TV

"That's It, House of Cards. You Lost Me."

A show that was once darkly great has descended into prosaic moralism. God save us from fictional pols who are serious about jobs programs.

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I was a big fan of the first two seasons of the Netflix series House of Cards. But the third season, which dropped a week ago, may have lost me. Not because the show is relentlessly "bleak" (in the words of one reviewer), but because its diabolical main characters are starting to develop consciences. God save us from murderous fictional pols who are serious about government jobs programs.

From my new Daily Beast column:

House of Cards is going softer than President Frank Underwood's gut. The first two seasons were a palate-cleansing, tit-for-tat inversion of Aaron Sorkin's cloyingly earnest West Wing, where even the bad guys tended to be good-hearted, if ideologically misguided. But in just three seasons ofHouse of Cards we've gone from Underwood (Kevin Spacey) not thinking twice about shoving under a train the unethical journalist he was fucking to a world where he actually takes seriously the idea of a federally funded jobs program that will—finally! seriously! emphatically!—end unemployment as we know it. He actually seems to earnestly want to do something for people and not simply because it will give him more power. Hell, at one point, he echoes FDR talking about how the "country needs bold, persistent experimentation" to turn the economy around and approaches his "America Works" program as something other than the shovel-ready malarkey the old Frank would have gleefully exulted.

Even more disappointing is the devolution of First Lady Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) from a ruthless operator who puts Agrippina the Younger to shame into a latter-day Lady Macbeth filled with doubts about her and her husband's patently unredeemable actions. "We're murderers, Francis," she says at one point in the new season—as if that's a bad thing….

The third season of House of Cardsspends a hell of a lot of time humanizing the Underwoods and other characters. To be sure—spoiler alerts!—recovering alcoholic and chief of staff Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly) is still capable of going on booze-and-sex benders and killing innocent people, but even he thinks twice before finally dispatching the prostitute Rachel, a loose thread whose existence threatens the president's reelection.

For all that, we are reminded time and again—and without irony—that leaders and policymakers are constantly balancing an impossible array of interests and tradeoffs.

Does anyone else remember the way All in the Family's Archie Bunker morphed from being a funny bigoted jerk to a maudlin softie who literally took in orphans? I wouldn't be surprised if Frank and Claire take in an adorable moppet in the next season of House of Cards.

Picking up on Peter Suderman's excellent essay from last fall about the rise of amoral TV protagonists, I talk about the origins of shows such as House of Cards (and The Sopranos, Damages, Breaking Bad, Peaky Blinders, you name it) and locate them in comedies such as Seinfeld and South Park, particularly the 2001 episode "Scott Tenorman Must Die," which may have changed TV (really!):

And then there is South Park, the Comedy Central cartoon that has aired since 1997. While virtually every episode concludes with a trite homily about what lessons have been learned, the show relentlessly refuses to moralize in the manner to which we've all been raised to expect from TV shows. At its best, South Park is set in a world far darker than anything conjured up by either House of Cards or True Detective. In the notorious 2001 episode "Scott Tenorman Must Die," the awful Eric Cartman tricks a bully who has humiliated him multiple times into eating his parents in a bowl of chili. After Cartman reveals to Tenorman what has transpired, he proceeds to lick the "tears of unfathomable sadness" from the boy's face. There is no indication that Cartman faces any retribution or feels the slightest pang of remorse (Tenorman gets revenge of a sort only in a video gamethat was released years later.)

Read the full article.

Must-watch: Vote Frank Underwood.

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  1. He actually seems to earnestly want to do something for people and not simply because it will give him more power.

    Emphasis added. SPOILER ALERT: Nick, it’s a *ruse*!

    1. +1 clever attempt to trick Randal

  2. Does anyone else remember the way All in the Family’s Archie Bunker morphed from being a funny bigoted jerk to a maudlin softie who literally took in orphans?

    So true. You have to have a good foil.

    Archie Bunker and Cartman represent the Rush Limbaugh of society – bigoted, ignorant, petulant, and always certain of himself.

    Another good one was Frank Burns of TV’s M*A*S*H*. The show was doomed when the writers remade him into a better person.

    1. I speak for everyone here, everyone in the whole world, when I say:

      We all completely agree with everything you say.

    2. What are you,a 5th grader? You are one of the most ignorant people on here.

      1. PB is an alter ego for ESB?

    3. PB…you are a constant source of enjoyment for me. Thank you for being you. And, thank you as representative for others just like yourself. Because of you and people like you, I’ve never had to work hard in my life.

