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  • I love spectacular TV-shows with amazing production values like Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead, but I have to say: although House of Cards has little interest in jaw-dropping images or gruesome make-up effects, it delivers just as many dark thrills to keep you glued to your seat as the action-heavy flagships of HBO and AMC. It's a testament to the writers', directors' and actors' talents that a show which mostly consists of people talking is as much a prime candidate for binge- watching as the shows I've mentioned before, so for those of you who haven't started watching it yet, be warned: House of Cards is highly addictive.

    The show is based on the acclaimed BBC mini-series of the same name from 1990, but while the original show focused on the inner workings of British politics, the remake is entirely US based and concentrates on the rise of power-hungry congressman Francis Underwood who is played by Kevin Spacey. On the surface, the show might appear to be a political drama - which it certainly is - but it's also so much more than that. House of Cards combines a vast number of genres; it's a thriller, a love story, a black comedy and a satire - and a very interesting lesson in US politics, which, given creator Beau Willimon's profound knowledge on the subject (he used to work as a campaign aid for Hillary Clinton, Bill Bradley and Howard Dean), is probably a lot more accurate than what we would like to believe.

    It's also worth mentioning that House of Cards was heavily inspired by certain works of William Shakespeare. The character of Francis Underwood is a combination of Richard III and Macbeth, and in true Shakespeare manner, he often addresses the audience directly to inform us of his evil schemes. As in the bard's two famous plays, the villain is also the protagonist and - to a certain degree - the person you root for. And what makes him so much fun and so compelling to watch here, is - of course - Kevin Spacey's performance. Spacey's portrayal of a charming but deadly predator is simply perfect; despite the character's obvious willingness to go to extreme lengths to get what he wants, Spacey always keeps him believable and avoids the temptation of making him appear like a caricature or as over-the-top as Richard III in the play. But many of his co-stars are just as impressive; some of them actually downright outshine the famous oscar-winner, and especially Robin Wright gives an amazing performance as Underwood's equally ambitious wife and partner in crime.

    To sum up my overall impressions: Under the guidance of David Fincher (who serves as an executive producer on the show and also directed the first couple of episodes), Beau Willimon has developed one of the smartest and most entertaining TV-shows - with one of the most impressive casts - contemporary television has to offer. Highly recommended. 9 stars out of 10.

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  • I firmly believe that one of the major aspects of what makes House of Cards so good is the ability to watch all the episodes back-to-back with no commercials or programming schedules to get in the way. This small but hugely significant idea will be an industry game changer and I am certain that this is just the beginning

    To me, the biggest advantage that this idea contributes to House of Cards is that it frees up significant time during episodes because it makes things like flashbacks or repeats of events almost completely redundant. There's simply no need for them because everything is so fresh in your mind, which leaves all that extra time for more story, more action, more conspiracy, more drama, more of the stuff that viewers really want to see. However it must be said that it does take a few episodes to get used to this, and you have to be really switched on and completely focused to ensure you don't miss a beat, because you really will pay a price if you do because what's said is never repeated, only referenced further down the track

    As for the show itself, I can't sum it up any better than by saying it's incredibly good to watch. The one aspect of the show I enjoy the most is the monologue, or removal of the fourth wall, between the viewer and Underwood. It's an incredibly effective method of storytelling as well as the expression of emotion or opinion, and Kevin Spacey does a superb job at pulling it off, along with every other aspect of his complex and intriguing character.

    The quality of writing, directing, and storytelling is as good as you'll ever see on the best shows in the world right now. Underwood has a massive ship to steer, and it is fascinating watching how he does it, through manipulation, blackmail, greed and determination. Each and every character has a critical role to play - there's no characters you could cast aside as being irrelevant or unnecessary to the story. That is a very difficult feat to achieve, and House of Cards easily passes that test

    If you're going to pioneer something, like Netflix have with how viewers can watch House of Cards, you have to do it well. Everything has to be perfect, otherwise it will flop. A top quality show in House of Cards coupled with the worlds best internet streaming service is a very very good place to start. Netflix and the House of Cards team deserve a huge round of applause for daring to go places where no one has gone before. The $100 million gamble has definitely paid off, and I cannot wait for more

    Needless to say, House of Cards earns a 10/10 rating, and an absolute must-watch from me
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The 5th House of Cards season didn't convince me like the others. Of course, there was the usual suspense and Claire becoming the new president and Frank being at the mercy of her was an unexpected turning but what I didn't like was the lack of logic.

