TV Review: House Of Cards Season 2

TV Review: House Of Cards Season 2

I’ve seen some crit­i­cism online that  this season of House of Cards was in some way more predictable than the previ­ous one and that Frank Under­wood lacked some­one to match up to him.

For me, I think that misses the real point of the entire show. I knew where the season was going to end up, just like I knew roughly where season 1 was going to end up. The fasci­na­tion of this show is how the Under­woods (and they are more clearly a team than ever in season 2) get there.

Frank Under­wood is machi­avel­lian to the extreme and while it’s clear he had to impro­vise from time to time look­ing back you can see that every­thing largely followed the trajec­tory he planned from the begin­ning.  There’s an elemen­tal inevitabil­ity to his progres­sion.

And along the way of course, every­one suffers. Inno­cent (though there are very very few of those in the show) or guilty alike are thrown onto the tracks if it serves the goal.

The depth of the support­ing char­ac­ters in the show is quite impres­sive, but it can be rather distract­ing. As some of the char­ac­ters disap­pear from the show you are left with the nagging feel­ing of unre­solved story­li­nes. In some ways though, that merely mirrors real life.

But in the end it’s all about the Under­woods and the stel­lar perfor­mances from Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are what really sell it. Spacey’s Under­wood is some­how simul­ta­ne­ously charis­matic and friendly while stone cold prag­matic. You shouldn’t like him. You know you shouldn’t like him. And yet you do.

Mean­while Claire Under­wood almost always comes off as cold and almost robotic. Even her rela­tion­ship with her husband seems at first glance to be calcu­lated conve­nience. And yet she is the one who is finally pushed to break down in tears and what she has to do.

And the rela­tion­ship between the two of them has a depth of commit­ment that’s hard to even fathom. Mostly passion­less on the surface, from time to time the emotions bubble to the surface and in the end you’re left with the feel­ing that these two are commit­ted to each other and no one else.

I’m curi­ous where they’ll go with Season 3. I know how the story needs to end and I’m fairly sure they’ll go for it. But the ques­tion is whether they think they can get away with an inter­me­di­ate story.


About Eoghann Irving

Overly opinionated owner and author of You can get updated on his posts directly on the blog here or through the usual social networking suspects. What? You expected me to say something interesting here? That's what the blog posts are for. Eoghann has often wondered if people read these little bio things we have to fill out everywhere on the internet and, assuming they do, why?