    4. Another good one was Frank Burns of TV’s M*A*S*H*. The show was doomed when the writers remade him into a better person.

      As with the rest of your comment, you’re totally wrong here. They never made Frank Burns into a better person. Instead, they replaced him with Major (Charles Emerson) Winchester (III). Winchester was also pompous, but was actually good at his job, and had a sense of honor and charity Burns never had. The two characters are often confused with each other due to their surface similarities.

    5. Maybe they’re equivalent in your tiny, twisted, soulless, little mind. As your kind take ignorance, delusion, and desperation far beyond normal clinical behavioral disorders, it is unsurprising that you would not be able to tell the difference.

      The irony is that you’re so inherently bigoted and full of venom that you are far more evil than what you falsely perceive of conservatives.

  3. Maybe I’m reading too much into this but is Gillespie trying to validate the stereotype that libertarians are all psychotics who resent being held accountable for their misdeeds?

    1. Only if you perceive the old Frank Underwood as a libertarian and not an amoral pol.

      1. Ah. He’s just lamenting that a politician isn’t being represented as a two-dimensional confirmation of his biases.

        1. Well, it’s nice to once in a while have a show where the politician (and a Democrat at that) is represented as a ruthless schemer instead of a selfless civil servant who really wants to help the little guy.

        2. Well, it’s nice to once in a while have a show where the politician (and a Democrat at that) is represented as a ruthless schemer instead of a selfless civil servant who really wants to help the little guy.

          1. Truth in television should be embraced wherever you find it. The question is just how true is it?

            1. Probably not very. In real life, most pol probably aren’t as smart as Frank, plus he seems to have the unrealistic advantage of being the only one who is either as intelligent or as manipulative as he is. it’s like all the other politicians are innocent naifs so Frank can play them as much as he likes and all his schemes always work.

              IRL, the other politicians would be maneuvering just as strategically.

              1. True dat. Plus, it helps if you’re the main character of the show.

              2. Most of the career pols I’ve met are just grabbers. Opportunistic grabbers who ruthlessly protect themselves at every opportunity. But, I’ve met a handful who were pretty decent and actually cared, and weren’t stupid. One of them has a good heart, really tries to help, is very smart, and is way, way more libertarian than almost anyone I know and was, for a brief period, the PM of Canada.

                1. One of them has a good heart, really tries to help, is very smart, and is way, way more libertarian than almost anyone I know and was, for a brief period, the PM of Canada.

                  Kim Campbell?

            2. Underwood at his worst was almost half as evil as a typical career politician.

              -jcr

              1. And a tenth as evil as Obama.

        3. Two dimensions would be a step up from the Sorkin motifs Nick describes.

  4. Runcible is the classiest, watch-iest smartphone we’ve ever seen (hands-on)

    Forget what you know about smartphones, put on your top hat and monocle, and pretend it’s the year 1515. Reach into your pocket, take out your nifty pocket watch, then stare at its gorgeous high-resolution display and make a phone call.

    To bad there’s no chain yet.

    1. You mean a chain for the orphan who takes the watch out for you?

    2. With a name like Runcible, it has to be good!

      1. I like runcing.

  5. All of the shows named by Nick with amoral protagonists, with the exception of Seinfeld, were presented by cable, Internet and similar media other than broadcast television, and therefore were beyond the content regulation jurisdiction of the FCC.

    Damn it, we need Protagonist Neutrality, and we need it now!

    1. Two and a Half Men isn’t enough for you?

  6. All mythical Presidents are progs on TV and the big screen.At the end of ‘The American President’ he said he would get the guns,even if I have to go house to house’. That was considered and bold and brave statement .

    1. The prime minister in ‘V for Vendetta’ was a right-wing villain.

      1. He was exactly what you get when you progs get you way like the USSR and Mao’s China.But,your a idiot and I’m done with you

        1. Right-wing politics are political positions or activities that view some forms of social hierarchy or social inequality as either inevitable, natural, normal, or desirable,[1][2][3] typically justifying this position on the basis of natural law or tradition.[4][5][6][7][8][9

          Wikipedia

          1. Sounds like Marx to me.Your a top down believer,debating you is a waste of time.You ignore history. I’m a classical liberal who believe’s in much more freedom then you. The thing you don’t understand is a dictatorship is not left or right wing,it just is.It is against freedom. Control is the end result.

            1. Oh,and your handle is fucking stupid.

              1. Weigel here has a serious Sarah Palin fetish. Many gay guys like him do, and I’ve never completely understood what that’s all about.