    In the past, all crimes were committed by the inner circle, Frank, Claire and Doug. But in season 5, there are so many witnesses that it's hard to believe all of them will keep their mouth shut. The FBI director and his agents for example who know that Josh Masterson was in the FBI's custody and eventually murdered. Also, someone must have damaged the gas line at the Tennessee polling station. Next, how could Frank know for sure that Catherine Durant wouldn't survive when he pushed her down the stairs (it remains to be seen if she recovers, but if she does, she has for sure a lot to tell about)?

    Last but not least, there is Claire. She poisoned her lover Tom Yates in Mark Usher's house. Even if we assume that the crime had been agreed between the two of them in advance (his surprised reaction suggests the contrary), is it wise to let a person like Mark Usher know that you've killed someone? A person, known to changing sides whenever it suits him? Same with Jane Davis who knows everything about the murder of LeAnn Harvey. Both of them can't be trusted, and they definitely pose a risk to both, Frank and Claire.

    Looking forward to season 6, all the same.
  • This is one of the best shows; excellent story, good script, exceptional acting by everyone, and good cinematography. The fifth season was a bit slow, but, what's disappointing is Spacey's departure (removal, rather) from the show. No matter how good the others were, Spacey is what made this show perfect. Without him, there is no way the show can survive. The series has ended for me.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I feel the Season 5 was all over the place. The high point being the first episode with Frank's speech to the Congress from where the season went to being dull, confusing and full of plot holes. During the speech which set a tone in the first episode where he says "I will not yield", I thought wow, this can only get better from here.

    But It doesn't. On the contrary, throughout the season, Frank is seldom in-charge of the situation as he should have been, and was during S1 & S2. He is reacting to situations, rather than create those situations as we have often seen him do till Season 2 at least.

    The season never peaked for me after Episode 1. Not to mention the Elysian fields and the political quagmire was unnecessary. Yes, it is a political drama, but in S5 there is so much of politics and it's complications, and less of drama.

    Not to mention the new characters, Mark Usher and Jane Davis, have a better on screen presence and are depicted as stronger(and perhaps more manipulative)characters than the protagonists - Frank & Claire. Mark Usher is a convenient character introduced to explain plot twists and plot holes. There is a scene where during oath of presidency Mark Usher is on the edge of the screen waiving to the camera - just like Frank Underwood did during Walker's swearing in. And then Usher asks for the vice-presidency in the final episode. Is this how the House of cards will be brought down? Who knows. However, it does the series no good when the anti-hero everyone loves is just on the sidelines.

    All that aside, the only other non-dull moment is Frank waiving his executive privilege and speaking out in front of the committee - and that comes in at E12 or 13. Even that turns out to be too little too late, specially when the speech abruptly ends leading to another uninteresting plot line. The speech in front of the committee is a perfect example of how the writers were out of ideas on how to use Frank Underwood to further the plot.

    In season finale, I am left wondering, was all this really required to make Claire the President, which he could have done sooner without the uninteresting scheming and mess involved.

