House of Cards: Season Review + To Binge or Not To Binge

Early into the semester, I anxiously await the email from my TA to assign an option, whether I’d be a binge watcher or a standard weekly watcher. I’m a regular Netflix user and saw the show advertised when i’d watch other movies and shows. It didn’t cross my mind to watch it, I figured it would be another boring attempt at political drama and besides Scandal I didn’t have an interest for it. I was assigned to be a standard watcher, watching and blogging weekly.

This show is great, better than i expected. I love how cynical every character is but tie into one another. King of the cynical characters is of course Frank Underwood.

For me, Frank not only represented a politician trying to advance but he represented a general person. As humans we are always working to progress, if it’s not handed to us. He is an opportunist. He is flawed. He is the conniving character we all love and hate at the same time. He made the weekly viewers come back.

But for me i found it difficult to come back when i planned too. It took a great deal out of me not to take my Sundays and binge watch this show. I actually began to envy binge watchers because i always wanted to know what he had up his sleeves next.

Aston Riccio wrote, “Instead of watching live each week by “appointment” viewers are taking a full day (or weekend or even week) to watch a show’s entire season or series from beginning to end.”

That is what I’ve done with many shows to catch up to current seasons such as Law & Order: SVU, Breaking Bad, the Walking Dead, American Horror Story (then i found out each season is actually a different storyline) and another Netflix Original, Orange is the New Black. It was like television overload, I didn’t even need to watch my tv anymore. After a few episodes i found it difficult to stick to my appointment sets. It would slip my mind often. Even though subconsciously i wanted to watch time didn’t permit.

It was easily accessible, the show was captivating, I rarely found myself getting bored but why couldn’t I remember weekly to tune in?

Like Riccio says in his article, “appointment television is dying.”

But I’ve managed to make it through this roller coaster ride of for a season.

In one of my blogs, I believe I referenced how the lighting used in the show played a big part for me. They were able to capture the mood of each scene and how each character is connected.. When Frank and his wife Claire came together the lighting was darker than usual, sort of like in an old detective’s movie. When Frank and Zoe came together it became an intimate lighting but sort of grungy, like the lighting of an old run down motel.

At first I didn’t understand Claire’s story, as episodes went by I figured out that each character has their own story for a reason. Each story helps the other and ultimately helping the main story, Frank’s journey to power.

What also made this show so great is how we could connect to the characters. These characters are supposed to be fictional, almost an hour of entertainment. But after a few episodes I felt like I knew them intimately. Like, I was everyone’s noses neighbor.

I felt the most connected to Peter and Rachel, his mistress, not saying I’m connected to what they do. But their stories are familiar to any one who lives in the United States.

Rachel prostituted for money, ran away from home, dropped out of school, etc.

I’ve lived in Brooklyn all my life and that is something I’ve been exposed too by media, or by simply walking down the block. Prostitutes in the motels of East New York, and walking the strips of Pennsylvania Avenue, or on dating websites, high powered people such police officers and politicians are soliciting sexual advances from women like Rachel. Usually, the women who are like her come from a broken home.

Peter grew up with a mother who wasn’t really connected to him emotionally, his home was broken in a sense. He found the pleasure s of life through committing adulterous acts and feeding his addiction to booze, coke and marijuana.

When he died, I seriously felt like I lost a friend, I was rooting for him to be successful in this election. But that would’ve been to kind of Frank. That’s why I called him an opportunist. He saw the opportunity to take advantage of the weak. Peter was definitely one of the weakest underdogs of the show.

I didn’t expect any one to put the pieces to the puzzle together so soon. I figured it would’ve been done within next season. When Zoe, Lucas and Janine figured it all out, I was like “Yes! Go Zoe! But no , you just dug three graves. :(”

Season 1 has me hooked. I will watch Season 2! But I will be binge watching of the choose to release all episodes at once like Season 1. I am “Team To Binge” or #TeamBinge. It’s like watching a movie for 2 hours and wishing it was longer. When I binge watch it’s like the longest movie ever and I’m hooked. I get my full dosage and don’t have to wait for next week to come to get another dosage.

I’m one person who enjoys the feeling of knowing what others don’t about a show. I never spoil it, but I kind of like to see the surprised look on their face when something happens. Like when I made my mother start watch House of Cards with me. I’d watch first alone for details and then with her so she would not disturb me as I watched for details.

Over all, the show according to Netflix’s rating got a 5 out of 5 stars from me.


House of Cards: Season Finale!

Bittersweet ending to my weekly meetings with this other world in the politics. Oh, how I’ll miss it. Hopefully Season 2 premiers before Scandal’s winter season finale.

The final episode opens with Frank breaking a leaky faucet. When Claire ask’s why he said because it wouldn’t shut up. I immediately assumed the faucet could represent his conscience. But I couldnt figure out whether it was a guilty conscience or jujst one of defeat fore he still was not chosen to be Vice President since the last episode.

