House of Cards (US)

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domino harvey
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Re: House Of Cards (US)

#51 Post by domino harvey » Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:51 am

You are going to want to start watching this season before someone spoils the huge shocking event for you. Spoilers should be used in this thread, please ID what eps you're discussing outside of your spoiler tags. Example:

Chapter 14
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I kinda saw it coming but I was like, "No, they're not really going to-- oh shit"

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Re: House Of Cards (US)

#52 Post by Oedipax » Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:28 am

Chapters 14-17
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Yeah, they telegraphed it quite a bit, including Mara's extra-foreboding hesitancy on the platform and Spacey's kind of ludicrous villain costume, but I still didn't really think the show would go there. Surprisingly, the rest of the season so far has been way less pulpy than that opening episode led me to suspect. I'm six episodes in now, and it's actually been largely small skirmishes and backchannel wheeling and dealing more than anything particularly explosive. The interview scene with Wright in 204/chapter 16 and the surrounding fallout/ethical riddle it creates is maybe the highlight for me so far.

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Re: House Of Cards (US)

#53 Post by Murdoch » Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:43 pm

domino harvey wrote:You are going to want to start watching this season before someone spoils the huge shocking event for you. Spoilers should be used in this thread, please ID what eps you're discussing outside of your spoiler tags. Example:

Chapter 14
SpoilerShow
I kinda saw it coming but I was like, "No, they're not really going to-- oh shit"
SpoilerShow
I guess the show is still taking beats from the UK, except substituting a subway track for the House of Parliament! Although I can't say I liked this turn of events.

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Re: House Of Cards (US)

#54 Post by domino harvey » Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:20 pm

With Valentine's Day cancelled due to weather, what better way to spend today than with some of the most charmingly amoral pieces of shit imaginable? I finished the season and found it to be a big step up from the first season, with many of my initial concerns alleviated and some of the weaknesses folded back into positives. Given the huge shakeups at the beginning and end of the season, I hope those interested manage to get through the episodes before the internet or real life spoils some of the surprises.

Specific, scattered spoilers for the entire second season
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The killing of Zoe Barnes worked in a different way than Francis' earlier murder in that now the series has prepared us for anyone and everyone to be a potential target-- it's like if Justified opened its season with Boyd Crowder getting shot in the face, you don't take out one of your three primary characters in TV logic, but for the show, it adds a deadly serious danger to all remaining interactions. One murder could be an act of desperation. Two is a habit. And it also shows that all along this wasn't a show about the Underwoods and those who oppose them, it's a show about the Underwoods dealing with those who oppose them-- note the shift in focus to the singular subjects.

Doug was well-utilized and his obsession with Rachel nicely realized, and her relationship with the woman from the fellowship center was nice in a "Just waiting for this to get ruined" kind of way. I really give the show points for letting Rachel win the final round, especially given that Doug seemed legit surprised that she'd think he'd hurt her right before she beat him to death.

Robin Wright has to be a strong favorite for an Emmy next year. She kills all of her plotlines and all of the material relating to the TV interview is especially deftly handled. The series really sold her complicity this season and I loved little moments like her laughing at Francis' porn interruption. And given the sinister tone of the season, I was dreading where the whole Meechum storyline was going, because the last time they paid him undue attention he nearly got fired, but once the threesome started it made perfect sense and was one more notch on the belt for what is an unusual but clearly functional relationship. Also, Claire Underwood is without a doubt the best-dressed and styled character in TV history.

The series was of course especially clever in making Underwood a Democrat, in that liberals have a sense of humor about ourselves and can enjoy his maneuverings without going into a self-righteous seizure, and the Right can see it all as an indictment of the party-- everyone wins and both sides can enjoy with impunity. I did enjoy some of the more pointed barbs at the left, such as turning one of the crusading reporters into a coward who refused to go down with the ship once she was threatened, but for the most part the political affiliation of Francis doesn't really matter-- he's a member of the Frank Underwood Party.

