Why I don't enjoy House of Cards (now with spoilers on p. 3!)

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Beakertwang, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. Beakertwang

    Beakertwang Supporting Member

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    I got about 8 episodes in. The writing, casting, characters, acting, etc.--it's all phenomenal. It's easily one of the finest examples of the media I've ever watched.

    However, I'm done. It's so cynical, hopeless. I realize it's called House of Cards for a reason, but about 5 episodes in, I got the feeling everything and everyone is going to end up a big pile of yuck. Every positive upturn for a character (I'm thinking Russo, and the ex-prostitute/waitress in particular) seems to be a setup for their destruction. In a way, that in itself is masterful, but it's no longer fun. The only enticement to keep watching is a sort of sadistic voyeurism that is waiting to see how the next person is to be driven into misery to satisfy the vengeful desires of a sociopathic a-hole.

    Am I looking at it the wrong way?

    In the spirit of Frank Underwood, somebody lie to me and tell me that there's redemption in store.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  2. VicAjax

    VicAjax Male Supermodel

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    If you insist: there's redemption in store. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
  3. Beakertwang

    Beakertwang Supporting Member

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    Thank you. I can't wait to see all those happy families living in harmony. Not to mention, the national debt paid off, 0% unemployment, and affordable, quality healthcare for everyone!
     
  4. dhdfoster

    dhdfoster Silver Supporting Member

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    Great show, but it's a tough watch. It's very heavy-handed, and there is a monotony to Frank's character. Also, it's one of the few dramas I've seen without even hint of comedic relief.

    It's worth hanging in there, though, IMO.
     
  5. lp_bruce

    lp_bruce Member

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    I watched the first season, but it lost interest. I greatly preferred the original English version, which was much more precise (shorter) and had a bit more humor to balance its cynicism. For my money, Francis Urquhart > Frank Underwood. Obviously YMMV.



    Peace,
     
  6. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    No comic relief would be a deal breaker for me, for sure.
    I always remember one of the Stargate actors, played a bad dude, talking about how even the evil guys need to have more than one dimension to their character or they become boring quickly and don't play well.
    TBH, shows like this don't interest me, as I know they will glorify violence and crime, and be full of bad juju.
     
  7. Bill Lumberg

    Bill Lumberg Member

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    I had a tough time getting in to House of Cards ... (or as I like to call it 'Frank and the Giant Peach' and I'm a politics nerd. I started to love it about halfway thru season 1. Plus, I find Claire Underwood scorchingly hot, so that helps hold my attention.
     
  8. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

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    I agree with the OP - it's sooo cynical that I find it hard to care about any of the characters. Frank was somewhat fascinating for a while, but in the end there is too little to him but the lust for power to hold my attention.

    It's interesting to compare HOC to the West Wing. Sure the characters in WW could be too idealistic and you could like or dislike the politics of the show, but at least it seemed like a show about people who gave a ****. And between them the characters were more faceted.

    It's also an interesting sign of the changing times that shows based on two vastly different conceptions of politics and the players involved are successful 20 years apart
     
  9. americananalog

    americananalog Member

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    I can't wait for the new season. Frank Underwood is a hero in the mythical sense. In Greek myth a hero is someone who lives larger than life and gets away with things that the rest of us can't.
    This is a show that could NEVER exist on network TV.
     
  10. Totally Bored

    Totally Bored Member

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    I hate Politics. Watched 3 episodes and the show is not for me.
     
  11. Greggy

    Greggy Member

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    West Wing was a more effective entertainment vehicle. HOC is realistic and true. The real world players portrayed in West Wing behave in a manner consistent with HOC. The former idealizes, the latter delivers the facts.
     
  12. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Nothing wrong with not wanting to watch a cynical show, showing the worst of people. We KNOW that stuff exists, no need to have it explicit all the time.

    I feel a lot the same when channel surfing, and find (just like bad food) my brain seems to sometimes want to subvert me.. when I think twice about a show I am about to click over to and ask "does this wallow in the pigsty, or is there likely to be something uplifting, showing the good, decent side of mankind".

    No one will be surprised to the outcome of that. 90% of the time, no...it is just wallowing in filth, or meanness, or cynicism, or literally feces, or...

    And that's just the NEWS!!!
     
  13. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

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    We're going to have to disagree on that one - I think the idealized cynicism of HOC is as close to/far off the mark as the idealized idealism of WW. Both hold aspects of the truth but magnify it entirely out of proportion.

    Either way, the really interesting thing to me is that in 20 years the population (or segments of it) take to so different representation of politics, and whether or not that is a representation of a shift in public perception
     
  14. Greggy

    Greggy Member

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    Of course there will be a modicum of exaggeration and poetic license in HOC. Even so, I have had the pleasure of working with a former chief of staff of a US Senator, and my former colleague at the university was the district director for a former US Congressman. I've seen and even experienced things that support my view, as expressed in my previous post. I watched the first 4 or so episodes of HOC, and grew tired of it fast.
     
  15. jimmyj

    jimmyj Member

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    We watched the first 2 seasons and enjoyed them but I have to admit that I'm not excited about the next season starting in a few days. I must have gotten tired of it without realizing it.
     
  16. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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    I am so starved for high quality shows - like House of Cards, Better Call Saul, Homeland, etc - that I couldn't give a damn if it's cynical, or if there's no comic relief, or whatever. Give me some well-developed characters, some believable dialogue, and a creative plot, and I'll tune in. Unfortunately very few shows provide that. I think I just named the majority of them.

    Not that I don't appreciate some smart comic relief. I'd kill for something on the level of 30 Rock or Arrested Development. But that's a bleak landscape indeed.
     
  17. D. Stewart

    D. Stewart Member

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    ^^^this ............ much better series imo
     
  18. Edwood

    Edwood Member

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    Wasn't there a movie with the same name? I remember most lines were short and dark? Thank's
     
  19. TheClev

    TheClev As seen on TV

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    Seems like you have a pretty good understanding of the show. I enjoy the cynicism, but I can completely understand how it could be draining for somebody who doesn't.
     
  20. pir8matt

    pir8matt Member

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    Everything works out great for everyone!
     

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