          2. So sayeth Wikipedia, so must it be.

            1. +1 the over lord

          3. some forms of social hierarchy or social inequality as either inevitable, natural, normal

            Do you really believe that social inequality is unnatural or abnormal? Show me one species or one human society where that is not the case. It may not be desirable, but it cannot be avoided.

            And who believes that social equality is acheivable, and must be imposed by force? Marxists, fascists, socialists – ie the ‘plugs of the world.

            1. I’m pretty sure that there is social equality among various species of fungi and cockroaches. That is what the left aspires to.

          4. OMG! Wikipedia! Well….it must be true then.

            OTOH….are you saying some sort of social hierarchy is not natural? Because it is. Normal? Because it is that, too. Inevitable? Can’t argue with that. It seems more or less impossible to avoid that at least somewhat. Desirable? If it is natural, normal, impossible to avoid…..what does desirable even have to do with it?

            The question is, can it be controlled?

            It can in libertarian leaning governments. It can if the Constitution is followed and SCOTUS does its job. It can’t in left leaning governments.

          5. social inequality

            economic inequality is not necessarily social inequality.

          6. Let me hop over to wiki and fix that

            Progressive politics are political positions that view eating live children as a social good and just one of those things we decide to to together

      2. Only if you think there’s a difference between fascism and socialism other than rhetoric.

        1. A massive number of people care mostly about the rhetoric far more than the practice.

      3. Fascists presiding over leviathan states characterized by panoptict surveillance and ubiquitous social and economic controls. Nope, I can’t think of a single left-wing variant of that model.

      4. No, he was a totalitarian villain. Whichever flavor of state you prefer it all looks the same when it becomes powerful enough.

      5. PB – I recall V for Vendetta being anti-statist and not anti-right state.

      6. The progs in Hollywood really butchered ‘V’. The original limited series was a story about absolute athoritarianism versus absolute anarchy. The writer, Alan Moore has said in interviews that he did not make the title character a hero. In fact V was quite Iindiscriminate and brutal in his violence. Moore wanted the reader to make up their own mind which was preferable.

        Hollywood wanted to make it, at least in part, an allegory of the Bush administration. Which was bullshit.

  7. Hello? SPOILER ALERTS.
    Some of us haven’t binge-watched the whole thing.

    I’m also seeing Season Three as a major disappointment, and not just because Underwood seems to have developed a conscience, but because many of the political events in this season MAKE NO FUCKING SENSE.

    The guy want’s to kill Social Security and spend the money on jobs (apparently he means to keep the social security taxes in place). Where the fuck is the AARP? Apparently old people don’t exist in this alternate reality.

    The most recent episode I watched has the Russians bombing their own troops to get themselves out of a peacekeeping operation that the UN somehow forced them to be involved in. How does that work? If Russia doesn’t provide the troops, the UN Army invades Russia and kidnaps their soldiers? It’s absurd. The UN can’t pass resolutions forcing Russians to be involved in anything they don’t want to be in. If they did, Putin would have a hearty laugh.

    I mentioned in an earlier thread the absurdity of Pussy Riot showing up at a state dinner with the Russian President. As if the Russian government wouldn’t be reviewing the guest list.

    Not to mention that when Underwood’s friend Freddy signs up for America Works, and then loses his job when Congress cuts funding, Underwood DOESN’T trott him and his son out into the Rose garden for a photo op. Suddenly he’s turned into a political idiot, too.

    1. Him using FEMA funds to fund Amworks also reveals his a derelict idiot. What good are jobs if people are dead?

      Like Obamacare, all Amworks represents is a vanity project.

      And the way they never accept results (e.g. Claire not getting the nomination) stretching if not through circumnavigation or breaking of political laws, is frightening.

      Claire managed to ham-fist a peace resolution (despite having absolutely no knowledge of Mid-East politics and culture) not because she was intelligent but because she let her hubris drive her thus she failed to read between the lines. Next thing. Bang!

      The path of destruction they create is impressive. Which is why in the 4th and hopefully final season they spend all their energy orchestrating their spectacular downfall. The show is sufficiently outrageous enough to create a spectacular opera-like.

      Get Frank a lyre.

      1. opera-like fall.

      2. The thing is that AmWorks is a totally idiotic proposal for someone in his position to make. It your trying to win reelection, first of all, you don’t talk about ending social security. Secondly, you don’t act like an out of control asshole with no respect for the democratic process. He wasn’t elected. A politician in his position ought to be begging the American people to forgive him for not being elected while promising to be a responsible caretaker until the election. Or at least TRYING to to LOOK like that’s what he’s doing. But here he is throwing around executive orders, like he has some moral right to, because what? He has a mandate? No! The American people chose him? No! The only reason Obama can get away with his executive order bullshit is because he has actually won elections. Twice.