I'm curious where they can possibly take the series in season three, now that the seeming end-goal of the presidency has been reached, but I'm sure President Underwood has no shortage of fucked-up things in store for the country!

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Re: House Of Cards (US)

#55 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:35 pm

I too finished the season today and agree with much of what dom has said. I only have this to add. (Best to have read this if you watched the whole season)
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While this season reached the inevitable conclusion that was all but spelled out for us before we watched a second of it, how it got there was something nearly entirely unexpected. I didn't quite see Zoe's death coming, at least as quickly as it did, so that got things off on an interesting trajectory. The way the two other journalists' stories seemed to fade off was just as surprising. It quickly didn't become the kind of investigative thriller I thought it would, and instead became something more internal and emotional. One could feel a palpable sense of pain, fatigue, sadness, paranoia and heartbreak throughout most of it. The most surprising was how quickly you became accustomed to the new faces. It helped that the actors cast were all top-notch on previous shows or movies, even in minor roles.
Last edited by flyonthewall2983 on Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: House Of Cards (US)

#56 Post by domino harvey » Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:57 pm

Spoilers for the entire second season, still
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I think one of the strengths of this season has been in how it plays with matters of inevitability. We're going to get Claire tangled up with an ugly lawsuit? No, that's settled immediately. Zoe Barnes will continue to straddle ethical lines in her pursuit of a story? Nah, she gets offed thirty minutes into the first episode. The truth will prevail? Nope, the only one willing to speak the truth and fight to avenge Zoe's murder is made to look insane and is punished with a harsh prison sentence while those crusaders who surrounded him back slowly away. And so on. Looking back, everything is so logical that it's strange we could have ever doubted how it all unfurled, but then even in the final minutes of the last episode it plays with our assumptions and confidence by having Doug enter into what appears to be an important plot angle, a protection agreement with the hacker, that's then essentially made useless almost immediately with his death. And of course, as stated, the biggest surprise of all is Rachel escaping-- a light at the end of the tunnel that the series has already assured us doesn't exist. I mean, no doubt she's in for all manner of trouble once parts of the truth come to light, but still!

The last image of "Chapter 14" said it all:

Image


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Re: House Of Cards (US)

#58 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:02 am

Chapters 14, 22 and 26
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I wasn't too emotionally affected by Zoe's death, but damn if I didn't find the whole Freddy saga in 22 sad. Reg E. Cathey really brought what could have been a 2-dimensional cutout cliche to life and gave it utter depth and humanity. His downfall was necessary to see Gerald McRaney's character in a less appealing light than even Frank (killing the bird kind of clinched that, if not already by that point). But who knows, I'd imagine Frank brings Freddy back in in season 3 as the White House cook. One can hope.

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Re: House Of Cards (US)

#59 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:01 pm


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Re: House Of Cards (US)

#60 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:33 am

Image

Only posting this because the zombie version of Frank from the BBC version made me laugh.

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Re: House Of Cards (US)

#61 Post by Cold Bishop » Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:01 am

Not having seen the show, my first thought to the above picture:

"Goddamn McPoyles everywhere!"

Turns out I'm right.

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Re: House Of Cards (US)

#62 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:43 am

Nobody puts Claire Underwood in the corner!

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Re: House Of Cards (US)

#63 Post by swo17 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:46 am

Coincidentally, I just caught up with the show.
Season 2Show
The scariest thing about the second season to me was how, other than dispatching Zoe Barnes in the first episode, basically all the Underwoods did to cement their rise to power was to be really effective politicians. (I have no doubt that much of what they did this season happens in Washington on a regular basis, if perhaps on a smaller scale.) If anything, the greater villain of the second season might be the two-party system, which, for instance, drives even the most honorable representative to side with impeachment of the President (knowing full well who will replace him, and how duplicitous he is) in the interest of maintaining a majority for his party in the House.
That being said, it does feel like it's the show's writers that are being calculating here more than Frank Underwood himself. Frank's a skillful opportunist to be sure, but the opportunities with which he is presented seem to fit his aims just a little too perfectly, even if this only becomes clear in hindsight.

