NOTE: This post contains NO SPOILERS.
We all can surely admit to the brilliance that is House of Cards. Netflix hit it out of the park with this one, no doubt about it. It’s all most people are tweeting, reading, writing and talking about. Justifiably so. Rarely have so many been kept on tenterhooks for so long. House of Cards grips you by the short hairs and refuses to let go.
All this talk about bingeing and not bingeing seems absurd once you’ve watched the first episode of Season 2. I’m hard pressed to grasp how anyone could NOT binge at this point. Actually, I take that back. There was no way I could stop last season either. It was my first experience with a full-season roll-out and once I started I couldn’t stop. Honestly, I tried to have discipline and mete out an episode or two at a time, but it was hopeless. In under a week, I had digested it in total and was left begging for more.
People need to know what happens next. It’s too good. There are many twists. It pulls the rug from under you time and time again. Yet, you still don’t completely see it coming. This is the genius of the writing. You sense what’s coming, but so much happens so fast, you tend to shove your thoughts aside to simply watch and wait. Then BOOM, it nails you. Those of you who have seen Season 2, Chapter 14 know what I’m speaking about. Wow. Just, wow.
With that said, the characters are also remarkable. That Frank. That Francis. He seems unstoppable and so far he has been just that. Even though many are on to him. He comes close to being caught, called out, convicted; yet he escapes. Can it go on forever? We shall see. How long can he outwit and cajole? The game he’s playing is as old as politics itself. Do anything and everything necessary to get what or where you want, no matter the cost. He’s as sober as a heart attack, yet somehow he doesn’t take himself completely seriously. Which seems odd, but works. Well, maybe works so far. How can we not imagine that Frank’s fall is coming? It’s only a matter of time, surely. Or is it?
Something else hit me while watching Frank connive and scheme. I’m sure I’m not the only one to feel that Frank Underwood bears a stunning similarity to Hannibal Lecter. He has that same stare that eviscerates you. Its terrifying. He is always plotting. Calmly plotting. Frank is not quite as contained as Lecter. He shows stress at times, he pounds things, throws things and sneers in private, but when he’s plotting, we never see him sweat.
Speaking with fellow HoC viewers, I admitted to being embarrassed by how much I’m drawn to the character of Frank Underwood. Yes, I attribute some of this to the fact that I have loved Kevin Spacey for many years. But the character of Frank is so intriguing, so charismatic; the same things that make him a winner as a politician. Then we add a layer of nasty, conniving and evil like icing on a cake. Makes him even more, well, not likable, but something close. Maybe its me, but I am fascinated and yes, I actually sort of like him. Perhaps what I am attracted to is the incredible acting Kevin Spacey exhibits in the role. That’s what I am going to tell myself, at any rate.
Yet, I feel affirmed in my Lecter assimilation. Underwood is every ounce as charming and sinister as Hannibal Lecter. Only difference is he doesn’t eat his kill. .