by Lisa Kessler
Editor’s note: This week Ksquared invited our friend, Lisa, to write her thoughts after her Netflix binge of House of Cards season two. Ksquared is only on season one (we know, failure) but Lisa promises no major plot spoilers in her review. Slow-bingers: please keep reading!
“Welcome back, indeed.”
First, let me catch my breath and bring my heart rate back to normal. Maybe take a walk around the block, get the feeling back in my butt since I’ve been sitting glued to Netflix for the past few hours/days/week.
Okay. That’s a little better….so, to begin—HOLY FOUNDING FATHERS!
After months of anticipation, showrunner Beau Willimon and the good people over at Netflix gave us all what we really wanted for Valentine’s Day: The conniving, murderous world of House of Cards and the return of our favorite terrifying power couple, the Underwood’s. More delicious than a box of chocolates.
Now, after having watched all 13 new episodes in several wonderful binges, I can safely assure you that House of Cards season two does not disappoint. Picking up right where season one ends, Frank continues his ruthless climb to the top. Now, as VP, he places himself “one heartbeat away from the presidency and not a single vote cast in [his] name.” As he says in the second episode, “Democracy is so overrated.”
What’s not overrated is this show.
Season two lives up to the quality of season one and all the hype. Consistently well written, superbly acted and filmed, House of Cards is a political thriller with brains and teeth. Willimon and his team want to shock—and trust me, you will be shocked. With a mercilessness Frank would appreciate, Willimon violently dispatches more than one favorite character this season. But “don’t waste a breath mourning” Frank tells the viewer in his South Carolina drawl at the end of the season opener. And really, with all the twists, turns, and political intrigue, there’s barely enough time to pick your jaw off the floor before it’s onto the next scandal or scheme.
If anything, I think this season is even better than the first. Like many great shows, House of Cards has matured in its second go-around, and the characters have continued to grow in depth. The fascinating dynamic between Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood and Robin Wright’s Claire Underwood is reason enough to watch this show, and in this season we get an even better sense of their devoted, if not peculiar, romance. We also see Frank scramble to keep things together, much more so than in the first season, which sometimes made all the political wheeling and dealing seem too easy for the Underwood’s.
But if we’re being honest, we still want them to triumph in the end. And that is exactly why House of Cards is so amazing—you can’t look away from its lethal thrill or the Underwood’s cold calculating.
Not to mention, the next episode starts playing for you in 15 seconds on Netflix. Though, let’s be honest, sometimes 15 seconds just isn’t fast enough.