There comes a singular date every month or so where duties and work is put aside, where families become mere background noise and friends are put on mute. This time the date transpired to be February 27th 2015. The day Netflix did it, the day they killed us all by releasing House of Cards Season 3 in its entirety.
After stabbing cable TV in the heart with its digital HBO model Netflix looked to continue its series dominance, accompanied by the likes of Derek and Orange is the New Black, with House of Cards.
Born from a think tank that put David Fincher’s popularity and tone with Kevin Spacey’s fan base and talent, House of Cards can be seen as a modern Game of Thrones. However, instead of spending a huge some of money on lavish and exotic locations, House of Cards splashes out on sleek jingoistic scenery and stellar supporting cast members. Season 3’s only difference is its lack of strength in layers.
Once again it is utterly magnetic and intriguing to see journalists and politicians tango with each other. To see stances flit and rehearsed expressions change in an instant touches that satisfying muscle and leaves you yearning for more, even after 13 fantastic episodes.
The chemistry, or rather combative chemistry, between Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright is as tangible and unexplainable as ever. Their robotic and monotone love life comes to boil in season 3 as Wright’s Claire Underwood takes center stage again.
These are damaged characters but not ones that are forced down your throats. They are delusional and utterly unlikeable but you are engrossed in them because you are scintillated by their journey.
Perhaps the biggest mistake in season 3 is the time given to Michael Kelly’s Doug Stamper. Whilst Kelly is at the peak of his powers the elevation of Stamper from a simple layered supporting character to one that takes center stage for much of the season is an ill advised one. His rehabilitation is heartwarming and extremely well done but his affection towards Rachel is one that could have been glossed over in a singular episode. In short the emotional grip just wasn’t there for the Stamper/Rachel tangent.
House of Cards is still one of the best shows not on TV. It really is an example of how a great TV show can remain at the top of its game by playing on its strengths; its two leads. And despite falling astray once or twice in season 3, House of Cards is still a must watch Netflix exclusive.
Score – ★★★★
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