      3. The thing is that AmWorks is a totally idiotic proposal for someone in his position to make. It your trying to win reelection, first of all, you don’t talk about ending social security. Secondly, you don’t act like an out of control asshole with no respect for the democratic process. He wasn’t elected. A politician in his position ought to be begging the American people to forgive him for not being elected while promising to be a responsible caretaker until the election. Or at least TRYING to to LOOK like that’s what he’s doing. But here he is throwing around executive orders, like he has some moral right to, because what? He has a mandate? No! The American people chose him? No! The only reason Obama can get away with his executive order bullshit is because he has actually won elections. Twice.

        1. It would have been great to see AmWorks fail. But the show, I reckon, wouldn’t dare take that route because FDR. You can’t mess with the liberal narrative like that.

          1. Well it did fail, in the sense that when a hurricane came along people were like “Ooops, we spent all the FEMA money!”. And they had to bail him out.

            What bugs me is that Underwood doesn’t seem to be paying any political price for his actions. Where are the mobs of angry protestors? The scathing editorials? Why is everyone in Congress a total pussy? Why do the Underwoods have any political leverage at all? Why would the Russian President even bother to make a state visit to a lame duck president who is probably going to get kicked out of office in a year and a half?

            It makes no sense. Nobody in real life would do do these sorts of things.

            1. It makes no sense. Nobody in real life would do do these sorts of things.

              This is my problem with most TV shows. One of the characters is a known lying, conniving dick and yet the others keep trusting him/her to do the right thing and then are shocked when they get screwed….again.

            2. To any good economist paying attention, the show makes it clear that AmWorks is destined to fail. After it is rescinded, a DC restauranteur goes into his kitchen to advise the three dishwashers that he has to lay off one and the other two have to go part-time. In other words, the program created the incentives for employers to hire three people to do the job of one person. (Dishes won’t magically wash themselves.)

              This suggests that the result of AmWorks is to cut productivity by about 67%, hardly a prescription to resuscitate an economy. This little vignette in the show demonstrates that the program is doomed to catastrophic failure.

              Of course, most people are bad economists who are incapable of seeing the unseen consequences of government action, and Frank Underwood is smart enough to exploit their ignorance.

            3. “What bugs me is that Underwood doesn’t seem to be paying any political price for his actions. Where are the mobs of angry protestors? The scathing editorials? Why is everyone in Congress a total pussy? Why do the Underwoods have any political leverage at all? Why would the Russian President even bother to make a state visit to a lame duck president who is probably going to get kicked out of office in a year and a half?”

              Replace the Underwoods with the Clintons.

              That is your answer.

              1. Or Obama. I am continually dumbfounded at how witless and weak Boner and McCowed are by Obama. When these assholes were given their majorities as a clear mandate to oppose Obama’s agenda. Almost in its entirety. Yet they cave in on everything without even trying to stop him or push anything through.

            4. Youre right. Because ITS A SHOW, PEOPLES. If I wanted to watch real life politics I would just run cspan 24 hrs a day.
              Not only that but the point of Nick…. Gillettpsi? Gilla-pepsi..? was that the show was becoming boring because of the polarity switch from “ruthless pragmatism” to suddenly remorseful or “trying to do the right thing” when this kind of evolution is needed for shows like this. If Francis was always evil and winning the in the show it would become redundant and quickly boring before the end of the second season. In shows where the protagonist is a decent human being, bad things happen to them, and it pisses you off! Thats GOOD. In shows (my favorites) where the protagonist is a darker, more dangerous character and you WANT them to destroy their enemies (no matter how saintly they are) something always comes along to throw a wrench into the plans.. and it PISSES YOU OFF!! I literally wanted to punch Claire in the face some of those 3rd season shows because of her sudden lack of ambition. 😉 But thats GOOD. If a show makes you emote, thats GOOD.
              And please don’t compare HoC with “shows about nothing” like sienfeld and ugh… south park just because you want the characters to stay the same as they were when the show first aired.. Sounds like the pleas of a child to take back Santa being fake, and not wanting mommy and daddy to die because its not fair.

