Friday, March 15, 2013

House of Cads

I’m about five episodes into the Netflix original series, House of Cards, and it’s fascinating, however not quite for the reasons I expected. The storylines are intriguing, the directing and production values are sharp and the acting is top-notch. So what’s the problem (because you know there is one)?

So far, it’s all villains and victims. Every major character is unsympathetic. While it’s interesting and sometimes gripping to watch the characters manipulate and take down rivals, their motivations are rather murky. I get that it’s supposed to be a critique of politics today—some would say the cost of doing business—yet I find it hard to believe that it’s continually this ruthless and that people are just so matter of fact about making ethically challenged decisions. I at least want to see them do it for God or Country or some other such mantra and/or platitude that can live on a higher level.

Is this a show worth watching? So far, yes. But is it also a show that’s a lot like Curb Your Enthusiasm in that it’s hard to watch more than one episode in a day because it makes you feel bad about humanity and yourself for watching it? Also, yes.