I watch a lot of long-format TV shows, but I generally don’t comment on them here. Nevertheless, House of Cards is apparently being discussed in interesting circles. Plus, I’ve watched the first two episodes, so I’m an expert.
I’m skeptical that the show can stay good, but it’s been good so far – even rivaling the original British version of the show.
Francis Underwood (they Americanized every other detail of the show except apparently the main character’s name) is a majority whip and has been screwed over by the new President. Francis was promised the Secretary of State, but someone else was nominated. Francis begins ruthlessly exacting his revenge.
I suppose we’re supposed to see Francis as the sort of politician that we don’t want. However, it strikes me that if you actually believe in the separation of powers, Francis is exactly the sort of politician that you need.
After screwing him over, the President attempts to placate Francis by giving him good seats at the inauguration, some extra tickets to a good inaugural ball, and seeking his input on an important legislative endeavor (the actual text of which is written entirely by some 20-somethings – if it showed them copying language from “academic” papers, it would have been perhaps too realistic). The problem with Congressmen these days is that they would accept these tokens of power and continue to happily support the President.
When this happens, separation of powers dies.
If you really think American government can work, you need guys like Francis. Ah, Democracy.
(If you’d like a recommendation for some reactionary entertainment, allow me to suggest Coppers.)