            5. Youre right. Because ITS A SHOW, PEOPLES. If I wanted to watch real life politics I would just run cspan 24 hrs a day.
              Not only that but the point of Nick…. Gillettpsi? Gilla-pepsi..? was that the show was becoming boring because of the polarity switch from “ruthless pragmatism” to suddenly remorseful or “trying to do the right thing” when this kind of evolution is needed for shows like this. If Francis was always evil and winning the in the show it would become redundant and quickly boring before the end of the second season. In shows where the protagonist is a decent human being, bad things happen to them, and it pisses you off! Thats GOOD. In shows (my favorites) where the protagonist is a darker, more dangerous character and you WANT them to destroy their enemies (no matter how saintly they are) something always comes along to throw a wrench into the plans.. and it PISSES YOU OFF!! I literally wanted to punch Claire in the face some of those 3rd season shows because of her sudden lack of ambition. 😉 But thats GOOD. If a show makes you emote, thats GOOD.
              And please don’t compare HoC with “shows about nothing” like sienfeld and ugh… south park just because you want the characters to stay the same as they were when the show first aired.. Sounds like the pleas of a child to take back Santa being fake, and not wanting mommy and daddy to die because its not fair.

              1. Sorry for double post, I have no idea how that happened.

    2. Some of us watched the original, and remember how that ends.

      1. You might very well think that; I couldn’t possibly comment.

        Kevin R

  8. When Archie did that a piece of me inside died.

    As for HofC, it was aggravatingly exhausting watching the ambitious Underwoods – in all their Romanesque amoral ruthlessness. But the politicking by Frank worked parallel to him being, in the end, a homicidal sociopath. The creator of the show made him a Democrat so people root for him. For me, it does nothing of the sort. All I root for is his destruction.

    Same with Claire. No sympathy here. None.

    Then there’s uber-yes-man, soldier Doug Stamper. Him buying vans, driving and stalking around NM like a serial killer was too much for me. Another douche who deserves nothing but Old Testament justice. Killing Rachel was like killing ‘Fredo to a certain degree.

    About Frank’s obsession about putting people to work. All these murders and ruining of lives for a fucking jobs program? I understand it was to get to power (and there’s something to be said about keeping in mind you weren’t elected) but really, when there this is what he does? They should have had him start a war with Russia or something to keep with his narcissism and murderous impulse.

    Ironically, he killed two people and approved a third thus depriving the economy of three productive workers; not to mention they impact it has on families and the communities part of the same economy he wants to save.

    You must kill to save jobs!

    The perfect left-wing douche.

    I went on enough.

  9. The most ridiculous thing is to see Underwood attempt to throw is weight around, like he has some kind of power.

    He was never elected, he has no mandate, the election is 18 months away, his ratings are in the toilet, and Congress is controlled by the opposite party.

    Hmmm, What To Do?
    I know! Let’s propose killing Social Security outright, then raid FEMA funds for my pet project using executive orders!

    If this happened in real life, Congress would impeach him on the grounds of mental instability.

    And then he’s like “You can’t impeach me! Look at the moron I made my vice president ! Muahahahah!” Like that would work in real life….

    1. That’s what I kept saying to myself watching him. That’s a lot to digest for someone who was never elected which is what I meant by ‘there’s something to be said for keeping in mind he wasn’t elected.’

      That can’t be good for morale in any organization.

      I would love for the show to explore that aspect more. The part where everyone under him starts to bail. We saw this with Remi and Jackie who realized he was Nero with a tie.

      1. That’s a lot to digest for someone who was never elected

        Well he never said he was an Underwood, not an IBM Selectric.

        (too obscure?)

        1. That’s a Gerald Ford reference. Not obscure at all.

    2. If this happened in real life, Congress would impeach him on the grounds of mental instability.

      Which real life are you referring to? Not the one we’re living in, that’s for sure.

      The President can do whatever he wants as long as he has 34 senators on his side.

      1. In real life, Obama won two elections. He didn’t get to his position because the President and Vice President both had to resign due to scandals.

        Do you think Congress would put up with his shit if he got into office due to a president resigning mid-term?

        1. This congress would.

      2. And thirdly, Obama is in his second term and doesn’t have to worry about getting reelected.

      3. Nixon resigned after Goldwater went visited to say he did not have adequate Republican in the Senate to avoid conviction. And that was for crimes that are really penny ante compared to the constitutional misdemeanors of recent presidents.

        Removal from office is really not unprecedented, though extremely unlikely.

    3. “And then he’s like “You can’t impeach me! Look at the moron I made my vice president ! Muahahahah!” Like that would work in real life….”

      It did kind of work for Obama, though.