    TBH, Kevin Spacey aka Frank Underwood, was and had been the strong point of this series - specially with him breaking the 4th wall - all along till S4(even though he was less so in S4). Let us be honest, Robin Wright can't break the fourth wall as effectively as Spacey does in his southern style and demeanour. Sadly, the directors/writers just chose to keep Spacey on the sidelines in S5, and that's for me is the major reason for dullness of S5.
  • Show was great first couple seasons, but as with many other shows, dragging out far too long for (ie Prison Break). Last 2 seasons turning into "seriously?!". It's turning into a bad Hollywood movie, but unfortunately unlike a movie it keeps going. Just gets boring and old. Wrap it up and make the Underwoods pay, otherwise you're just insulting our intelligence.
  • When I thought about Francis Urquhart of the original House of Cards series, I could not help but imagine Kevin Spacey in a way that was similar but a role of his own making. Spacey's role of Francis Underwood, in Netflix's original series, is nothing short of a tour de force. The convenience of being able to watch the whole season right away is also something to mention as a new, fresh and exciting method of television excellence. No longer do we have to wait and be fed slowly the episodes as we wonder what might happen and find ourselves somewhat disappointed -- now we can be swept away. And that's exactly what will happen to you when you sit down to watch this. 13/10.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The first 3 seasons were excellent, season 4 was very good but season 5 was way below the previous level. The producers finally 'jumped the shark' in season 5 when Frank pushed the secretary of state Catherine Durant down the stairs in the White House to stop her from testifying against him. Come on ! Serious 5 is very hard going and extremely slow. You end up watching not because of the intense drama but only to see what happens next. Kevin Spacey breaks the fourth wall so often in season 5 he should be in the demolition business. Too much. It is disappointing when a series you think was one of the best descends into a bit of a farce just to milk a few more million dollars.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This show was a compilation of everything I wanted to see (in the limits of what is acceptable on TV). I loved the characters but at a certain points, the series gave in to the popularity. I regret the choices made by the runners. I waited a year to see the fifth season watching and re-watching all the seasons like an addict, I know every-seconds, every character, every conversation, knowing all the stakes and side-story. The release of the fifth season was the most important date in the year for me, and in 24 hours, I came to hate the show. It came back on most of the established ideas. Season 1 and 2= 10/10 Season 3 and 4= 8/10 Season 5= not even 5 (It would have been higher if the previous seasons weren't so great) So great series with a crappy fifth season which ruins everything, in an attempt to make it last. Was it to good to be true ?
  • Warning: Spoilers
    House of Cards.....I was drawn to this Netflix political drama because of David Fincher and Kevin Spacey. I've loved most of Fincher's work as a director and Spacey was fabulous in the three roles that I've seen him in. The series has some Fincher-esque qualities: the colour palette and grading and fine production standards. In the first season, it even has Fincher's strongest attributes: script and direction. It has spectacular photography, fine editing, good direction, and some great performances by Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Mahershala Ali, Kate Mara, Molly Parker and a few others. What weighs it down is Spacey's constant chitter-chatter with the viewers and the fact that the two main characters are so despicable. There seems to be nothing human about them. Frank is still okay when it comes to his relationship with Claire, but that softness isn't reciprocated. Showtime's 'BILLIONS' also lacks likable characters but they still make it fun because they are up against one another. Here, the viewer is expected to believe that hardly anyone can see through the scheming of the Underwoods and that most politicians are gullible as hell. The writing gets consistently poorer with each season. The first was a 9, the second a 7.5 and the third seems to have taken it lower to 7 in the first two episodes, only to drop it down to a 5 in the third, causing me to ditch the rest of the show. It drops almost like Walker's approval ratings. The series is also way too long. Could've been so much better as a mini-series. Watch it if you have plenty of patience and are willing to be slightly disappointed.
  • You can say whatever you want about K.S. but without him its another movie... Kevin was THE ACTOR of the movie... The rest is CAN-CAN ...
  • Fans of David Fincher and Kevin Spacey have been eagerly looking forward to House of Cards. Not only is this an opportunity to see an elite Hollywood director and actor take on a new medium, but it represents Netflix's first attempt at original programming (I guess Lilyhammer came first, but House of Cards is a much bigger investment for Netflix). The CEO of Netflix has said that House of Cards is meant to be a show on the quality level of the top cable stations, such as HBO, and the final product delivers on this promise.

    House of Cards follows several characters involved in the political scene in Washington D.C., including politicians of various rank and influence (Kevin Spacey is a House Majority Whip in the House of Representatives) and an upcoming reporter played brilliantly by Kate Mara, who you may recognize from the first season of American Horror Story. The cast in uniformly excellent and thrives under Fincher's direction. Occasionally, Kevin Spacey's character will talk directly to the camera and offer some narration, which is the only area where the show stumbles, but it isn't too distracting. Speaking of Fincher's direction, it shouldn't come as any surprise to know that House of Cards looks great. The atmosphere is moody and resembles a tone somewhere between The Game and The Social Network. The music is equally good, complementing the mood of the show without becoming overbearing.

