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In Defense of ‘House of Cards’ Season 3’s Divisive Finale

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After I watched the first four episodes of House of Cards‘ third season, I noted that the Frank Underwood who had wormed his way into the Oval Office was a Frank Underwood who had lost his fundamental sense of purpose. A week after Netflix unleashed the 13 latest installments of the Underwood saga, that opinion still stands. But one plot development promises to pull the show out of its directionless (and worse yet, boring) nihilism — not by altering its pitch-black DNA, but by giving its darkness a more constructive outlet.
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‘House of Cards’ Season 2: The Mystery of Claire Underwood

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Warning: this post is lousy with House of Cards Season 2 spoilers.

Francis Underwood is the scheming, amoral Richard III character at the center of House of Cards, and Kevin Spacey is the actor who has garnered the lion’s share of the show’s glory for playing him. And I will always enjoy Spacey’s performance for the unapologetic camp of it, but Frank ceased to fascinate me in Season 2. The problem is that nothing he does is surprising anymore. We have known since last season that he’ll do anything, even kill, to gain political power. Although we may not anticipate each strategic move he makes or setback he faces, his motivation never wavers, and his endgame doesn’t change.
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Pundits Playing Themselves on ‘House of Cards’: Weird, Right?

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Watching House of Cards over the weekend, one began to rack up a certain number of celebrity pundit sightings. Sean Hannity, Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes — all of them make some kind of appearance on the show. (A weird sideshow involving the former Times, now-Yahoo reporter Matt Bai probably falls into this category too, though he’s not a news anchor per se.) And I confess: I have always found such journalists-playing-themselves appearances well, odd, if not altogether objectionable. I know news anchors have done this since the dawn of time, that Christiane Amanpour was in Iron Man 2 and Brian Williams hung out on 30 Rock. And obviously, working where I work, it’s not that I’m a snot about pop culture, either. In fact, if anything, I think it would behoove most political journalists to get out of their Beltway bubbles more and make contact with the larger culture.
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3 Questions We Hope Season 2 of ‘House of Cards’ Will Answer

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The best way to watch House of Cards, I think, is as a sort of pulpy, Brian DePalma sort of thriller that doesn’t have much meaning beyond its own plot twists and cliffhangers. If you try and read too much into the show, hoping it will tell you something interesting about gender or power, I think you’re expecting too much. It’s not that kind of television, and it shouldn’t have to be. Some television shows are Shakespearean; others more Gillian Flynn. We need both in the world!
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Long-Weekend Viewing: Films About Manipulative Political Masterminds for ‘House of Cards’ Fans

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If you’ve already binge-watched all of Netflix’s addictive new original series, House of Cards, it’s understandable that you’d be thirsting for more. After all, an antihero like House of Cards‘ Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) — who has every right to be furious about not being handed the position of Secretary of State after all his years backing the newly elected president — is insanely fun to watch as he dismantles the US political system, one sly move at a time. If you prefer a calculating politician to your average superhero, here is a selection of films (and one miniseries) you have to see.
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