  10. This morning I’m thinking of eggs scrambled with green onions, spinach, avocado, and cheddar. Bacon. And chilled grapefruit/mandarin orange salad. And a Bloody Mary.

    Happy Saturday!

    1. Made the kid French toast, bacon, with blood oranges and avocado.

      We’re soul mates!

      1. Even the toast up there has to be French? When will this madness end?!?

        1. Hey. You may be on to something.

          BELGIAN TOAST IT IS FROM NOW ON!

      2. I had a chocolate donut.

  11. Princess Buttercup grew up to be total bitch.

    1. Maybe it would have been best if an ROUS had gotten her.

  12. Never seen House of Cards, Game of Thrones. Never been to Wallmart, Trader Joes(?). Believe it or not, a lot of this reason culture war crap is meaningless to many people who visit here.

    1. TV is culture war crap? I thought it was just culture.

    2. Never been to a Walmart? How much is land in Svalbard anyway, and what can you grow there?

    3. I’ll fill you in:

      House of Cards was actually a pretty good, “Look how horrible politicians are, particularly the successful ones,” show. Apparently now, not so much.

      Game of Thrones does a great job of demonstrating the mechanics of feudalism.

      Wal-Mart is awesome because it’s cheap and you can buy anything. Progressives hate it.

      Trader Joes is the poor man’s version of Whole Foods. Decent prices, but occasionally food past its sell-by date.

      There, now you’re caught up.

      1. I think I’ll never be caught up, but thanks wwhorton.

      2. Trader Joe’s basically makes it’s living by rebranding generic products made by others under it’s own brand-name. It mainly gained fame for the “Two Buck Chuck” $2 bottles of wine.
        A lot of other people have gotten in on the rebranded cheap wine label business lately though.

    4. It must be amazing to be so sophisticated you know none of this stuff.

  13. Sheesh, I thought it was a conservative’s job to fume about pop culture. Does Reason’s head honcho have too much time on his hands? I know a certain leather jacket that could do with a little airing out.

  14. I haven’t really watched all that much of the U.S. edition of House of Cards because I’m a snob who liked the British version better, but I seem to remember Urquhart pushing for a massive employment program as well (along with the return of the draft I believe). It wasn’t exactly portrayed as ‘kind ol’ Urquhart creating jobs for everyone’ but more ‘Urquhart views his fellow citizens, especially the young, with such disdain that he wants to ‘teach them a lesson’ about hard work’. Is it really portrayed that positively in the U.S. edition?

    1. Well he does want to eliminate social security in favor of this jobs program.
      He makes this big speech about how nobody is entitled to anything. Except a job, apparently.

      1. The whole ‘making Underwood seem sympathetic/human’ seems completely counter to the UK version, where Urquhart never really shows any kind of sympathetic side and is always pure, Machiavellian charm.

        Underwood, not feeling guilty I hope? If you have pangs of pity crush them now, grind them under your heel like old cigar butts.

  15. I’ve made $64,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I’ve been doing,
    http://www.wixjob.com

  16. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link,
    go to tech tab for work detail

    ?~?~?~?~?~~~~~~~ http://www.jobsfish.com

  17. I love the production values and particularly the lighting and videography of HoC.

    But I, too, was disappointed by Season 3’s stories. If there’s a Season 4, a prediction: Claire will run.

    1. There’s a season four, that hacker will expose him and flee the country. Then wind up in Russia sleeping in an airport terminal.

  18. My guess? The temptation is just too great for the show’s writers to not turn any political drama into a wish-list of government programs.

    1. I think they got rid of the old writers and hired a 15 year old whose greatest exposure to how the political process works is “Model UN”.

      Since apparently peeing in front of the Russian ambassador is an excellent way to make him cave into your demands, I also wonder what this person actually DID during “Model UN”.

  19. Here’s a good article that sums up why Season Three makes no sense:

    http://www.theguardian.com/tv-…..king-sense

    President Underwood proposes a new program called America Works, which will “eliminate unemployment” by creating 10m jobs in infrastructure, defense and public-private partnerships with only a $500bn budgetary outlay. In exchange, he will destroy social security, Medicare, Medicaid and “entitlements”. Even before you remember that Underwood is supposedly a Democrat, every part of this is insane.

    God help you if you can figure out what killing social security accomplishes. To use the same sum he does, do senior citizens all un-retire and start working at Walmart as greeters who earn $37,000 per year?