In other news, Zoe and Lucas are moving forward with their relationship. Yay! Despite her being a little cold towards him , he still is willing to stick by her side. Which is why he is willing to assist Zoe and Janine as they investigate Frank Underwood and associate.

When Lucas comes across the details of the arrest that Paul was cleared of I was like “oh shoot, all hell is about to break loose”. Zoe being the great journalist she has grown to be, chooses to risk dealing with death threats and harassment. She even goes as far as going to Rachel’s old school counselor to gain details.

Meanwhile, all hell is breaking loose for Claire and Frank psychologically, as she shares her haunting dream of Paul’s children to Frank and he shares that Frank haunts his thoughts as well. Is Claire’s dream symbolizing her longing for children? But, if nothing stopped Frank before, guilt sure won’t.

Continuing his quest, he’d ask Remy to speak to Scott Cunningham to not back Tusk as the next Vice President. When Remy fails to do so, he flew out to Atlanta to meet with him directly. He tells him Tusk will back nuclear energy instead of natural gas and put the company at risk. Scott Cunningham is still not willing.

Frank and Linda have become a new dynamic duo. He asks if there is someone in the scheduling department that can be let go. Frank leaks the schedule for who is to visit the White House, by sending it over to Zoe, who sends it over to Janine. Press swarmed around who they believe to be the next candidates for Vice Presidency, Birch and Tusk.

“We are losing control of the process,” says Tusk to President Walker.
But what is the process? Is it to give Underwood the position but with what conditions? Because Frank still won’t comply with his offer either.

When Zoe and Rachel finally meet she acts clueless, for viewers to find out she was promted by Doug what to say. ZOee says she’ll write about her being a prostituite, Russo/s mistress and a runaway.

Doug tells her it will all go away soon. Next season I have a feeling Zoe is a walking target. Her fate may even be death because of how much her revelations can cost Frank.

Raymond Tusk invades Frank’s favorite rib spot to discuss the offer he gave Frank. But Frank being the stubborn yet smart man that he is, flips the script so that he is needed and gets the loyalty he wants.

Meanwhile Zoe, Lucas and Janine put the pieces of the puzzle together and boom, hell just froze over. They figured out Frank Underwoods motives and why he did the things he did. It all started with being passed up for being Secretary of State. But now that they know this, I have a feeling it more dangerous, than beneficial for the group.

After this long jounrey, and yes I felt like I was apart of this journey, Frank Underwood is asked to become Vice President of the United States! Of course he accepts.

This journey was exhausting, I literally sighed with relief.
Not because the semester is finally almost over but he finally got what he wanted. Or did he?

Frank plans to put Meechum on as his secret service agent as repayment for his loyalty. Mean while, Doug meets with Christina and asks if she was being completly honest about her Zoe Barnes meetings, She begins to confess. At that point I begin digging Zoe’s hypothetically grave. My poor Zoe.

I definitely love how it ended, Claire invited Frank to go on her run with her. The ones she usually goes on by herself. Together they run off into the dark night. It can be symbolizing the new life they are running into together. But as the end scene progresses, Claire falls out of the frame and its just Frank running alone. Will he be the last man running?

House of Cards: Chapter 12

Im still not over Peter’s death and neither is Christina and Paul. But Christina is cold as ice. She looks like she has not had time to greave. But in the world of politics, the show must go on. Christina asks Paul to run for Peter’s vacant seat in congress. But he feels it is too soon, since it has only been a month.

Linda, Frank & President Walker interview “potential Vice President candidates”. Linda & Frank purposely put together a list of people they knew the president would not be to fond of. Putting that list together, left a window open for Linda to throw Frank’s name out there as a potential.

But Walker had other plans. He suggests a billionaire from St. Louis, Raymond Tusks, to be a candidate but he needs a little convincing. Frank volunteers to be the one to go speak with him. I knew off the back he would go with intentions to play mind games with this candidate and attempt to get him to reject this opportunity.

I’ve often heard once you’ve reached the very top, the only place to go is back down”.
Janine reveals to Zoe she knows Frank is her source and will investigate furthur. Her investigation can possibly take down Zoe, which I feel is her reason for investigating as well, by retracing his steps.

While Frank is using his kill them with kindness tactics. He finds out Tusks & President Walker actually know each other. He then questions “I’m getting played but why?”

Since President Walker and Tusks are coming from far, he values his opinion and would be the one to determine if Frank could get the position.

I always knew Frank did not like to be out of control but for Walker to kind of make Frank apart of his plan is interesting. Maybe the president has a plan to take Frank Underwood out by giving him a little power or saving his seat by keeping the enemy close. But who knows because we still don’t know the deal Tusks wanted to make with him.

Meanwhile Zoe begins to try to put together everything that has happened leading up to this point. But fears what revealing it can do. One of her main target is Peter Russo’s girlfriend Christina, asking her to remember what happened on the 24th of January. Will that cause Zoe’s plan to put the pieces together to be halted by Frank?