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"House of Cards": A Gumbo of the Obsequious and Salacious Goings on in D.C.

"House of Cards" with Kevin Spacey which started yesterday on Netflix is, from what I've seen so far, on the money, so to speak, regarding our corrupt crony capitalist system . It was a hit in the UK, so Netflix decided to gamble and produce it themselves. They got David Fincher and the guy that wrote the political thriller "Ides of March", Beau Willimon, to write the scripts. You can watch all 13 episodes at once too. But Variety calls that "binge viewing" and will lead the company to ruin while Netflix calls it viewer autonomy and believes it can bring in new viewers because of it and make a nifty profit. Hollywood and Silicon Valley rarely see eye to eye, so no surprise at Variety's harumphing.

Whatever... I heartily recommend it. Great acting, writing, directing, cinematography, and set design. This fictional D.C. is the opposite of "The West Wing". It's not an idealistic place. It's a cesspool. It's all about corruption, drinking too much, eating too much, dead dogs, flabby politicians. Delicious in it's evilness. As Kevin Spacey's character explains:

“Money is the McMansion in Sarasota that starts falling apart after 10 years. Power is the old stone house that stands for centuries. I cannot respect someone who doesn’t see the difference.”

I believe that they are offering a free month which is $8 normally. You do need a device that can stream Netflix to your TV like an Apple TV or watch it on a computer or I Pad. For political junkies, it's much more fun than reading about another outrage by some politician. Take a break. Live vicariously for awhile. Watch it.

I have a longer version of this which gets into television as a means of talking to my conservative neighbors beyond the "phatic communication" that The Archdruid talks about. It's over at The Montana Maven.

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CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

with Kevin Spacey. Pretty disappointing as far as I was concerned. The casting was strong but I don't think the Academy Award nominated screenplay conveyed much that was useful for understanding the issues surrounding the 2008 financial crash nor about anything that's unique about the corporate culture of high finance besides the fact that the heads of some of the big institutions arrive at work in downtown New York City by helicopter.

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

I think you're right. Those of us who study Wall Street and the banksters and even the public at large need more than a solid story with very good acting. We need to have a sense of outrage from somebody. I actually don't think "humanizing" the crisis by showing the ordinary guys scrambling to understand it does as much good as showing the reptiles tails beneath the sleek suits and gowns on the politicians in "House of Cards".

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

I changed the title from "Salad" of Obsequious and Salacious... to "Gumbo". Don't eat it all at once because you get bloated. Take it slowly since the series forces you to be in close proximity to the seemingly ordinary Underwoods as they scheme and plot. Too much of that and you might overdose. I remember the old cartoon show "Dudley Do-Right". It's villains were the Russian spies, Boris and Natasha. In one episode Boris almost drowned. Natasha gave him mouth to mouth by saying, "In with the bad air, out with the good air. In with the bad air, out with the good air."
I thought of that while watching the Underwoods sharing a cigarette and blowing the smoke out of their home into the Washington air.

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

I just don't want to.
I'm up to episode 5. Damn, the ending of episode 4 was stunning.
So hard to pace myself.
FWIW, I think Netflix has made a very wise move here. What cord cutters such as myself really want is the ability to view quality programming on our own terms. That means we are perfectly willing to pay for quality but we don't want to pay for all the fillers and additives and reality TV. I've never seen Honey Boo Boo. Don't think I'm missing anything.
So kudos to Netflix for breaking the barrier that all the other cable companies seem so unwilling to break. I hope this leads to better TV for everyone.

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

But now you've got me wanting to watch Ep 4. I love it when people break from norms. I'm reading "The Pirate Organization" and that's what it does. It goes against the norms whether on the high seas, radios, or the internet.

I wonder if there is a place to discuss the series per episode so you don't know what happens in the next one ?