    Somehow ? help us, O Lord ? the foreign policy is worse. Underwood and his wife Claire, who he has named UN ambassador via recess appointment (what?), are determined to put a UN peacekeeping force in the Jordan valley (why?). This despite the fact Israel despises the UN and that the US security council veto is the only thing that’s spared Israel that organization’s formal censure roughly 50 times.

    Anyway, for their peacekeeping force, they must enlist the support of Russia’s President Notputin, because he will care for some reason.


    1. But President Notputin has the hots for Claire Underwood. Notputin then assents, even after Claire throws him under the bus at the Moscow press conference announcing the accord, because she’s had an attack of conscience for no damn good reason after two seasons of imperturbable ruthlessness. Notputin then stages an attack on his own peacekeeping troops (seriously?), baits Underwood into sending a Seal team into a trap (OMG), which Underwood can only solve by meeting him in the Jordan valley, man-to-man (are you kidding me?). So there are the two presidents, chillin’ in a war zone, like some modern update of the Field of the Cloth of Gold ? only they’re in the middle of a desert and wearing green camouflage (I want to die).

      1. Never mind that she somehow finds some sort of moral-conscience epiphany after meeting with Corrigan in prison. Her insistence he read an apology he refused to led to his suicide.

        NEVER MIND that Underwood pissed on his father’s grave and spat at Jesus in Church. I mean, how much of a bigger asshole do they need to make this gigantic douchebag?

        1. And then, after expending all this political capital to (implausibly) rope Russia into a peacekeeping mission they vetoed in the Security Council, he proceeds to negotiate to make Russia leave – in exchange for a missile-defense system pull-back, that he originally negotiated in order to get Russia IN to the peacekeeping mission.

          Essentially, he just handed the missile defense system to Russia in exchange for nothing. But the show makes no note of how retarded this is.

          One minute Russia’s vetoing the resolution, and the US is earnestly negotiating to get them to join. The next they are part of the peacekeeping mission. And the next the US is earnestly trying to get them out of it. WTF?

    2. In the real world there’s a federal anti-nepotism law, prompted by Kennedy appointing his brother and brother-in-law to significant posts.

      Kevin R

  20. I don’t watch much TV, but I’m familiar enough with House of Cards to know about a particular spoiler involving a train and the less-famous of the Mara sisters. Spoiled things for me. I want to watch Game of Thrones, but I can’t do so until after the next season ends. No way I’ll be able to read all the books and watch all the episodes before next month. The last show I finished was Breaking Bad; right now, I’m watching Better Call Saul.

  21. Is Rooney more famous than Kate?

    Kevin R

    1. More film credits, although I suspect that the Fantastic Four reboot will change that.

  22. I get paid over $87 per hour working from home with 2 kids at home. I never thought I’d be able to do it but my best friend earns over 10k a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless. Heres what I’ve been doing,
    http://www.go-review.com

  23. I get paid over $87 per hour working from home with 2 kids at home. I never thought I’d be able to do it but my best friend earns over 10k a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless. Heres what I’ve been doing,
    http://www.go-review.com

  24. Maybe they’re making him human and trying to resurrect him, so he can be destroyed in Season 4?

  25. Oh Archie, I was raped…

  26. “Seinfeld” succeeded because the characters remained unrepentantly narcissistic to the end. I realized “House of Cards” was over when Clair, remorseful over the suicide in the Russian prison, speaks out for gay rights in Russia. Not the Clair we came to love.

    1. The sickeningly angelic portrayal of Claire’s statecraft is matched only by the devilish portrayal of Russian statecraft. Homosexuality among consenting adults was legal in Russia a decade before Lawrence v. Texas. The actual gay propaganda law parodied in this episode forbids advocating homosexuality only to children, and the maximum penalty for an individual is a $100 fine or possible deportation for a tourist. Treatment of the gay American in this episode is a flagrant and unprecedented violation of Russian law.

      The sponsor of this legislation in the Duma was a Russian grandmother belonging to a political party left of the Democrats. Offensive as it is to liberal sensibilities (including classically liberal sensibilities) in the U.S., a $100 fine for advocating homosexuality to children is a far cry from the beheading a gay man might expect in Saudi Arabia, yet Russia is the new Great Satan in the new House of Cards and Vladimir Putin is the new Frank Underwood.

      I’m more than disappointed by the transformation of Frank and Claire into conventional stereotypes flattering the American political class. The role reversals are shockingly abrupt. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I’d look for Victoria Nuland’s name among the script writers. Were HBO execs bullied by the state department or born again as neoconservatives? Did GE acquire Netflix?

