Television: House of Cards (American Version)

Now I'll admit I've only watched the first "chapter." I was drawn in by all the phenomenal reviews, and I have to say it is very good. But you have to like complex stories of political machinations, and you have to be willing to keep track of many people and moving parts. Otherwise you'll be lost or bored or both.

This first episode was directed by David Fincher, and it looks it. I swear that man never met a camera filter he didn't like. But it works here, and I have to wonder whether, having set the tone thus, subsequent episodes from other directors will have the same look.

Anyway, for those who might be wondering, House of Cards stars Kevin Spacey as South Carolina Congressman (and Majority Whip) Francis Underwood. With a new president in office that he helped get elected, Francis has every expectation to be nominated—and, one assumes, eventually confirmed—Secretary of State. So it comes as quite a blow when President Elect Walker doesn't keep his promise.

And so Francis decides to take matters into his own hands.

This is Netflix's take on the BBC series, produced by Netflix for subscribers of its streaming video service. I haven't seen the original, but there is definitely something vaguely Shakespearean about the whole story. Well, and Mr. Spacey does run the Old Vic nowadays. In any case, however, despite the British roots, the plot transplants nicely to American soil. Reminds me a bit of Stuart Woods' novels, too. Grass Roots. Anyone remember that one?

In short, an engrossing program for anyone with the concentration and interest to follow along. I don't have the stomach to "binge view" this one, but I expect to finish it off in a timely manner.

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