February 5, 2015 at 5:48 pm #341202
February 5, 2015 at 5:52 pm #341203
February 5, 2015 at 8:11 pm #341204
Yes. I’m looking forward to this. I believe that theory that season 4 will be the last one though.February 7, 2015 at 7:17 am #341205
I think it will too.February 18, 2015 at 10:12 pm #341207
Hollywood Reporter’s review:
of Cards: TV
6:16 PM PST 2/18/2015 by Tim Goodman
Bottom Line: The
lack of believability and realism in the second season is at least being
addressed early on, but the worry about the series is that Frank and Claire
Underwood have no real challengers in their quest for power. And if that
remains the case, all the soapy bubbles will start bursting for this series.
Air date: All episodes streaming on Netflix starting on
Created for American television by: Beau Willimon
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright
and Claire Underwood try frantically to hold on to what they’ve gained as it
looks to be slipping away from them.
Now in its third season, House of Cards has one of those problems that soap operas bump up
against all the time: story fatigue.
You can only ask your audience to buy into the political
shenanigans of Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and wife Claire (Robin Wright)
for so long, given the Gumbyesque contortions that the series uses to
entertain. That manipulation often comes at the expense of believability—because
House of Cards refuses to restrain
itself and often goes, in a parlance that Francis would approve of, balls out
in an effort to make the Underwoods ridiculously ruthless and the series
ridiculously entertaining. Unfortunately, after holding out against the cruel
intrusion of reality, at some point in season two of House of Cards, ridiculous was the key word for pretty much
everything in it.
That wouldn’t be much of a problem if House of Cards was, like a true soap
opera, keenly aware of its reputation (like, say, Scandal). Meaning, if House
of Cards really believed that its ridiculousness was a wink-wink at the
audience, its diversions from
believability wouldn’t be so troubling. Instead, House of Cards has been the poster series for both the popularity
of Netflix as a streaming service with strong original content and as a big
player for the service at awards shows. It takes itself very seriously.
In that role, House
of Cards is often touted as a prestige drama a la Breaking Bad, Mad Men,
and The Americans, among others. But
if season two proved anything, with its collapsing parade of paper tigers
standing up to Frank’s quest for ultimate power, it’s that the series is far
more entertaining than it is great. Power wielded by a ruthless married couple
as they sack Washington D.C. is a pretty fun thing to behold, soapy as it is
racing toward the assured victory, the stakes-free gamble.
There just wasn’t much gravitas in the midst of it as the
bubbles got in your eyes.
I’m certainly fine with House of Cards being that show. If you buy into it as a sweet,
sparkling wine to be guzzled without care as you binge your way through it,
that seems very apropos of what you’re getting. The danger is confusing it with
It’s not that.
Awards shows are still making this qualitatively dubious
connection (as they’ve done to an even worse degree with another soap opera, Downton Abbey). I worry that the
creative forces behind House of Cards
will blindly accept the accolades and not address the more glaring issues
critics (and fans) began harping on in season two. Early episodes of the third
season of House of Cards indicate a
change of direction might be afoot, though plenty of worry remains that this
will be only temporary and the Underwoods will continue to fool and rule the
world with the ease of master puppeteers as the season goes forward.
But at least in the early going, creator Beau Willimon
and the many executive producers with a hand in this series seem to agree that
maybe the Underwoods, now known as the President and First Lady of the United
States, need to hit some road blocks that they can’t immediately get around.
A series like House
of Cards has a lot of twists to be spoiled, but there’s no point in doing
that here—a good soap keeps the twists coming and that’s what the audience
wants. But at least in dealing with the basic moving parts of the series, it’s
safe to say being President and First Lady isn’t as easy or as satisfying as
Frank and Claire expected. Both want more. Frank wants, naturally, to avoid
being a placeholder president and focus on getting reelected. But everything
he’s tried in office—and most of it has been ambitious—has eroded his approval
ratings. Times are tough. He’s not being very effective and Democrats are
dubious as to whether he’s the face of the future, especially as the
Republicans are lining up in solidarity behind Hector Mendoza (Benito
For her part, Claire—in a storyline that harkens back to
the Clinton years—isn’t satisfied just being First Lady. She wants to lead and
do something. She wants to be political because that’s what’s in her blood. And
in a lovely reflection of their odd relationship, Claire has no qualms in
telling Frank that if he’s going down in the next election, she plans to ascend
at the same time. Power and politics—these two understand it, even if it means
telling the other that you’ll carry on if they fall.