    2. I never came to love Claire. Ever. She sickened me from the beginning and continues to irritate me.

  27. The thing that I dislike about House of Cards is that it gives the illusion that they are competent, can-do leaders, even if they if they are acting for evil purposes.

    I would prefer a more realistic view of our leaders as selfish screw-ups, careening from one disaster to the next.

    1. Or to be even more realistic they could be ultimately criminally predisposed selfish screw-ups, careening from one disaster to the next.

  28. It was hammy grade b schlock for the first couple of seasons, a guilty pleasure, but the third season was just lost from the beginning. The Underwoods are murderers and criminals of the highest caliber, and expecting viewers to care about what happens to them as though they’re Tony Soprano or Michael Corleone (bad guys who were up against worse bad guys) is a huge miscalculation.

    Either the show embraces LBJ-style nihilism with the two sociopaths winning the world or they wind up hanging upside down at a Shell station, full stop. The human-drama bit is a waste of time, as it presumes that either one is at all sympathetic absent a much worse threat, which the show hasn’t provided. The Putin clone showed promise, but short of raping kittens he couldn’t be worse than Frank, and he was barely in the show.

    1. And that’s not even the worst part, which is that Stamper was dead. This dreary, AA-attending, mopey sad sack of a character was mercifully dead, and they resurrect him by, what, having some good Samaritan roaming around in the middle of nowhere to discover his dead* body after he’d been smashed in the head repeatedly with a rock?

      If you’re going for naturalism, then be naturalistic. You can’t conjure up a deus ex machina every time you’ve written yourself into a corner and expect your audience to go along with it. The show doesn’t know what it wants to be.

    2. Political criminals are far LESS sympathetic than mob criminals. In the case of Michael and Tony, we saw that despite the ugly criminal activities they were involved in, they here human on some level. They possessed relatable traits: Doubt, love of family, honor, hypocrisy etc. Shit, we could digest Kate as she learned to deal with a life married to a mobster better than Claire. She reminds me of ambitious Roman wives who would kill to gain power. You get the sense if she had a kid, she and her jerk-off husband would commit infanticide it if it got in the way of their plans.

      By contrast, Frank Underwood (a man who is supposed to be a PUBLIC SERVANT) has NO charisma. NO honor. NO humanism.

      He’s just a gigantic asshole.

      1. Claire doesn’t hold a candle to Livia Augusta of the ‘I’Claudius’ series.

        Don’t even fucking mention her in the same sentence as ‘ambitious Roman wives’ ever again.

  29. The only sustainable “jobs program” is for pols to remove themselves from the jobs market.

  30. Btw: For the record; I’ve never seen the program, House of Cards. If fact, if it were not for the many references to the show made on Reason dot com I’d still probably never have heard of it.

  31. I get paid over $87 per hour working from home with 2 kids at home. I never thought I’d be able to do it but my best friend earns over 10k a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless. Heres what I’ve been doing,
    http://www.big-reports.com

  32. You think Lois `s posting is nice… on Sunday I bought Jaguar E-type since getting a cheque for $9279 this last 5 weeks and more than ten thousand last month . it’s definitely the nicest-job Ive ever had . I began this seven months/ago and straight away was bringing home minimum $79, per-hr .
    why not try here ????????????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  33. A list of manly men would never contain Kevin Spacey. What a little leftist priss this guy is.

  34. I guess in the Libertarian world of Nick Gillespie, people are not to develop a conscience. Spitting on a crucifix, okay. Feeling guilt about a murder, not okay. Talk about an inverted world. Is this the future of Libertarianism? If so, you can have it.

    1. No it just makes a shitty television show.

    2. You do know this is a TV show, not reality right?

      Or do you only watch Disney movies where the good guys always win in the end and evil is nobly vanquished?

      If that fantasy world is leftism, then you can have it…

  35. My best friend’s mother-in-law makes $85 /hour on the internet . She has been out of work for 5 months but last month her pay was $16453 just working on the internet for a few hours.
    Visit this website ??????????????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  36. ” but because its diabolical main characters are starting to develop consciences. ”

    I assume most tyrants believe their own press about their “good intentions”. They want power, but it’s because they know what’s better for the peasants. They rationalize their lust for power, and believe it themselves.

    Getting a keeping power is always the overriding concern, but once achieved, they’ll spend some time on their great and glorious achievements.

    Also, in Frank’s case, he’s just looking for a way to *stay* in power. The country and his party want him out. He needs to do something big to have a chance in the next election.

    ? George Orwell, 1984

    Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.”

  37. My prediction is that Frank will lose the election but come back to win with a recount or stuffing the ballot.

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