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Re: House Of Cards (US)

#64 Post by warren oates » Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:03 pm

swo17 wrote: Frank's a skillful opportunist to be sure, but the opportunities with which he is presented seem to fit his aims just a little too perfectly, even if this only becomes clear in hindsight.
Thank you. I'm not caught up with the whole run of the show. But this was absolutely my big problem with the first season. It's not just a plotting thing for me though, but a character and world authenticity issue. I can imagine plenty of Frank Underwood types in Washington D.C., but not so many of the dupes in high places he so effortlessly manipulates to do his bidding in these elaborate scenarios for weeks, months and years on end. I suspect all of these issues are baked into the source material, though. All in all, so far at least, I'd much prefer to watch, say, Don Draper try and sell anything to anyone. He's got his own serious suasion skillz too, but at least Matthew Weiner doesn't make it so easy on his protagonist.

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Re: House Of Cards (US)

#65 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:56 pm


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Re: House Of Cards (US)

#66 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:38 am


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Re: House Of Cards (US)

#67 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:48 pm


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Re: House Of Cards (US)

#68 Post by domino harvey » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:17 pm

New season is up and please remember to spoiler tag AND identify what episode(s) your spoiler discusses before addressing anything specific about the new episodes

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Re: House Of Cards (US)

#69 Post by domino harvey » Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:27 am

If it hasn't started already, get ready for complaints about how weak this season is once non-bingers make their way through (if they even finish). Spoilers for entire third season
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Gee, let's make Doug a sympathetic central character for the entirety of the third season and then let's have him participate in a drawn-out despicable execution relayed slowly and with manipulative pulls at him doing the right thing. I like being played as an audience member if I can believe it's for reasons beyond mere emotional chicanery, and I can appreciate an anti-hero like Doug, but this was just too fucking much. The entire season was dramatic blueballs, as the show seemed to address (empty) criticisms of Underwood constantly getting his way with his complicated schemes by instead presenting failure after failure, which wasn't any more entertaining and then to make things worse the show at some point midseason turns into Even More Adult West Wing, but without the snazzy Sorkin lines. The show's still reasonably watchable, but man is this some disposable television

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Re: House Of Cards (US)

#70 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat Feb 28, 2015 12:25 pm

I finished last night.
for the whole seasonShow
I figured there would be more at stake than political capital and the Underwood's marriage. Focusing on how things work in Washington and Frank holding back his more evil tendencies was slightly disappointing, but I can't say that made the whole season disposable. Really liked the guy who played Petrov, and the Russian stuff was probably among the best moments of the season for me.
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Re: House Of Cards (US)

#71 Post by domino harvey » Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:20 pm

AV Club bewilderingly loves the third season, but the barrage of commenters in the article going, "Uh, no" gives the true picture here

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Re: House Of Cards (US)

#72 Post by swo17 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:26 pm

Because it's refreshingly free of Crowes?


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Re: House Of Cards (US)

#74 Post by jsteffe » Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:49 pm

I wholeheartedly welcome yellow and blue in HOUSE OF CARDS, if only because teal-orange looks way too much like 2-color Technicolor. It's as if all those other filmmakers today are stuck in the Twenties and early Thirties! Sure, that color scheme worked great for MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM, and I appreciate how Scorsese used it in THE AVIATOR, but gimme a break! True yellows and blues are only possible in a 3-color system.

I saw the first episode of season 3 last night, and my first thought was: "This is starting to get tired for me." Not a compelling season opener, by any means.

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Re: House Of Cards (US)

#75 Post by domino harvey » Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:00 pm

Oh man, I got bad news for you: the first couple episodes are probably the best of the season

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