After all the cream-puff politicians and supposedly
brilliant strategists that the Underwoods have fooled all too easily in the
first two seasons, a little payback and a little failure plays well for House of Cards.
However, the worry remains that now that they have the
ultimate seats in politics, Frank and Claire won’t go down without swinging
and, in true House of Cards fashion,
will hit and destroy everything they swing at. If that unbelievable sense of
dramatic stakes returns, House of Cards
will find itself in a scandal about how good it really is.February 19, 2015 at 3:13 am #341208
February 27th is coming quickly!February 23, 2015 at 5:45 pm #341209
Currently has a 73 out of 100 on Metacritic (positive reviews) but it will probably change because only four critics have reviewed it.
Give Paul Thomas Anderson an Oscar.February 25, 2015 at 12:53 am #341211
Review: “House of Cards,” Season 3
February 18, 2015 | 09:00 AM PT
TV Columnist @ blowryontv
of Cards” returns, and in terms of classy actors in a high-stakes setting, it’s
solidly entertaining. Still, the series that set Netflix on the path to
programming prestige also feels played out, as if it should have retired
without seeking a third term. Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright remain splendid as
the central couple, but with their quest for power having succeeded, series
architect Beau Willimon seems forced to resort to unconvincing contortions to
maintain the drama. Even then, the first half of Season 3 feels flimsy, having
essentially morphed into an inordinately ruthless version of “The West Wing.”
Those caught up on the first two seasons will know by now
that Spacey’s Frank Underwood wheedled and schemed his way from Congress to the
vice presidency to the Oval Office, knocking down a surprisingly ineffective
assortment of barriers to his ascent. Indeed, a lingering criticism of the show
is that in a town driven by deception, spin, and the quest for power, Frank has
lacked a genuinely worthy adversary, with his opponents appearing consistently
mismatched in the elaborate chess game he’s been playing.
It’s a misgiving that’s exacerbated by placing both of
Underwood’s hands so firmly on the levers of power. Being President, after all,
comes with a lot of firepower, even if he faces a hostile Congress and the
lingering threat of exposure for past transgressions.
The season opens promisingly enough, with the new prez
grudgingly engaging in a ceremonial moment that, he sneers, “makes me seem more
human.” From there, “Cards” begins rolling along various tracks, with diverse
crises arising, and a number of not-created-equal subplots that shouldn’t be
spoiled—one involving the first lady (Wright), who desires to be more than just
a photo-op figurehead.
To his credit, Willimon remains a shrewd observer of
modern politics in many respects, and it’s no accident that “House of Cards”
frequently mirrors reality, and vice versa—from strained relations with
Russia’s authoritarian leader to Underwood seeking to champion a jobs program
basically lifted out of the movie “Dave” that’s similar to President Obama’s
desire to use federal spending on infrastructure to bolster the economy.
At the same time, Underwood’s plans to circumvent
Congress are a bit too transparent early on, and the first lady’s plot is well
played but politically hard to swallow, its homage to the Clintons
notwithstanding. Nor do Underwood’s occasional pangs of conscience feel in
completely keeping with the character’s win-at-all-costs nature.
“House of Cards” is still a valuable franchise for
Netflix, in ways both subtle and obvious. The political setting, for example,
ensures a regular string of cameos by media figures, from MSNBC and CNN anchors
to Stephen Colbert, creating what amounts to a multiplier effect in terms of
coverage and credibility.
The flaws, however, have always kept the show from being
fully deserving of all the praise and attention showered upon it, and while it
remains considerably fun to watch (or binge), its shortcomings look somewhat
magnified in this third season. Yes, this handsome political drama effectively
established Netflix as a home for premium-quality programs, and it’s
simultaneously one of this nascent medium’s best programs, but it’s also a
franchise whose legacy might be tarnished in part by not quitting while it was
Then again, in that respect at least “House of Cards” is
merely guilty, in TV terms, of being a little too human.
TV Review: “House of Cards,” Season 3
(Series; Netflix, Fri. Feb. 27)
Produced by Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Prods.
in association with Media Rights Capital.