    Being a political drama, one could be understandably weary of taking the plunge into a 13 episode season if they don't find politics interesting, but that shouldn't be a concern. The writing is sharp, engaging and clear, and the characters are interesting and well developed. The editing helps: it is tight and keeps the plot moving briskly, making the political intrigue both exciting and easy to follow.

    Netflix has really created something impressive with House of Cards. When hearing that an online streaming service was creating an original show, some may have been concerned that it would be cheap looking and generally not on par with what AMC, FX, Showtime, and HBO are offering. Well, Netflix got some talented people and gave them the money to make something good, and the product speaks for itself. House of Cards comes highly recommended.
  • Just watched the first episode. It is outstanding in every sense of the word. Fist of all I'd like to say, Kevin Spacey is amazing. He's not the dull politician we're used to seeing, he's a deeply written character with nuances to his actions and speaking. You can definitely see Fincher's style in the first episode, at least. It contains some of the similar themes he has tackled before in his film and adds to those. He crafts the story very tightly woven and complex. Kate Mara is also great, she adds to the list of modern Fincher characters. I love the points of satire in Spacey's character and some of the symbolism used. The show is outstanding in every aspect, unlike a lot of other political dramas on TV, can't wait to watch the next episodes.

    Definitely a must watch for any fan of TV or Fincher or anyone interested in this.
  • OK (with spoilers).. so S5 is now over.. and what do we know. He's a closet-gay president, willing to do absolutely anything, up to and including murdering people to retain power. And she's a power hungry, coldly calculating, psychopathic first lady... that was shacked up in the first-family residence with her speech-writer lover.. (who she too ultimately kills to keep it all going).

    It obviously suits the plot-line, but how would it be realistically possible for any first lady to have a live-in lover sharing her bed full-time without being on everyone's radar and lips every day in the White House. And for the two of them not to comprehend this boy-toy of hers ultimately becoming a huge liability in their future is a complete absurdity (his poisoning death at her hand just more utter nonsense).

    Ah..the two-edged sword of attempting an overly ambitious, sensational plot-line.. (with powerful leads in creative and production control).. making it shocking, yet keeping it believable... near impossible to do. Now it seems the only main questions to be answered in S6, are who's the bigger monster.. and how they meet their ultimate demise. Overall though, with limited exception, it's still one of the more accomplished and entertaining productions out there today.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I've been watching House of Cards on Netflix since S1-E1. Initially, I thought it was a fantastic show. The first 3 seasons became the go-to watch as soon as they were released. Unfortunately, the photographic techniques and music in the opening credits are about all I truly enjoy anymore. Having watched half way into S5 and reviewed the IMDb synopses, it's obvious nothing is ever resolved in the HoC universe.

    At the end of S4, I vowed that if something significant didn't happen by the end of S5, HoC was going to the bottom of viewing priorities. Thus far, they have not failed to disappoint. IMO, the current IMDb rating of 9.6 is ridiculously inflated; the Netflix rating of 2 out of 5 stars is more in line with what this show has turned into -- a constant tease of people in low places slithering out of the justice they so richly deserve. It's gotten insufferably old. Take note, HoC powers that be: Your desire to milk it for all it's worth has killed the cow. Have a little respect for viewers and show us something that is at least remotely believable.
  • I was so looking forward to this, having been a big fan of the original BBC series, with its masterful central performance by Ian Richardson. In fact when I logged in to Netflix (like a lot of people, this show is my sign-up moment), I realised that my expectation level was really high.

    Within the first 30 seconds, Kevin Spacey's character Frank Underwood has killed something- in this case dispatching an unfortunate dog which has been hit by a hit and run driver. And as the political intrigue starts to develop around him, Spacey just fills the screen. By the end of the first episode, it isn't so much that you have forgotten Ian Richardson as Urqhuart, Underwood's British cousin, but realised that Spacey is taking us somewhere different.

