WARNING: This contains no spoilers…I Hope
The internet is a wonderful thing at times. It allows you to indulge all manner of personal prejudice as well as pleasures and satisfies many less savoury needs…yes we now know what Frank Underwood’s needs are…I can say no more. In the past I might have thought my staying up until 5 am in the morning just watch all of the House of Cards season 2 episodes a little bit self indulgent but it turns out I’m not alone. I believe that the season was released around midnight in the States – I could be wrong on that detail – so many Americans sat up at that time and watched as many episodes as they could. Fortunately midnight in States is at least 5 am in the UK so even if you wanted to do that here you got some sleep.
I on the other hand started to watch around 1pm local time, went out in the evening and finally finished watching the whole season when I got back in. It was worth the sleep deprivation. The story starts just as Frank is about to become the Vice President and then…well can’t say anymore. As to where this fits into the original House of Cards chronology is a mute point, again not wishing to mention key points etc… However, what can be said is that this season feels a lot more sure of it self and is certainly an awful lot darker than season one. The pace is relentless and I’m going to watch the whole season again just to pick up on some of the finer plot points. Perhaps the best character in the second season isn’t Frank but rather his wife Claire who I thought in the first season was a bit wishy washy and didn’t add to the story. You can’t say that here. She is as vicious and manipulative as Frank and then some. In fact I once watched the whole season by fas forwarding through her parts and didn’t miss a thing.
There are no missteps either on each of the episodes – such as episode 8 in the previous season. The new characters work and even the asides are now more suitably placed into the action. I guess the one overriding differnce between the US version and the UK version is that on deals with a super power on the slide and the other at about the zenith of its power. As the whole series is about the acquiring of power this is very very important. For all the claims that America is in decline they aren’t really and the President really does matter … far more than just how rich you are.
So if you haven’t got a Netflix subscription it is well worth it just for this or otherwise you’ve have to wait for it to come out on DVD. For me that would be an intolerible weight so Netflix it is.
Go on you know you want to….just switch the phone off, put down the iPad and waste a day on this wonderful example of what can be done when creative people are allowed to do their stuff. Now I have to weight until next year for the Season 3…how am I going to be able to do that?