House of Cards Season 2

JectWonJectWon (@_@) 1,654 Posts
edited March 2014 in Strut Central
I finished watching it roughly one week after its release. I really enjoyed it. They kept the same intensity as the first season, the story is developing nicely, I'm still interested...essentially, it's just as good as I hoped it would be.

I catch myself rolling my eyes at some of the more fantastical/implausible aspects of the plot but then I remind myself...crazy shit can happen and crazy shit is what can make a story worth telling. Most importantly...given the release format of a netflix series...they don't have to use the cliffhanger formula to keep you watching through commercials from one episode to the other etc...so the fantastical/implausible aspects of the plot seem to truly be used to actually move the plot along and tell a legit story...not just keep your attention while someone sells you Crest Whitening Strips or a Caddy.

I'd love to get some Strut opinions on the show.

If we do end up getting a convo going, I think we should feel free to spoil some shit...don't hop in this thread if you haven't seen the whole season yet..ammiright?

  Comments


  • white_teawhite_tea 3,262 Posts
    It's slickly produced and snappily written but all a bit vacant, providing little insight into politics and/or the human condition. Rootless will disagree, but the guy who played the president is like a little baby seal in a tank full of sharks, and that is just implausible to me, how someone who seems like such a pushover could succeed in that environment - I guess that might be the show's most cynical statement.

  • rootlesscosmorootlesscosmo 12,848 Posts
    white_tea said:
    It's slickly produced and snappily written but all a bit vacant, providing little insight into politics and/or the human condition. Rootless will disagree, but the guy who played the president is like a little baby seal in a tank full of sharks, and that is just implausible to me, how someone who seems like such a pushover could succeed in that environment - I guess that might be the show's most cynical statement.

    nah my point was that he's like the milquetoast president caricature: the pretty face to an admin where the real dirty work is going on behind the scenes by other, more ruthless people. For that role the actor is perfect IMO. He's got breadth, not depth, which is required of POTUS I think. He kinda high-level manages, sets expectations, dismisses the meeting. It think it's realistic.

  • JectWonJectWon (@_@) 1,654 Posts
    rootlesscosmo said:
    white_tea said:
    It's slickly produced and snappily written but all a bit vacant, providing little insight into politics and/or the human condition. Rootless will disagree, but the guy who played the president is like a little baby seal in a tank full of sharks, and that is just implausible to me, how someone who seems like such a pushover could succeed in that environment - I guess that might be the show's most cynical statement.

    nah my point was that he's like the milquetoast president caricature: the pretty face to an admin where the real dirty work is going on behind the scenes by other, more ruthless people. For that role the actor is perfect IMO. He's got breadth, not depth, which is required of POTUS I think. He kinda high-level manages, sets expectations, dismisses the meeting. It think it's realistic.


    SPOILER:

    To me, the unrealistic aspect of it is less with the politics and more with the bodies that Frank is stacking up. Just seems like in today's big brother world...no majority whip/VP/President would get THAT type of dirt on his hands...seems like he'd have Stamper have someone else do the dirty work for them which would create enough separation to reasonably keep Underwood out of harm's way.

  • rootlesscosmorootlesscosmo 12,848 Posts
    I agree a US VEEP who's personally murdered 2 people is pretty unrealistic.

  • white_teawhite_tea 3,262 Posts
    Yeah, but a VP's chief of staff with mommy issues wanting an ex-trick to read aloud passages from Tale of Two Cities, totally realistic amirite?

  • BeatChemistBeatChemist 1,465 Posts
    LOVE this series so far. I probably burned trough both seasons in about a week and a half.

    I think JectWon is right about the pacing of the story not having to hit a cliffhanger before every commercial break. It allows a much more, um.. natural feel to it? I dunno. It might just be the mere lack of interruptions. And while there are certainly some suspenseful/intriguing moments at the end of episodes, it doesn't feel forced or blatant.

    Anyone else kinda sad that Frank has to stop eating Freddie's ribs??

  • JectWonJectWon (@_@) 1,654 Posts
    white_tea said:
    Yeah, but a VP's chief of staff with mommy issues wanting an ex-trick to read aloud passages from Tale of Two Cities, totally realistic amirite?

    I know...I'm with you on that, as well. Furthermore, I also find it hard to accept the ex-hooker's relationship with Stamper. Why wouldn't she just leave, go to her parents...something.

    In HOC, there seem to be a lot of characters who will be subservient, or unbelievably stupid so that some part of the plot can develop a certain way. It's probably my only criticism of the show. But...I don't think it's crossed that line into the 'this is the fakest shit ever' realm (think 24, Scandal..FUCK Scandal, my wife is into that show and I can't stand it, every other show on network TV, etc etc). So far, I have managed to feel like this is 'the most extraordinary political chain of events ever'...but not 'jesus this is so goddamn fake'.

    Furthermore, a totally extraordinary story is the one worth telling...it's not like they are saying 'this shit happens every day to all politicians' it's more like they are saying 'check out this fucking crazy ass once in 200 years type of tale'.

    I'm not the best with words and this is just my personal take on it. Hope it makes sense.

    Lastly, any of yall seen the OG HOC's? I like how this current adaptation has similarities but not so much so that the current story is spoiled for you.

  • BeatChemistBeatChemist 1,465 Posts
    I saw the OG series is available on Netflix, but didn't want to watch it in case it spoiled the new one.

    Should I watch or wait?

  • JectWonJectWon (@_@) 1,654 Posts
    BeatChemist said:
    I saw the OG series is available on Netflix, but didn't want to watch it in case it spoiled the new one.

    Should I watch or wait?

