Thursday, 23 January 2014

Waiting for House of Cards is ruining my life.

house of cards netflix
My arrival to the House of Cards bandwagon came pretty late, but I caved in to my usual routine of  "giving it a go". Before I knew it, I could not stop and I joined the legions of overly enthusiastic binge viewers. I suddenly understood the hype and so called "withdrawals" that had clogged up my social media feeds. Do I have a problem? Probably, but I couldn't possibly comment on that. You see, I've taken good advice from Frank Underwood and learnt what I can and can't talk about.

For those who have yet to watch the Netflix original series, it lures it's viewers in with the chance to watch the whole season at once. Here lies it's nifty gateway into addiction, and it's smart dialogue and slickly structured cinematography has you fixated with red bulging eyes while Netflix asks you every so often if you are "still watching House of Cards?". Yes I am and please don't interrupt me with that judgmental tone Netflix- this is all your fault, you monster.

"I have zero tolerance for betrayal, which they will soon indelibly learn. " - Frank Underwood

Most of us can't deal with the anticipation any longer. With active viral marketing and every HOC viewer fangirling the hell out as Valentine's Day approaches, we can't escape Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and his devilish Southern drawl. You have to understand, when Frank Underwood talks into the camera he is talking to me- not you, but me and this is blindingly obvious. Of course, we all feel like we are insiders to Underwood's brutally unforgiving schemes. This is the problem, as much like with The Sopranos we feel like we understand the wickedly astute mind of a charmingly conniving man who does some terrible things. Crucially, our morals are more skewered than ever and we live in a constant grey area. We know the fundamental difference between right and wrong, but we don't really care- because he's let us in on his secret and we can't help but root for him. We can't argue with basic facts- this is all clever construction and remarkable writing, but we let it reel us in nonetheless.
house of cards netflix
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Each of Underwood's moves is meticulously calculated, and his hunger for power dominates his entire existence throughout the first season. I do admire men with a plan. You don't need to be an expert on Washington to understand this show or it's ideology, and you have this feeling it could be a darkly accurate representation of the ruthless inner workings of Washington's most gifted political animals.

Much like my undying love for Tony Soprano, I feel my attachment to Frank Underwood is a similar unhealthy habit. It is inappropriate, volatile and nail bitingly frustrating. That's not to say I don't appreciate every character in that damn show- I have an unreal amount of love for Zoe, the ambitious journalist who finds herself tightly cemented in Underwood's grip. Claire Underwood and her minimalist approach to fashion also have me in a state of adoring admiration.

"I'll find out the truth whether you tell me or not." - Zoe Barnes

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My relationship with House of Cards reminds me of my intense love affair with complicated carbohydrates. I know I should stop and I know I should carefully moderate, but I go for it all in one go like an all you can eat buffet. The wake up call is brutal, and I'm forced to realise I now have nothing left except vast amounts of conspiracies locked in my little head. House of Cards obliterates any chance we have at taking things slowly, and throws us directly into the belly of the beast. Do we have a problem? Like I said, I couldn't possibly comment.

House of cards
House of Cards Season 2 premieres on Netflix on Feb 14, get ready to be massacred.
Unedited image source: Netflix