Sunday, February 17, 2013

"House of Cards" on Netflix: A Study of Evil

     Netflix has expanded into movie production with its new political thriller, "House of Cards," a combination TV series and movie, similar to a BBC miniseries. However, the entire first season was released February 1st on Netflix's streaming service.  "House of Cards" is already such a hit that Netflix has a second season of 13 episodes in production. 
     In my estimation, the most fascinating facet of the series is that it's rather like "Ferris Bueller" meets The Screwtape Letters.  The main protagonist is Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), a Democratic Congressman from South Carolina who is the House majority whip.  Much like in the 1980s comedy movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," he is a master manipulator and speaks directly to the viewing audience.  Unlike the harmless and likeable Bueller, however, Underwood is out to exact a terrible vengeance on those who promised that he'd be the next Secretary of State and then betrayed him.  His asides to the camera put us in a role similar to Screwtape's nephew Wormwood in C.S. Lewis's novel The Screwtape Letters.  Underwood's observations, wildly comic yet deadly serious, transcend any political philosophy.  This story is about fallen humanity generally and Washington politicians specifically.  Their only goal is to move up the power pyramid, yet even Underwood is continually amazed at how easily his colleagues are ensnared by what he considers the most boring vices--money, sex, drink/drugs, etc.
     Robin Wright plays Claire Underwood, Frank's chiseled, dominating, and ruthless wife.  As Frank and Claire coldly plot together each night, it's easy to imagine them as recently incarnate demons, who continually marvel at how humans can be so oblivious to the presence of evil among them.
     That's probably the same attitude the real demons often have towards us.

No comments:

Post a Comment