    Good question. I'm not sure because I have no idea how this current adaptation will end. So far, I feel that nothing from the current Series has been ruined for me as a result of watching the OG. It's actually kind of interesting to see how elements of one character from the OG Series gets spread out across multiple characters from the current Series. It's also very interesting to see how technology has changed over the last 30 years. The computers, the surveillance, the ability to get away with shit in a time where no one had a cellphone with a camera and the internet..etc etc.


    The original series gets really crazy by the end. In my opinion, it does cross that line into the "man this shit is fake as hell" realm. But it's still a fun watch.

  • JectWon said:


    they don't have to use the cliffhanger formula to keep you watching through commercials from one episode to the other etc...so the fantastical/implausible aspects of the plot seem to truly be used to actually move the plot along and tell a legit story...not just keep your attention while someone sells you Crest Whitening Strips or a Caddy.


    This is a great point, because I find that while I'm watching it it's super compelling -- but a few minutes after I'm done watching and I pause to think about it, I'm like "wait... that's ridiculous"
    I can't help but feel like season 2 jumped the shark a bit...

    e.g.

    **SPOILERS**

    Frank somehow knew exactly where to stand on that subway platform to be out of sight of the security cameras? And they didn't check the footage a few minutes before / after? C'mon.

    Journalist dude goes on the deep web (at least they actually showed Tor browser) and posts on hackers craigslist "HEY GUYS I NEED HELP HACKING THE VICE PRESIDENTS PHONE NO LAW ENFORCMENT PLZ LOL" with the name Data_Crusader. So discrete. Writers really need to stop trying to shoehorn hacker/cybercrime plotlines into shows like this, it's just embarrassing.

    The out-of-nowhere threesome with the secret service guy just felt bizarre and contrived.

    I'm still curious to see where it all goes, but at this point I'm not sure how they can milk another 13 episodes out of these characters.

  • white_teawhite_tea 3,262 Posts
    I LOL'd during the threesome scene. I adjusted my expectations accordingly before viewing a series that seemed designed to be consumed in bulk, which is pretty meta. Bigger-picture, I don't watch enough television programs (s/o to Duke) to really critique any show. I've never seen Scandal for instance but I have seen a few episodes of Homeland, which was so silly it makes House of Cards seem like documentary.

  • JectWonJectWon (@_@) 1,654 Posts
    residentgiant said:
    JectWon said:


    they don't have to use the cliffhanger formula to keep you watching through commercials from one episode to the other etc...so the fantastical/implausible aspects of the plot seem to truly be used to actually move the plot along and tell a legit story...not just keep your attention while someone sells you Crest Whitening Strips or a Caddy.


    This is a great point, because I find that while I'm watching it it's super compelling -- but a few minutes after I'm done watching and I pause to think about it, I'm like "wait... that's ridiculous"
    I can't help but feel like season 2 jumped the shark a bit...

    e.g.

    **SPOILERS**

    Frank somehow knew exactly where to stand on that subway platform to be out of sight of the security cameras? And they didn't check the footage a few minutes before / after? C'mon.

    Journalist dude goes on the deep web (at least they actually showed Tor browser) and posts on hackers craigslist "HEY GUYS I NEED HELP HACKING THE VICE PRESIDENTS PHONE NO LAW ENFORCMENT PLZ LOL" with the name Data_Crusader. So discrete. Writers really need to stop trying to shoehorn hacker/cybercrime plotlines into shows like this, it's just embarrassing.

    The out-of-nowhere threesome with the secret service guy just felt bizarre and contrived.

    I'm still curious to see where it all goes, but at this point I'm not sure how they can milk another 13 episodes out of these characters.

    I agree with everything you've said. Pretty much everything related to the hacker/deep-web is atrocious. I actually laughed when he was like "yo I need the VP phone records, bros". Also, the gps/mapping application that the "hacker" uses to track Stamper is pretty funny too.

    The hacker's whole set up is your standard over the top hollywood stylized version of what people think a hacker would be. Even his desktop has that fake ass uber slick hacker vibe to it:



    The threesome seemed like the writers though "fuck we are almost done with this season and Frank and his wife haven't done any trife sex shit...better have Francis lick his body guards hand. That'll satisfy em'"

  • Bigger-picture, I don't watch enough television programs (s/o to Duke) to really critique any show.

    Heh, that's probably my problem too -- maybe my bar's been set too high by the few shows I've taken the time to watch (Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Game of Thrones...) Haven't watched much else. I can't knock the production value or anybody's performances on HoC though, that's definitely what kept me watching.

  • white_teawhite_tea 3,262 Posts
    Wow, I did not realize that hacker dude was tapping into the Matrix!

  • white_teawhite_tea 3,262 Posts
    Wow, I did not realize that hacker dude was tapping into the Matrix!

  • JectWonJectWon (@_@) 1,654 Posts
    white_tea said:
    Wow, I did not realize that hacker dude was tapping into the Matrix!

    That isn't actually his setup there. I just posted it because it reminds me of what they are trying to make his set up look like.

    EDIT: And it isn't that much different...


  • rootlesscosmorootlesscosmo 12,848 Posts
    I'm almost done with S2.

    US legislative process experts: please to explain how wife of the VEEP is in any position to "withdraw" a pending piece of legislation?

  • SnappingSnapping 994 Posts
    white_tea said:
    Wow, I did not realize that hacker dude was tapping into the Matrix!

    I cannot see the hacker dude without thinking of the McPoyle brothers from It's Always sunny In Philadelphia.

    He was also in an episode of one of my favorite comedy TV shows "Party Down", as the Marilyn Manson-esque rock star Jackal Onassis
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