Executive producers, David Fincher, Beau Willimon, Joshua
Donen, Eric Roth, Kevin Spacey, Dana Brunetti, John David Coles; co-executive
producer, John Mankiewicz; supervising producer, Frank Pugliese; director,
Coles; writer, Willimon; producer, Karen Moore; camera, Martin Ahlgren;
production designer, Steve Arnold; editor, Lisa Bromwell; music, Jeff Beal;
casting, Laray Mayfield, Julie Schubert. 60 MIN.
Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Mahershala
Ali, Molly Parker, Elizabeth Marvel, Derek Cecil, Jimmi Simpson, Nathan Darrow,
Jayne Atkinson, Rachel Brosnahan, Mozhan Marno, Benito Martinez, Reed Birney,
Poorna Jagganathan, Kelly Aucoin, Jonathan Hogan, Christina Bennett Lind, Sam
FreedFebruary 25, 2015 at 1:00 am #341212
Entertainment Weekly’s review:
of Cards season 3: EW review
by Melissa Maerz
Genre: drama; Lead Performer: Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright;
Run Dates: 02/27/2015; Broadcaster: Netflix; Status: In Season; Seasons: 1, 2,
Posted February 18 2015—11:12 AM EST
Ever since it began, House
of Cards has been a Greek tragedy masquerading as an American one. A darkly
comic allegory about fate, hubris, and abuse of power in Washington, D.C., it
finds its hero, Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), making supremely arrogant moves
that should leave his empire in ruins, yet he never gets punished. Now that
he’s commandeered the presidency, though, the only way to go is down. The
Democrats don’t want him on the ballot next election. Tension over the Middle
East is straining his relationship with the Russian president, Petrov (Lars
Mikkelsen), who’s a dead ringer for Putin. A former confidant whom Frank has
ignored starts working for an Underwood rival. (Netflix has asked that critics
not spoil this character’s identity—though if you watched any of the leaked
episodes, you surely know whom I’m talking about.) Whether that person wants
revenge or just inside intel to help Frank remains to be seen. Either way, the
gods will surely punish Frank soon: One hilariously over-the-top scene finds
him in church, accidentally knocking over a Jesus statue.
Thanks to frequent backstabbing, heavy-handed symbolism,
and Spacey’s deliciously hammy performance, House
of Cards works best as a mordantly funny melodrama. The form is fitting—as
creator/executive producer Beau Willimon once said, “Politics is theater. It is
all about perception.” But Frank’s wife, Claire (Robin Wright), also gives it a
conscience this season, as she works to free a gay rights activist who’s
imprisoned by Petrov’s regime. She’s still a manipulator like Frank, and
watching her under-mine her enemies is thrilling: Check the scene where she
humiliates a man in the ladies’ room. But she’s also a good foil for her
husband, earning more allies with diplomacy than brute force. Her face-off with
Frank over the protester is a highlight of the first six episodes, raising the
question of whether it’s best to speak up for what you believe or shut your
mouth for the greater good. Both are trying to square their ideals with their
If House of Cards
were a true Greek tragedy, this season would end with Frank getting karmic
retribution, whether it’s from Claire, his former associate, or a new political
reporter (Kim Dickens) who’s bent on exposing corruption. But at a time when
the real-life government is so often gridlocked, it’s still satisfying to watch
him make power moves and actually get what he wants. He might be evil, but he’s
very effective. Besides, this is Washington. If his downfall comes, he’ll just
wait four years and rise again.
Grade: A-February 26, 2015 at 2:29 pm #341213
Sesame Street parody:February 26, 2015 at 3:17 pm #341214
Sesame Street parody:
The Sesame Street parody is GOLD. Does anyone know exactly what time it comes online? Is it tonight at midnight, or is it sometime tomorrow?
Come participate in this year's Goldderby Rankings! http://www.goldderby.com/forum/movies/2017-goldderby-rankings/February 26, 2015 at 3:46 pm #341215
Sesame Street parody:
The Sesame Street parody is GOLD. Does anyone know exactly what time it comes online? Is it tonight at midnight, or is it sometime tomorrow?[/quote]
Beau Willimon @BeauWillimon · 11h 11 hours ago
Sorry folks, had my math off with the time diff here in London. To be clear @HouseofCards launch is 12am PT, 3AM EST, 8AM GMT. Game on!
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