    With Francis Urqhuart you got the impression he was always a psychopath, waiting for the trigger to start his Macchiavellian and murderous rise. Underwood seems to be just a more clever, more ruthless and less hypocritical politician than those around him. The fundamentals of the show - the scorned and bitter political back room fixer, the Lady Macbeth figure of Francis' wife, the ambitious young woman journalist, but all updated.

    Mrs Underwood is no Tory wife, waiting "in the country" while her husband charts his rise to power. She is the one giving him the backbone to do it. And as we see her brutally wielding the axe at the charity in which she works, it becomes clear she is no slouch in the ruthlessness stakes herself.

    The character of Zoe Barnes, the young reporter, is in a lot of ways more rounded than Matty Storin in the British version. Here she is ballsy, ambitious and a bit ruthless herself. While she retains the innocence of the character, she gives the impression she thinks she knows what she is doing. Which will make later episodes much more juicy as she realises she is way over her head.

    The show is shot beautifully, as you'd expect from the calibre of the team behind it, and the production values are excellent. Supporting roles are great. It looks like a movie or The West Wing before they ran out of money.

    But the undisputed joy of this series is Spacey, who is a more world-weary, more cynical Francis, and who is setting about his task of revenge and ambition much like he destroyed the unlucky dog at the start of episode 1: its an unpleasant task but someone has to do it.

    Spacey is every bit as good as Ian Richardson in this show and Netflix's big gamble deserves to pay off.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    In general, i think House of Cards is OK to watch. But, how on earth is it possible that everybody other than Frank and Claire Underwood is as naive as a high school teen? The president's wife asking Claire for marital advice, come on! And then there is Frank and the president, while being in an important meeting, talking about the president's marital problems.

    Oh, and every time someone is not doing what Frank wants, Frank knows exactly what to say and all of the sudden the whip, a billionaire, the president, whoever, turns 180 degrees and you guessed it already: now they do what Frank wants! All the turning points and plots are so made up and so far from reality, it's frustrating.

    And then there's the huge soap opera influence: Frank and Claire smoking a cigarette together every night in front of the window, Frank who says 'i love you Claire' way too often, the cozy late night runs..

    Is it OK to watch? Yes. A 9.1 rating? Give me a break.
  • 'House of Cards' much of the time was one of the most compelling shows. Sadly, it has also become one of the most frustrating. Not since 'Once Upon a Time', and before that 'Lost' has such a brilliant show of great promise declined so rapidly.

    Lets start with the many great things first. For the first four seasons, 'House of Cards' was seriously addictive, must-watch television and very quickly became one of my favourite shows. Throughout its run, it's one of the most stylish and most atmospheric shows personally seen, with cinematic-quality photography and production design. The direction was smart and intelligent, especially the first two episodes with David Fincher's, to me one of the better directors of the last twenty five or so years, involvement (the first episode earning Fincher a Primetime Emmy) and the music knew when to have presence and when to tone things down to let the dialogue and characters properly speak.

    Also smart is the writing. Biting, thought-provoking and tightly structured, the writing in Seasons 1 to 4 was an example to all television. The political elements were intriguing and not heavy-handed, a problem so common in film but avoided in 'House of Cards'. The stories didn't go at a "fast" pace but it never dragged in the show's prime days, and they were also very layered, had variety and were suitably complex without being convoluted.

    The characters engaged and intrigued, Frank being another example of one of contemporary television's most fascinating lead characters. 'House of Cards' throughout has been so strongly acted, with Kevin Spacey on tour-De-force form and Robin Wright giving career-best work.

    So it just feels incredibly frustrating that a show of such brilliance in its prime declined so rapidly in Season 5, to the extent that it feels like a completely different show altogether. The production values and acting have remained top notch, but even they can't save the show being the complete anti-thesis of what it used to be.

    Pace became incredibly draggy, thanks to flabby writing, simplistic characterisation that is suggestive of the writers not knowing what to do to progress the characters and stories that have become repetitive, both devoid of complexity and confused, ridiculous and like the writers have run out of ideas.

