House of Cards

Starring: Kevin Spacey, Michael Gill, Robin Wright, Kate Mara
Multiple directors; each lending their own fabulous shade
An Emily Blunt Review



House of Cards is one of the scariest dramas this viewer has ever seen - and that includes both seasons of American Horror Story. The reason HoC's is so intense? Simple: it plays so terribly true.

Politics are known to be a tad nasty. But, you aint seen nothun’ yet.

Story goes…Your about to get a peek behind that curtain. But know now this is an adult geared drama fine tuned into a heady work of fiction so real, you want to see the consulting credits.

Through one particularly creepy Senator, Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey), we watch as people we voted in to office finagle Bills, puppet people like modern day Geppettos, and ambitious career climbers' find themselves sunk deeply into the left pocket of some game they're playing; for no other reason than a favor is needed by an opposing member…or for an agenda planned well down-the-road.

In the role of loving wife you are served one Claire Underwood (Robin Wright). She is a smart, conniving, shapely barracuda disguised in the season's finest frocks. Slithering beside Claire, as Underwood’s personal lap dog we meet Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly). Yeah, if that lap dog was a rabid Maltese with its eye on a prime rib…in or out of the source’s anatomy.

And ladies and gentlemen, may we introduce rising journalist Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara). Here’s a chickbabe that doesn’t mind using – and being used. Where is she getting those scoops?

Finally, but certainly not to be out done in anything-for-the-career is a young go-get-'er other-side-of-the-shipyard politician in the hairs of Underwood’s plans, Peter Russo (Corey Stoll). This guy will make your jaw drop a few times at the shear depths he’s willing to peruse in the name of personal success.

Everyone in and around the plots and subplots of House of Cards is riveting. The lengths the characters go to for…well what ever it is they want - and here read WANT! - complete with a foot-stamping tantrum in mind. Each episode intertwines a personal life soap operetta with the everyday cogs-in-motion of a few people in various stages of political power. You watch in horror as "We the People," vote in these masked pontificators, who with our unknowing nods of approval, cut 12000 jobs to garner a mere 3000 for no other reason than it suits their personal agendas or that of the corporation that supports their campaign.

As all the remarkable drama unravels you may start to feel a bit heavy-hearted, as the realization that this "show" is part of what happens in our government branches happens every single day…It is politics as usual in deed.

That being typed, there's nothing as usual from this cast. The acting is precise; look at the cast. Kevin Spacey as Underwood is gonna give you acid reflux. You know this person under another name, is up at “The Hill” weaving Bills and laws without an iota of care for where his constituents chips may fall. And Mr. Spacey does bad so good.

Stoll as Russo makes your skin crawl. He’s just an ass. But his pliability by those larger up on the political food chain gnaws at your comfort level like parasites in an infected lower intestine. You may need a jar of caramel sauce handy for quick infusions of happy endorphins; and oddly enough, the chemicals and high fructose corn-syrup subsidy in today's decadent faux creation seems entirely appropriate.

But even as the men are swimming amongst the sharks, it is truly the gals that tend to steal the show. The womens' roles are smartly written and there are no wilting flowers in this bunch of grab-you-by-the-throat ladies. Zoe is chilling. Claire is a delight to watch weave her web of decided devotion vs. self-agenda.

Uber-talent, Robin Wright, plays Claire on a razor’s edge. Just when you think she’s got a pulse, she’ll go and, well, do something, momentarily reminding you just how sociopathic she has become. Ambition is the undercurrent for both she and Zoe.

And Kate Mara takes her version of Zoe from a persona-to-the-world of a doe-eyed newbie, to the werewolf headline seeker she is in 0-to-80. Zoe's goal is to be someone – and to hell with anyone in her way. Brava Ms. Mara. A gal role with titanium balls.

Snack Recommendation: Beef Ribs smothered in BBQ sauce...or Tums brand anti-acids.



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