Back for its fifth season on May 30, House of Cards has re-discovered its swagger in a new political era that makes the ruthless Frank and Claire Underwood look pretty great, reasonable and ever appealing as the Netflix series goes for the full soap opera, as I say in my video review above.
No spoilers, but while the ever watchable Kevin Spacey is still going for the full LBJ, Bill Clinton and Nino Brown cocktail, and Robin Wright never lets you look away, the now Frank Pugliese and Melissa James Gibson-showrun House of Cards no longer exists as an alt-reality to the administration of Barack Obama. Now, this 13-episode run of the Beau Willimon-created and David Fincher and Dana Brunetti-EP’d show pivots away from the scandal-a-day news cycle reality of Donald Trump in the White House. Instead, the Michael Kelly, Neve Campbell and now Campbell Scott and Patricia Clarkson co-starring multi-Emmy nominated series picked up the pace on its own path – and thankfully so.
Sure there are cries of “Not my President” and a ban that may seem familiar to some in America 2017, but House of Cards Season 5 has let its own crazy flow a bit freer and brought back the swagger that so characterized the first couple of seasons of the show before perpetually scheming South Carolina Congressman Underwood became POTUS, and equally if not more Machiavellian Claire stepped into the White House.
As last season ended with an under threat President Underwood running for election with Claire as his VP, this year jumps right back in, but with a renewed relish. It is a vigor that that I – an admitted long time fan – never even knew the always engaging and aesthetically appealing series was lacking until this season started. Now it is here, House of Cards almost bursts with madness and menace.
“Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people,” Oscar Wilde once said. In the America of the Underwood, come for the ride, stay for the bludgeoning – it’s worth it. If you haven’t already, click on my video review of House of Cards Season 5 above and then tell us if you’ll be casting your binge ballot on May 30.
This review was originally posted on May 26.