House of Cards: Five reasons we love to hate Frank Underwood

*Note, one TINY spoiler below

Things have been very busy of late. TV watching has gone out the window. When the baby was smaller and I was on maternity leave, there was more time to watch TV, mainly because I was a nursing slave, chained to the sofa (quite happily I might add).

Now she’s much more independent and has taken over the TV herself (well kids programmes are on in the background, our sitting room kind of resembles a crèche) so Mammy TV time these days is non-existent. I don’t mind, I’m getting lots done.

Through it all however, there has been one stable. One programme, that no matter how hard our day has been or how tired we are, is brought up on the Netflix box for one hour of escapism and complete immersion. Like the rest of the world, we’re watching House of Cards. Actually we’ve watched House of Cards. We just finished the third series. And I’m DEVASTATED!

I’d heard about House of Cards long before we even got Netflix. It’s one of those shows that has the press to match the hype. It was the first programme I selected to watch when we got our subscription and while the husband was interested, particularly as he watched all eight series the West Wing (further than I achieved), it took him a while to get into it.

It took him a while to get over the fact that Frank Underwood talked to the camera. It unnerved him. There he’d be, in the middle of a political scene and Francis would turn and make a snide remark to us, the viewer. I loved it. It was a stylistic thing and as the programme went on, these remarks became our favourite moments.

Kevin Spacey is such a fine actor, that you are waiting for these inside moments – they are reward for your patient viewing, a snapshot of what he is really thinking, his real motivation, the man behind the spin.

The script, like the West Wing, is fast moving, the story lines interesting (if a little implausible in parts, series two, ahem) and the relationship between Frank Underwood and his wife Clare, fascinating.

I think this is the charm and addiction of House of Cards. You are so invested in the power couple, that you need to know what will happen next. How far can Clare go to support her husband? Will she really do that for love? Where does loves cross over into self-interest and a derision of all values to get what you need and want?

Now that the season had eneded for us and we have to wait until February (sniff) for the next instalment, here are the five reasons we love to hate Frank Underwood and why we can’t wait to get him back on our damn screens.

house of cards power
Power, yes. I have it.

1. He’s successful

There are successful people who are humble and there are successful people who are not. Frank is not humble. There is no humility in the long journey of his success. Because of his success, he is powerful. And like all bosses, we hate them a little bit. And love them. See where I’m going

house of cards throne
This is my throne. Bow to me.

2. He’s ruthless

This man will do anything to find, hold and keep power. Sell his granny? Done. Take money from poor people? Tick. Anything else distasteful you’d like the man to do so that he can stay stalking the corridors of power? Just put it on list and send it to Frank Underwood, Washington. If it will help him at any time, he’ll do it

house of cards blood
What’s that you say, blood on my hands? Why yes, yes there is

3. He’s a killer

Like a proper killer. A murderer. His antics will have you gasping in horror, screaming at the TV screen. He didn’t? He wouldn’t? He bloody would

house of cards clare
Was just thinking there…. my husband’s an asshole

4. He’s mean to Clare

There are many scenes when Frank lays down the law and orders Clare to do as he bids. There are rare scenes where she does the same. The relationship may be presented as an equal power share, but we all know who’s wearing the trousers. (Let’s face it, it’s never Clare, she blimmin lives in pencil skirts). (Jealous)

house of cards grave
Rest in peace (and piss) Grandpa Underwood

5. He pissed on his Dad’s grave

Do you remember that? Again, cue necessary shock and horror. A new low. And another feather in his Love Me / Hate me hat.

House of Cards is available on Netflix. Series four premieres in 2016. I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team and receive a free Netflix account for review purposes.



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