    It to me was no surprise when it was announced that Season 6 would be 'House of Cards' last season, but it is somewhat saddening that production has now been suspended/cancelled following the Kevin Spacey sexual assault allegations that have now cost Spacey his future on the show (and done serious damage to his career). Season 5 cried out for another season, so that the show has ended on an incomplete note because of the controversy is a real pity, despite Season 5 being such a disappointment 'House of Cards' as an overall show deserves better than that.

    Overall, brilliant for the first four seasons but Season 5 was so disappointing, enough to bring down the rating considerably. 7/10 Bethany Cox
  • After a couple of great season, the show is too boring to watch.

    I hope the writers want to show how evil Underwoods (politics) are, but after watching the show, my feeling is Underwoods have to win.

    Because their opponents are way too weak: no hardworking, no team work, no loyalty, no strategy, so coward and easily be intimidated, manipulated and believe the known lies, often doing stupid things and misjudgment when the story need they behave like that.

    I rate 6 only because of some fine soliloquies.
  • Unexpexted failure all of the 3rd season. Totally based on feelings that never appear before. Surprise how easily one of the best serials become total bullshit. In case of Russian president - OK, no question let him be like this, but sensitivity of main characters and decisions made not based on politics but on human being - its out of question in political world. Very bad, and very upset. Gay scene between president and a writer ?? Oh please. Senator changed mind due to children ? Nightmare. President wife sleeping in a Russian jail(yeah it looks like 3 star hotel) and speaking hours with some delusional idiot who made suicide after ? Looks like an idiot makes scenario. Not sure about waiting for season 4.
  • It's the worst season ever!

    Such a disappointment and wasted hours of my life.

    Shame on the producers and scriptwriters for ruining a great project.

    I was such a devoted fan of the first two seasons. I love the cast so much. And now I feel like I've been cheated.

    They ruined the characters, the main and the secondary story-lines. They filled the script with lies and speculations about the other countries.

    It turned out to be the most boring and predictable show ever. I wish I didn't know the season 3 of House of Cards existed.

    I won't watching a minute of this worthless chewing gum any more!
  • From the start, Kevin Spacey captivates & impresses with his his portrayal as the Machiavellian chief whip. The dialogue is superb, the editing tight, & the plot moves at just the right pace.

    I'm 7 episodes in at the moment & so far it hasn't missed a beat. I remember the original house of cards on the BBC in the early 90's, & at first hearing there would be a US remake, had some concerns, how would they ever match up to the quality & acting, would they still do the Jacobean theatre style breaking of the 4th wall speaking directly to the audience? I needn't have worried, Kevin Spacey handles the role with aplomb, although Ian Richardson originally had a hint of a twinkle in his eye when about to pull peoples strings, Kevin Spacey is far more emotionless, cold blooded & menacing. Both work equally for the part.

    Launching on Netflix was a brave move & I really appreciate being able to binge on episode after episode, of this exciting intelligent new drama.
  • What happened to series three? Even though the personnel on the masthead were the same, it looks like they turned the writing over to the interns without any kind of editorial or thematic direction. The principal characters have fallen apart. This Frank Underwood appears to be more virtuous and caring than recent presidents Clinton, Bush, or Jarrett. In fact almost any period from their White House tenures would be more eventful, devious, and exciting than the crap we saw in this series. This was a massive disappointment. I get the sense that the actors were as impressed by the writing as I was because it looked like they were phoning in their performances. I'd be amazed if they go for a serious four after this fiasco.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I'm gonna keep it really short.

    Two things made me quit this show.

    1) Frank Underwood pushing secretary Durant off the stairs.

    2) Claire Underwood having Tom Yates killed.

    This is the epitome of stupid writing. Period.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    First of all, whoever decided to release the entire season at once is a genius. With most people wanting more and more instant gratification, viewers are "binge" watching entire series in one weekend anyway. Netflix must be paying attention to their user statistics and following suit. Now, on to the show. I love the complexity of the characters and how everything is interwoven. Spacey is absolutely stellar. I love his dialogue with both the characters and directly to the audience. House of Cards is definitely not your typical political show, I see most others as being stiff or boring, but HOC is exciting and engaging. The music composed for scenes is also very well done. Overall, this is a great series, and I can't wait to watch more!
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