Skip to main content

Tonight my husband and I watched our first episode of House of Cards, well behind those who were plugged in long before us. Have heard about it forever of course, but just didn't get our hands on it till now. We got a good deal on the first season on e-bay and went for it, love ourselves a good series.

And we are in that new demo called "binge watchers." IOW, we like getting our hands on a series and watching it in a week or so, totally immersing ourselves in that world.

We just finished the second season of Game of Thrones---and Lord, w/both more than its fair share of gratuitous violence and sex, as well as a bunch of unintentionally funny lines, what's not to love?!, LOL. We are not snobs about what we watch, and winter seemed a good time to delve into a fantasy world.

Anyway, I digress, but needless to say, House of Cards was quite a departure, or was it? It's much more well heeled of course, and at least in the first episode, there was no
scenes of men humping women like dogs, which is ubiquitous in Game of Thrones. No heads were slashed off, no one was tortured w/hot pots full of rats applied to the midriff area, etc, etc.

But still, I was struck by how alike the two are. From what I can tell, "House of cards" presents an incredibly jaded and cynical view of politics, and in its own way, is no less brutal than "Game of Thrones," minus the graphic and more direct applications of power. And to me, this makes it much less comic book, and much more disturbing than "Game of Thrones," which one can safely categorize as "unreal."

Now, I don't consider myself naieve about the brutal side of politics, how could I be when I'm here every day, LOL. But I do wonder why the beltway loves this show so much, all kinds of articles about how glad they all are it's back for a second season. Last week during the snow storms, I head several pundits give thanks that the second season had arrived just when all was bleak and cold and everyone was suffering cabin fever.

Really? Is Kevin Spacey so good at being an asshole that he achieves Gordon Gekko like status in 2014? I can see that he is acting this very well, that's not the point. And, I can appreciate that the gimmick of him talking to camera is interesting and different.

But I dunno, I just found it....dispiriting, but not disinteresting. The dispiriting part comes with the idea that this sort of cynicism and corruption is now so taken for granted that it has no choice but to try to at least be good entertainment. And in doing so, it insulates us from the fear and horror of it.

I know it's all as old as this country, or any country, or any fantasy of power such as "The Game of Thrones." What seems to be newer about it to me, is that it asks us to wink along with it, to accept this is the status quo in Washington, and whose to say it's not. But somehow, in accepting this as good entertainment, do we cross the line where we also accept it cannot be better? Do we accept that this is just the way it is and vote it an emmy for being so gosh darned putrid?

Perhaps it gets better? Perhaps there will be a nuance of redemption as hubby and I continue to watch? Those who have watched more of it will I hope weigh in here. Nevertheless, we will continue to watch it, because like "Game of Thrones," it's dastardly, and dastardly is indeed entertaining. But unlike "Game of Thrones," it's not framed as fantasy. It's framed as how things are, and like I said, I have no doubt there's truth in it to a point.

And somehow, I don't think it's going to get better, and while I'm no fan of
Pollyanna entertainment, I think I may not end up a fan of the opposite. Not seeing too much aspiration to anything in this series, and I think we all need aspiration.

And hey, what up w/all those shots of politicians opening up their morning papers to be shocked by some headline? Again, really??!! I'm no spring chicken, am not in Washington, am not a politician, and some friends would even call me a luddite. And still, I haven't unfolded a paper w/my coffee in years. I click on the internet w/my coffee. Just seemed out of step to me w/the times, sort of an old fashioned note in a series that seeks to be where it's at.

Anyway, I would enjoy hearing what y'all think about this series. Not particularly important but kind of fun to chat about.

 

Originally posted to StellaRay on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 09:38 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site