The Netflix original series “House of Cards” produced by David Fincher (“Gone Girl,” “The Social Network”) in 2013 is an American adaptation of the 1990 British TV miniseries “House of Cards.”
The British version centers on Francis Urquhart, a fictional Chief Whip of the Conservative Party, who schemes to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
In the American series, the drama occurs in present-day Washington D.C., and Francis Urquhart becomes Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), a South Carolina Democrat and House majority whip who uses Southern charm to hide his wicked nature.
Embittered at not receiving an appointment as Secretary of State, Underwood plots to make himself president by whatever means necessary.
Whether he is blackmailing a Congressman or manipulating the press, Underwood shows us that no risk is too great and no one too small to be part of his game.
The relationship he cultivates with the young reporter, Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara), is one of the highlights of the show.
She uses him to unveil the inner workings of Washington and he manipulates her to leak damaging stories about his opponents for his own sinister purposes. The relationship becomes dangerous for both of them when Barnes starts to uncover some of Underwood’s schemes.
Even more remarkable is the relationship between Underwood and his equally ambitious wife Claire (Robin Wright).
Spacey and Wright subtly portray a couple who see even their love lives as political tools. They are open with each other about their love affairs, but beneath the calm surface, there is an undercurrent of jealousy and regret that makes the relationship poignant.
Most of us try to be good people in our everyday lives but it is fun to watch this couple do terrible things.
Each time, the viewer gets the thrill of wondering if the characters will get away with their scheming, or if the house of cards will finally come crashing down.
“House of Cards” returns for a third season on Netflix Feb. 27.
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