House of Cards: Season 1
Creator: Beau Willimon
Executive Producers: David Fincher, Kevin Spacey, Eric Roth, Joshua Donen, Dana Brunetti, Andrew Davies, Michael Dobbs, John Melfi, Beau Willimon, David Manson, John David Coles, Robin Wright, Frank Pugliese, Melissa James Gibson
Genre: Political Drama/Political Thriller
Release Date: 1st February, 2013
Streaming Platform: Netflix
Star Cast: Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Kate Mara, Corey Stoll, Michael Kelly, Kristen Connolly, Sakina Jaffrey, Sandrine Holt, Constance Zimmer, Michel Gill, Sebastian Arcelus, Mahershala Ali, Boris McGiver, Nathan Darrow, Rachel Brosnahan
House of Cards is set in Washington, D.C. and is the story of Congressman Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), a Democrat from South Carolina’s 5th Congressional district and House majority whip, and his equally ambitious wife Claire Underwood (Robin Wright). Frank is passed over for appointment as Secretary of state, so he initiates an elaborate plan to attain power, aided by Claire. The series deals with themes of ruthless pragmatism, manipulation, betrayal, and power.
Season 1 starts with how betrayed by the White House, Congressman Frank Underwood initiates his journey to a ruthless rise to power. Among his weapons are- Blackmail, seduction and ambition.
An adaptation of Michael Dobbs' novel, which was already a British mini-series, House of Cards presents a sensational portrait of the intersection of district and Washington politics and capitalism.
Season 1 establishes all the characters, presents them how they are as a person:
Underwood- besides his political aspirations is hinted to be homosexual. Episode eight reunites him with his college buddies, and it emerges that he was once in love with one of them, Tim Corbet. The scenes between the two are surprisingly sincere- it is perhaps the only time Underwood isn’t thinking politically and doesn’t seem to have the upper hand. “You meant something to me,” Underwood tells Corbet.
Underwood’s wife also been shown to be somewhat warm heated after all the coldness she operates with. At first, she appears to be someone not capable of having sympathy for others. She fires half her staff from her environmental organisation, including her oldest employee, who bitterly reminds Underwood that at her age she’ll never get a job elsewhere, and screws her husband on his Delaware River bill for her own gain. But there are instances when her warm side comes up; she struggles to watch a woman in her 50s work a coffee shop till; clearly aware that this is the fate she has just sentenced her employee to. She temporarily runs off with her ex-lover, photographer Adam Galloway, because his world offers her relief from the drama of politics.
It is a significant step when any narrative is able to craft not one, but multiple nuanced and richly drawn characters. These character sketches are not written to be these perfect, idolised people; and rather simply, people with all their ugly and the pretty sides.
As per the plot, the show depicts very realistic versions of politics. Not much has been dramatized than needed. Showing the world of political power struggles, House of Cards is intriguing and exciting from its very start.