In an age of intrigue where shows like “Breaking Bad” and “Game of Thrones” are the norm, only Netflix seems to see how American politics can get in on the action too. “House of Cards” is a brilliant showcase of the corruption and backstabbing that goes on in Washington, all gloriously brought to life by Kevin Spacey.
Spacey plays Frank Underwood, a U.S. Representative from South Carolina’s 5th congressional district and the House Majority Whip. Having backed the new President-Elect, Frank hopes he’ll be made Secretary of State. When he is passed over and forced to remain in Congress, he launches a political war against the President by drafting politicians and journalists to his cause.
Frank is a deliciously captivating character, acting friendly and stern to everyone but secretly making power plays against those who he feels have wronged him. He occasionally breaks the fourth wall to let us know about his true intentions, and offers thoughtful insights on all the shady deals that go on in Washington. His character is simply a joy to watch as he schemes against his enemies.
Robin Wright plays Frank’s wife Claire Underwood, a cold-hearted environmental activist. Wright has great chemistry with Spacey, with Claire being just as ruthless as Frank when it comes to scheming against others. Other cast standouts include Kate Mara as young journalist Zoey Barnes, who makes a deal with Frank for inside info on the president’s administration, and Corey Stroll as U.S. Representative Peter Russo, who joins Frank’s scheming.
The best part of the show, however, is that it’s distributed directly through Netflix, meaning all 13 episodes of the first season were put online at once. You’ll only have to wait until next season to see Frank’s fascinating story continue.