Monday, November 5, 2018

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

House of Cards: Season 6, Episode 1 “Chapter 66” (B)

A lot has happened since the fifth season of this show was released. It’s hard to believe that it netted star Kevin Spacey another Emmy nomination since, only a few months later, he ended up being one of the biggest pariahs in Hollywood and one of the top two examples of why the #metoo movement exploded like it did. Now, a little over a year later, this show is back for its final round with Spacey and his lead character Frank Underwood decidedly out of sight. That creates an entirely new tone for this swan song, which had already reshaped itself to focus on Claire as the one in power, declaring “My turn” defiantly in the closing moments of the finale. She doesn’t have particularly kind words to say about the late Frank, assuring the audience through direct address that he has been lying to them for five years, and she’s determined to write her own narrative now that he’s gone. She definitely made an impression in the opening scene, and she’s not going to let being the first female president shape her presidency in any sort of negative way, brushing aside challenges from female soldiers and female reporters under the guise of equal treatment for all critics. This show can’t hope to hold a mirror to our president-day society since it’s still more about being a paranoid thriller, with the new Shepherd characters played by Diane Lane and Greg Kinnear actively working to sabotage Claire even if they didn’t actually hire the assassin who failed to kill her. I’m not sure why Doug needs to be involved any more either since his story is far too much a reminder of plotlines that should have been let go a while ago. I’m in no matter what for the remaining seven episodes since I’ve stuck around this long, and I’m hopeful that they’ll be interesting and make this entire rollercoaster journey feel like it’s been worth it.

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