has gotten a superb performance out of him here. His Underwood is boiling rage tempered only slightly by cold contempt, masked with Southern charm & held in place with inhuman self-control & subtlety channeled with animal cunning. Yet part of what kept me hooked throughout this series were the occasional moments of ambiguity surrounding both Underwood & his wife (particularly, in my view, the latter) as to whether they really are as uncaring as they often seem, or whether they have a small chance at redemption.

    In summary – brilliant acting, fascinating characters & some beautiful cinematography which does for Washington what The Apprentice does for London. It’s going to feel like a long wait for series 2. This was Netflix’s first stab at creating its own original programmes for its online streaming service & one which is bound to leave an indelible mark on the map.

    Incidentally, I’ve just watched the first episode of Boss – Season 1 & feel it may appeal to fans of this series, just as long as you can stomach its wobbly camerawork without getting dizzy.

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  2. 42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Spacey Does It Again, 6 Mar. 2014
    By 
    Fleur

    Verified Purchase(What is this?)
    At first, I was a little sceptical whether this American version of “House Of Cards” would be a poor rehash of the earlier extraordinary TV series starring Ian Richardson. I thought our version could not be topped. However, whilst both series are set in the world of politics, this new series had me gripped very quickly and stands on its own merits, due to great writing but the fantastic acting skills of Mr Can’t-Put-A-Foot-Wrong Kevin Spacey and the rest of the cast. I cannot recommend this series highly enough – great viewing.

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  3. 56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Power Begets Power, 14 Jun. 2013
    By 
    Sam Tyler (Reading, Berkshire) –

    The future is now, that is according to popular downloadable TV services. Why wait a week for your TV fix, when you can grab an entire series in one go. Boxset fans have known about this for years, readily absorbing entire runs of a show in a weekend, rather than waiting until 9pm on Thursdays. `House of Cards’ promises to be the future, yet here we find it out on boxset, the place we all know and love. Show run by David Fincher `Cards’ is very well shot and the HD version of the physical medium is the best option, but what of the show?

    Kevin Spacey plays Francis Underwood, a Machiavellian politician who even The Prince would be wary around. He uses his political and none political influences to steer the President, Senate and Congress to his way of thinking. Over the course of a series he pulls the strings of power leaving him on the precipice of great things. Here is a man willing to do anything to gain power, but behind every great man is a greater woman, in this case Claire Underwood (Robin Wright). She has her own agenda as well as selling the Underwood brand. As a couple that make Macbeth and his Lady look like the amateurs they were, can they succeed where the Scottish Play did not?

    `Cards’ is an incredibly intense and rich viewing experience. The acting, writing and direction are all top-notch and leave you clamouring for more as every episode ends. Spacey is charming as Frank, a horrible man, but someone I really wanted to see succeed. He appears to show us the true face of many politicians. It would not matter where a show like `Cards’ starts off its broadcasting life as it is the quality of talent that matters. Anytime, anywhere `House of Cards’ would be great telly.

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