It’s been a while since I last posted, but I wish to thank you, dear readers, old and new, for your kind loyalty. As I am not a Royal member of the British Monarchy, the motto “never explain, …” does not apply to me.
So. I have been extensively researching on various subjects lately, mainly Everest, Japan and Japanese traditions and way of living, and Operette, because my writings have connections to those fields. Hence my silence for more that 2 months. Apologies.
In the meantime, the much awaited “House of Cards” US aired on Netflix, Feb 1st. I am that TV series addict. Previously, I had enjoyed the British series “House of Cards” from which the US show derives and I must say that it was worth the wait and the impatience!
Some of you have read my early posts and know that I am no reasonable viewer, and as a TV series enthusiast, when the product is good, I find it very difficult to stop after just one episode. And so, the entire 1st season (13 ep) was dealt with within 2 days.
I liked the British show, and enjoyed that the rules were bent to better serve the narrative process by involving the audience as a witness or a confident (Diderot’s “4th wall” , also used in Shakespeare’s Richard III, also known as the “Regard Camera” -Camera Look, notably used by Fellini, Godard, Truffaut, The Coen Bros., Hitchcock, Bergman, Woody Allen, to name a few), when the character looks right at the camera, i.e. us, and expresses his thoughts, or makes a comment.
This is not often or usually done, as the camera’s main quality remains to be invisible or discreet, and its presence must be “forgotten”, if the purpose is not voyeuristic or subjective camera.
In both series we follow the resentful (because and after getting passed over for a promotion at a Senior position in the majority) politician and anti-hero Francis (Urquhart -UK/ Underwood-US) as he sets his own rules to weave his web around his soul-devouring sole goal : to become the leader of the governing party.
The script is packed with the usual suspects we hate to love and we love to hate, when carefully structured, crafted and brought to light : Treason, manipulation, amoral deeds, blackmail, staged display of sympathy, intimidation, lies, false allegations and all the panoply of what we think politics is at its worst, allegedly for the “good of the nation”, while conveniently serving the main character’s personal ambitions.
Like most, I appreciate a good anti-hero, and Kevin Spacey’s performance turns Francis Underwood into the perfect guy for the job, just as the late Ian Richardson created an equally brilliant bad guy in the eponymous UK series.
Not to mention the clever use of the graphics FX & inlays in the screen of the latest tech embedded on every smartphone, as already seen in “Sherlock” (which marveled the script analyst in me) and described by me in the post “Sherlock and me”, and brought to a higher level of creativity ( when Underwod texts someone) in this series.
It’s bound to be a massive success.
Welcome aboard, Kevin Spacey fans!
House of Cards (US- 2013 and UK- 1990), on Netflix.
From the novel series written by UK author Michael Dobbs : House of Cards (1989), To play the King (1992) and The final cut ( 1994)