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Thread: House of Cards

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    House of Cards



    While I usually give TV and anything remotely to do with it a wide berth, I just found myself spending half a weekend watching House of Cards.

    If you've seen seasons 1 and/or 2 what are your thoughts?

  2. #2
    not enough robots, lasers, zombies, space ships or aliens. stopped after a few episodes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by last_caress View Post
    not enough robots, lasers, zombies, space ships or aliens. stopped after a few episodes.
    Yes, I figured it wasn't a "typical" INTP series; made me all the more curious to hear what people here might think of it.

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    non-canonical Light Leak's Avatar
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    I watched the first season because I had heard good things about it. It's not really my type of show, but I can see why people like it. It's better than most of the other crap that's on TV lately. I would watch the 2nd season if I ever made it through the list of all the more interesting stuff that I want to watch.

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    Mens bona regnum possidet ferrus's Avatar
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    Have you seen the original British version based on a Machiavellian 80s/90s Tory MP?



    Dear old Patrick. Knocking-shop in Marrakech! Very wide of the mark. Our esteemed new leader wouldn't know a knocking-shop if he saw one. His morality is strictly backstreet Sunday school hypocritical cant picked up in Peterborough or Rugeley or some such God-awful place.
    Last edited by ferrus; 07-14-2014 at 09:12 PM.
    Die Logik ist keine Lehre, sondern ein Spiegelbild der Welt. Die Logik ist transcendental. - Wittgenstein

  6. #6
    Senior Member Senseye's Avatar
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    I really enjoyed the first season.

    The second season, not so much, mainly because I felt it became a bit predictable. In the first season, it was interesting to see if Frank could outwit his competitors and to see if he had any moral compass at all. However, by the second season, these questions had all been answered although they kept being posed. Frank always wins and will throw anyone under the bus to do so. Even poor Freddy the BBQ guy gets no favors if it exposes Frank in any way.

    Third season might prove more interesting. Frank has nowhere higher to go, so maybe he either finds holding on to power difficult, or for whatever reason he finds himself developing principles (a conscious). If it's just another season of Frank being psychopathically ruthless and crushing all opposition, it will take some superior story writing to prevent the show from getting very repetitive.

    It's pretty decent though. Maybe not an A list series for my tastes, but a solid B.

  7. #7
    The Pompatus of Love C.J.Woolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferrus View Post
    Have you seen the original British version based on a Machiavellian 80s/90s Tory MP?
    "A photo opportunity with wheelchairs! That does sound promising."
    "Allow me to introduce myself. My name is reality. Your cries do not move me." -- Sistamatic

  8. #8
    igKnight Hephaestus's Avatar
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    I started to watch the first episode. I got maybe halfway through it. I couldn't believe in any of the characters. I don't mean that I couldn't empathize with them (though there was little of that either, but not for the usual reasons), I mean they were uncredible. They didn't behave remotely like real people. The things they said seemed unsayable, unnatural, unwitty, unclever, but the worst was: uninteresting. Alan Moore is wordy as fuck and convoluted to boot, so I often skim vast tracts of his laminated dialog, but he has the decency to be interesting.

    House of Cards is lousy dialogue and unbelievable characters doing utterly predictable things in a way that rings false. Do you realize how lousy things have to be before a cliche feels forced? I mean, the whole thing about cliches is that they're easy--cheap, but easy. They're supposed to roll out mindlessly, where in this show, they plod along deliberately and clumsily in stiff clothes and bad shoes through worse weather. It's almost impressive, like overacting a character overacting so much it feels too exaggerated. But I rather doubt that was what they were aiming for.

    I might try watching it again with a box of wine, off-brand wheat thins, and a can of EZ-Cheez to set the right mood for contempt.
    --Mention of these things is so taboo, they aren't even allowed a name for the prohibition. It is just not done.

  9. #9
    Minister of Love Roger Mexico's Avatar
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    I saw maybe 7 or 8 episodes from the first season.

    I didn't think it was very good. The characters aren't believable, and the entire plot runs on people doing things that don't make any sense for reasons that don't make any sense. The writers seem to be trying to make up for its lack of substance by slathering on style, but what they seem to think is witty dialogue is mostly just corny and laughably inappropriate.

    I read a review of it by a British critic--who compared it to the original British series it's based on--and he pointed out things like the main character in the original being a skilled manipulator of people's emotions through subterfuge whereas Kevin Spacey's character doesn't even need these skills because he seems to get whatever he wants every time he tells someone he has a big penis. I haven't seen the original, but this criticism of the American version is pretty on the mark.

    It's the kind of thing I want to like. I rarely watch television, but I would watch a good political drama. This just isn't a good political drama. It's Kevin Spacey doing a cheesy southern accent and talking about his dick all the time while everyone else around him inexplicably continues to pay attention to him. And this is happening in Washington D.C. instead of an elementary school playground at recess, which would make a lot more sense as a setting for this particular story.

    As it happens I didn't really care for The West Wing, either, but even so that show was a hundred times better than House of Cards.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    No history, no exposition, no anecdote or argument changes the invariant: we are all human beings, and some humans are idiots.

  10. #10
    Now we know... Asteroids Champion ACow's Avatar
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    I accept the critiques I've read of the US version: the unbelievability of the characters, that frank isn't really following a plan but tries to make everything look Machiavellian, and that the whole thing seems convoluted and stretched out. Frank seems to be some kind of ubermensch who can do little wrong and everyone else just waffles around being quite passive.

    And all of those are valid.

    But I keep coming back to the realization that its still the most accurate portrayal of politics and politicians as someone who lives in a political city. Is it completely accurate? No, but the rest of attempts to portray what actually goes on in politics are bordering on farcical romanticism and propaganda for actual politicians.

    And for that reason i found it painful to watch. The wife and i kept turning to each other and being all like "fuck, that cuts a bit close to home..."...

    One thing I did take issue with is the "president's chief of staff" character. Politician chief of staffs are renowned for being ball breaking obsessive nazis. They're the bad cop to the politician's good cop, all the while shielding the politician from having to treat everyone like crap so he/she can keep on smiling and seeming relatively calm, composed and reasonable in comparison. And you don't rise to become the president's chief of staff by letting someone like frank underwood walk all over you or not having others quake before you...

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