THE FOLLOWING REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS AND A GREAT DEAL OF RAGE.
There are no words to express my anger and frustration caused by this series, so what I'm about to write may be quite emotional and lacking structure.
Plot: The Majority Whip, Francis (Frank) Underwood (D) (Kevin Spacey), doesn't get the position of Secretary of State, which was promised to him during the campaign, so he focuses on getting even a more senior position in the administration anyway. He has a wife, Claire (Robin Wright), as psychopathic as he is, who's running a non-profit "humanitarian" organisation that helps deliver water to the Third World countries, and a nosy reporter Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara), whom Underwood screws and uses to leak some materials (at times fake) about his opponents.
It's a good thing Netflix released the whole season at once, otherwise there'd be no way I'd watch it all. From the beginning I thought of it as of something lame, banal, with poorly written dialogues and unrealistic situations, but because there aren't many ongoing shows about politics at the moment, it still seemed watchable. Around the sixth episode it started to annoy me a lot, but since I've already invested so much time into this I've decided to finish it, which wasn't a good decision, apparently, - I was literally furious when the closing credits appeared at the end of the last episode. Do you know what I wanted to see in the finale? Frank Underwood being brutally murdered. The more blood the merrier. Alas, there was just a crappy cliffhanger instead.
Why did I hate it so much? Well, there is a number of reasons, not the least of which is the annoying, unsympathetic main character. I hated him from the opening scene when he strangled his wounded dog, just like later in the series he killed a useless, broken congressman. What surprised me though, was that it felt like the creators of the series adored Underwood. Otherwise I don't know why he kept winning, even though there were no grounds for that. He kept speaking to the camera (I hated when he did that), saying some pathetic bullshit about his alleged power, but he never felt powerful to me, instead, he felt deluded and thus pathetic. He was capable of dirty tricks, no doubt, but those could have only succeeded if all of his opponents were morons. I mean, seriously, an accusation in writing an anti-Israel editorial in a school newspaper over thirty years ago? A brick in congressman's window? A boy killed at the time of teachers' strike, who "should have been in school"? A leaked education bill? In real life none, ABSOLUTELY NONE of this would have worked the way it did in the series. And every time I desperately wanted Underwood to lose; as I said, I fucking hated that empty, moronic, self-absorbed, cheeky bastard.
The characters in House of Cards are incredibly strange, whatever they do or say (especially say) makes very little to no sense. That is especially true with Claire. Her Louboutin shoes the camera often focuses on explain her character better than her lines or her actions altogether. The relationship between her and Frank is weird, to say the least; I'd understand if they'd never talk to each other when not in public, but instead they seem to have some kind of love while openly cheating on and using each other. She overuses a pronoun "we", she plays with the feelings of a photographer, who's in love with her for some reason, and she acts like a Hitler when at work. Nice.
To emphasize the dirtiness of his character, Frank chooses to eat in a shit hole and spends his free time in a gloomy cellar; worthless Zoe lives like a white trash with rotting food and spiders all around, and the moment she realizes that, her affair with the is doomed. That's when she finally turns into a real reporter, although previously she clearly stood against all the journalistic values heavily promoted in The Newsroom. Sadly, we never get to learn if she buries Underwood before he gets to her. But one thing I know for sure: if there is a season two, I'll stick to reading recaps. I've had enough of watching.