Like you even really need a reason. You don’t need to be in Stanford in Government to appreciate the underhanded dealings of this Netflix original TV drama. With Season 2 set to be released today, here are four reasons to ditch your date and stay in with a bottle of wine and the Underwoods.
“House of Cards” wouldn’t be the Emmy-winning breakout TV drama it is without those one liners, the cruel gems of truth that Frank Underwood drops right before he exposes and exploits the vulnerabilities of his colleagues.
“A great man once said, everything is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power,” Frank remarks at one point. Who knew cynicism is sexiest when spoken in a Southern drawl? And it’s all the more convincing when Kevin Spacey is looking at you dead in the eyes, letting you in on his little insights about humanity. But then we quickly return to being flies on the wall, peering into the inner world of politics with voyeuristic delight. The accent not only makes every word spoken turn into gold, but it also helps make Frank charismatic even while committing the most atrocious crimes.
The Long Con
It’s a beautiful thing. Watching Frank Underwood systematically manipulate everyone around him — even his own wife — in order to secure the Vice Presidency was incredibly exciting. But is his constant scheming sustainable? And what would happen if his most loyal companions, Doug and Claire, decided they’re tired of Frank’s egotism and ambition? I, personally, would love to see a long con done on Frank. While Zoe’s a smart girl, such a con could only be pulled off if someone Frank considered trustworthy were involved. Even Frank knows this, as he explains in Episode 5: “Friends make the worst enemies.”
Since we know Frank’s not comfortable just being V.P., either this season or next we’ll inevitably see a take-down of the current President, those meddling kids at Slugline and anybody else that gets in Frank’s way.
Can we just talk about her hair for a second? I’m not saying Robin Wright’s portrayal of Claire Underwood, Frank’s equally conniving and equally ruthless female counterpart, didn’t deserve a Golden Globe, but Claire’s consistently flawless bangs and ultra-professional pixie cut played a significant part in showing that she “ain’t no wifey”. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have something nice to look at in the middle of all the show’s ugliness. Clearly the producers of the show agree. Otherwise, it is hard to explain why they would release a 30 second pre-premiere teaser of Claire, alone, taking a long seductive drag of a cigarette. Chiiiicks, man.
Did you hear that? Your president is watching “House of Cards.” In fact, he’s supposed to make a cameo in the upcoming season. Yes, the President of the United States of America took a short break from, like, pulling us out of Afghanistan and implementing foreign policy to be in “House of Cards.” He’s admitted to watching it and said, “I wish things were that ruthlessly efficient… I was looking at Kevin Spacey and thinking, mmm well, this guy is getting a lot of stuff done.” Looks like maybe he’s even internalized some of Underwood’s self-motivation, considering his promise to enact more executive orders in the coming year.
But, long story short, if the President has time to catch up on TV, so should you. This season appears to be more cutthroat, twisted and jaw-dropping than ever. With 13 more hours of political scheming scheduled to be dropped on Netflix today, finding the time to balance work with play this weekend will be difficult. But, to take it from Frank, “that’s how you devour a whale, Doug — one bite at a time.”
Contact Roxanna Reaves at rxreaves “at” stanford.edu.