Monday, February 17, 2014

House of Card Season 2: 13 Episodes in Three Days

Netflix released all 13 episodes of "House of Cards" on 2-14-2014.  Warning to the 12 regular readers of The Flaming Nose: I binge watched them all in three days and will be spoiling a few memorable moments in this post.  So go away and come back after you've ruined your own life by watching a baker's dozen of the darkest, greyest, gloomiest, AND most irresistible TV series since Breaking Bad rode off into the sunset.  Actually BB was a laugh riot compared to House of Cards.  At least the meth fest had "better call Sol" the lawyer for comic relief.  There are zero laughs in HOC unless you think it's hilarious that a pale puppy looking secret service agent would have a three way tryst with the Vice President and his wife on their Georgetown kitchen table. 

 The red line in the graph above shows the 83%  disapproval rate most Americans have for congress as of February 2014.  House of Cards season two will do absolutely nothing to improve this dismal average.  All politicians (no matter what their affiliation) in HOC lie, cheat and stalk their prey.  They are relentless in their pursuit of power, murderous and perverse.  Even the non-politicians in HOC are urber-bad, either besotted by greed like the bird watching billionaire Raymond Tusk or lone wolf psychopaths like Frank Underwood's slimy new press secretary Seth.  By the way, everyone who thinks Seth looks like an android from the "Alien" movie series, please raise your hand.  By season 3 I expect someone to chop off one of his fingers, and all that white, milky android juice will come spilling out instead of blood.

 Season 2 starts out with a bang, so if you only have time to watch an episode here or there, the first one is deeply satisfying and will haunt your dreams for a while.  It's shocking (bye bye Zoe the annoying political blogger), and it jumps into the deep end of Francis Underwood's first term as Vice President.   Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are mesmerizing as the perfectly matched monsters who will claw their way to the top of D.C.'s power chain without getting so much as a drop of blood on their designer couture.  But Frank is starting to crack in Season 2.  He has uncontrollable hissy fits and is beginning to break things.  He also symbolically buries his Citadel class ring, and stays up late painting miniature models of Civil War soldiers.  Frank has become irredeemable in Season 2, even throwing his one regular friend (Freddy, the down home BBQ ribs dude) under the bus.  He lies, he kills, he twists he squirms yet by the end of the season, the silky voiced southerner is ready to assume the most powerful job in the world. 

 Best moments from the new season:
  • Frank's triumphant double knuckle rap every time he thinks he's pulled another fast one.
  • Frank's birthday cuff links (his initials, braying a brash F.U. to the world).
Best new characters:
  • Gavin Orsay (Jimmi Simpson) the "Edward Snowden" anti government high tech hacker.
  • Cashew, Gavin's adorable giant guinea pig who thank God does not meet a horrible fate.
  • Dan Lanagin (Gil Birmingham), the casino owner.  Yeah he's rotten and greedy too, but it's so rare to see a Native American character as powerful overlord instead of victim, I'll take it.
  • Politicians do horrible things in House of Cards.  But they don't ever do silly things, and I for one could use a bit of comic relief in Season 3.  HOC producers, take a cue from Weiner's real life underwear tweets and give us some slap-stick misbehavior next time around.  It's un-American to be so relentlessly dour.
What did you think, Flaming Nose fans?  Did you watch one...some...or all of this delicious Netflix treat?