Cyclone Rewind: ‘House of Cards’

Dalton Gackle

“House of Cards” is the first online series to ever be nominated for a major category at the Emmys, several actually, and deservedly so. Not only is it fresh, exciting and well-crafted, it is accurate and offers insight into how politics work.

The production of the show is exceptional. The camera movements give the audience a visual sense of being present and participating in the politics of America. We are no longer just spectators, but we live the lives of political figures, ambitious journalists, and businessmen and women. We sit in on their meetings and follow them as they do whatever it takes to get wherever it is they want to go.

For instance, Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) is determined to make the man who was selected as secretary of state look foolish, and we have a personal seat at each meeting, during which he tries to accomplish that goal. Another main reason for the sense of participation is that Underwood frequently speaks to the camera, breaking the fourth wall and allowing us to become more than just an audience.

Speaking of Spacey, his portrayal of a South Carolina congressman is excellent. Spacey is known for his intense and dramatic roles in movies like “American Beauty,” and he certainly brings intensity to “House of Cards.” College kids know him better as the voice of Hopper in “A Bug’s Life” and as Harkin in “Horrible Bosses,” but he is no less intense in those roles.

Mrs. Underwood is played by Robin Wright, who is better recognized as Buttercup from “The Princess Bride” or Jenny from “Forrest Gump.” She brings a very similar character to that of Spacey. Her character is as ambitious and intense as Spacey’s, which is a surprise, given her other notable roles as a confused or manipulated women.

Kate Mara plays Zoe Barnes, a reporter trying to make a name for herself in the political sphere. Mara does not have notable roles, except perhaps in “American Horror Story.” She has been excellent as supporting characters in many productions, my favorite being “10 Years.” She provides a role model for aspiring journalists such as myself, at least in the acting of her ambition and passion for journalism.

The incredible production is culminated by director David Fincher. Fincher’s résumé includes “Fight Club,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” and “The Social Network.” Bits of his film work appear in the production of “House of Cards,” such as using the natural light of his filming locations. Needless to say, he brings experience to the set, as he knows how to create a dramatic piece.

I look forward to finishing the episodes that are currently available. As much as I cannot stand politics, I must admit that they are interesting in “House of Cards,” as I find myself sucked in to shows like this. The third season is also set for release in late February, giving me reason to avoid my classwork and focus on a satisfying Netflix Original.