Friday, July 14, 2017

"My Turn......"

Five seasons later House of Cards is still around....somehow. Clearly there is at least going to be a season six, but beyond that who knows. I'm just going to come right out and say it; after season two, the series has been in a steady decline with season three being the lowest point of the show's five season run thus far. I have a sneaking suspicion their reason for delaying the show's premiere to May from typically when seasons 1-4 were released in February was because they wanted to re-shoot, or change certain things to reflect President Trump's election. I don't like it when daily national politics gets mixed into my entertainment; I like them to be separate as one is a form of escapism while another one is sometimes a cold reminder of harsh realities. Regardless. Frank and Claire were hanging onto an election where it seemed likely they were bound to lose and season 5 picks up towards the end of the campaign, then the election happens and because no candidate wins an electoral victory the election goes to Congress for a while and then....well, I won't reveal the plot point, but the show gets a little convoluted at this point. Eventually the Underwoods become President and Vice-President, and then Congress begins investigating certain aspects of the Underwood administration, leaks are coming from the administration (sound familiar yet), and then it all comes to a head with.....well, I suppose I won't give that away, but let's just say that I was surprised. Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood was great, although I have to say that his performance in season two was the finest, and season one pulling in second place. In season five I did not like where the character was going or what was happening to him. Robin Wright as Claire is of course brilliant, but I haven't cared for where her character has been going since season three. In season five the viewers got a couple of good surprises from her which was great, but that was all. I didn't like her relationship with the character Tom Yates (played by Paul Sparks), mainly because I thought it weakened her and I didn't care for his character whatsoever; he came off as obnoxious. Michael Kelly as Doug Stamper was boring and uneventful; honestly I never cared for his character and was majorly bummed when he didn't die at the end of season two. Jayne Atkinson as Catherine Durant (Secretary of State) is a delight, but she was not put to good use in season 5 unfortunately after four seasons of absolute brilliance. Neve Campbell as Leann Harvey was awesome; such a great character that I thought would be going to great heights in the show....but then the writers completely messed it up. There were three new faces in season five that added some great stuff to the show. Campbell Scott as Mark Usher playing a political strategist was awesome; truly well written, fantastically acted, and was a breath of fresh air for what the show used to be like in seasons 1-2; filled with indomitable characters. Patricia Clarkson as Jane Davis is another one of those indomitable political characters that popped in season five, and I'm still not certain what her function is, or what she wants, but she's a smart, crafty woman who knows what she wants. Those two were the best parts of this season. Korey Jackson as Sean Jeffries (a reporter) played another one of those characters that knows what he wants and went after it; he did a great job, and I think he's going to be even bigger in season six, just like the other two aforementioned individuals. That's about it for the cast.
Season Five was....tolerable and in some spots very good, but overall definitely pales in comparison to seasons 1-2. Claire and Frank were at their finest when they were working together in concert to bring their enemies down, which they always did with utter ruthless pragmatism. Ever since Season Three though, their characters have been floundering and seemingly always at odds with each other irritatingly enough. This I believe completely and utterly weakens the characters, and thus the core of the show, which is why the series has been in a downward spiral since Season Three. Honestly, the writers need to be dragged out into the proverbial streets and beaten with rods for destroying such an amazing show. I'm certain that the producers and directors also share some of the blame as well; as everyone has a thought about what they want to see have happen to the progression of the show and its characters and plot. One of the several things that made the first two seasons so great was that Claire and Frank were indomitable, and then they were made weak and constantly playing defense instead of offense. Also, what didn't help was insertion of mediocre characters like Tom Yates, and mediocre side stories like Doug Stamper's. Honestly, if you haven't started watching the show, just watch seasons 1-2 and then read about the rest of the seasons. It would be better to end on a high note than a low one, which is where I feel this show is going. In other news and events; North Korea is acquiring better missile technology, China is enabling North Korea, the Syrian civil war continues to rage on, Venezuela is unraveling and burning towards utter destruction with each passing day, and DAESH continues to threaten the world with its terrorist activities. The good news seems to be that Iraq has pretty much taken the majority of its territory back from DAESH, so now it just has to govern effectively to preventing something similar from happening again. I really wish there was simply more good news in the world, or that the media would try to report more on the good news. Take care everyone.


House of Cards Season 5 interviews

Dunkirk trailer (looks pretty good)

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