Netflix Originals: House of Cards

Yes, this is the week I will be delving into the fragile and unpredictable House of Cards. It's safe to say that this Netflix Original is often associated with the image of Netflix itself. Often called Netflix's first success, House of Cards follows the slippery and slimy political journey of Congressman Frank Underwood. The show features a variety of dark themes, often associated with today's political climate, such as ruthlessness, manipulation and betrayal. After viewing the first few episodes you'll be hard pressed not to binge watch this dark and dramatic tale.

House of Cards stars Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood, Robin Wright as Claire Underwood, Michel Gill as Garrett Walker and Gerald McRaney as Raymond Tusk. The series also features Molly Parker as Jackie Sharp, Kate Mara as Zoe Barnes and Jayne Atkinson as Catherine Durant among others. Overall House of Cards has received favorable reviews. Season one scored an 85% rating with Rotten Tomatoes for its strong performances and gripping drama. Other reviewers such as Metacritic also gave the series a generous review, citing astonishing performances from both Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey. Although the series maintains positive reviews throughout, general affection for the show begins to decline dramatically following season four. 

House of Cards begins with Frank Underwood, the House Majority Whip, being denied the position of Secretary of State by incoming President Garrett Walker. Absolutely enraged Frank and his wife Clare begin to see how things are done in D.C. and vow to take revenge on those who grounded them. Throughout the first season Frank openly supports the President and his administration while secretly looking to gain a cabinet position by any means necessary. Frank begins to use ruthless tactics and takes advantage of local media reporter Zoe Barnes to damage his rivals. He also looks towards manipulating the current Vice President. After Frank's dirty deeds and manipulative games convince the Vice President to resign, Frank eventually gets the position himself at the end of the first season. Still disgusted with being betrayed by President Walker and armed with enough ambition to sink a ship, Frank makes it his mission to take the top job in the country. However, throughout the second season many of his former allies turn on him and begin investigating his activities. In response to these investigations Frank eliminates his competitors one by one with his ruthless precision. To cover his tracks, he also kills the reporter, Zoe Barnes. 

By the third season Frank and Clare Underwood have taken over the White House and begin to set their plans in motion. However, many disagreements and disputes erupt between them on how to carry out said plans. On top of this Frank is also pushing his America Works job program, which is met with fierce backlash. Season four opens with Clare Underwood wanting to kickstart her own political career. She attempts to run for a seat in Congress but ultimately loses. Meanwhile Frank has his attention turned to the upcoming election and his opponent Governor Will Conway. As the election approaches, the season ends with Frank putting Clare as his Vice President, the first time in history a couple is on the presidential ticket. Season five, the final season with Kevin Spacey, sees fierce electoral campaigning on both sides. However, under the guise of a terrorist attack, Frank stops the election and the official results are delayed. After more dirty and devilish deals, Frank secures his spot as President and Clare's as VP. Unfortunately, this is short lived as Frank is forced to resign his position to Clare, as investigations into Zoe Barnes's death begin take place. The season ends with Clare telling viewers it is now her turn in the spotlight. 

Overall House of Cards never fails to impress and grasp the attention of viewers. Although the shows quality started to decline following the fourth season, it still possessed award winning performances and ground-breaking plot twists. Following the conclusion of the sixth season, in which Clare Underwood serves as the first female President of the United States following Frank's death, the series ends after running for a total of six years.