Saturday, June 3, 2017

What I’m Watching: House of Cards (Season Premiere)

House of Cards: Season 5, Episode 1 “Chapter 53” (B+)

I wasn’t expecting this show back on a Tuesday, not that it really matters, and I’m happy now to add it to my weekly lineup on that night. After a weak start to season four, this show found itself as it wrapped up, and now I think it knows exactly what it wants to be. This has always been a sensationalized, overdramatized version of real life, and I’m sure that there will be endless comparisons to the current administration especially considering creator Beau Willimon’s tirade against Trump when he got elected. Frank is definitely facing a hostile government and citizen population, but unlike the guy currently in charge of policy in the United States, he knows exactly what he’s doing and is making moves to incite chaos just because he can. Going in to triumphantly address Congress when he wasn’t authorized to and demanding a declaration of war was a formidable play, and it was reminiscent of the way political courts from the olden days are portrayed in movies and on television with lots of ruckus and shouting. Opening with Claire appearing to address the audience and ending with Frank turning to the camera and telling us that we have nothing to be afraid of was enormously effective, and I now find this style appealing even though I didn’t like it all that much at first when the show began. Claire appearing on television opposite Tom was intriguing, and Doug learning that an investigation into Frank’s ethics is underway is a disconcerting development that’s sure to provide plenty of exciting drama. I’m glad to see that Conway is still an active part of the show, and I’m eager to see what comes next in the battle for the soul of America that Frank is determined to crush.

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