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Political intrigue in the ‘House of Cards season four’

Onlinedramadvd.com / 05/04/2016

US TV dramas are known for their seemingly endless seasons. In many cases, the longer a show is, the less creative and more tedious it gets. Viewers usually seek something new to binge on. But Netflix’s latest release, House of Cards season four, aims to avoid this fate.

After its release this March, millions of subscribers from 190 countries and regions got hooked to this new season of political intrigue. Even the writer of the original BBC version of House of Cards, Andrew Davies, admits that he was engrossed by the new episodes. “I’m hooked on it,” Davies told The Guardian. “I’ll probably binge-watch the new season.” For many longtime viewers, the previous season was a letdown. Its plot lines were almost too pedestrian to be interesting. Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) was adrift in his new role as US president. He had beaten all of his rivals to reach the top political office, and there was almost no one worth fighting anymore. But season four aims to offer viewers the juicy twists they missed last season. Underwood confronts his most potent enemy ever, his wife Claire (Robin Wright). Claire aims to amass power by becoming vice president. When Underwood thwarts her attempts, Claire moves back to Texas, her home state, to compete for a seat in the US Congress. This move injects the storyline with spice and sexual tension. As a plot twist, it is “more effective than any previous murder or immoral ploy ever [was],” Indiewire’s Nikola Grozdanovic wrote.

Season four also dazzles viewers with an array of new faces. Through Claire’s mother (Ellen Burstyn), viewers get an idea of how little kinship means among the power-hungry. And Claire’s political consultant (Neve Campbell) reveals the relationship between power and wealth. Meanwhile, Underwood himself has to tackle another rival: aspiring president and New York governor Conway (Joel Kinnaman). Conway’s character showcases how duplicitous one needs to be in order to get to the top. These characters’ storylines are woven together with hot-button political topics, such as gun control and terrorism. On top of that, key characters from previous seasons return in the new season. The murdered journalist Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara) surfaces in Frank’s constant hallucinations. And the bamboozled writer Tom (Boris McGiver) determines to expose the Underwoods’ misdeeds no matter the cost. The reappearance of these characters makes the whole series “connected and encapsulated,” IGN’s Matt Fowler commented.

With fresh surprises and horrors, House of Cards season four has received a wave of praise from critics for its entertainment value. “House of Cards 1-4 DVD has always longed to be an opera, right down to the soprano who occasionally wails on the soundtrack,” Vox culture editor Todd VanDerWerff wrote. “Season four comes the closest the show ever has to realizing that ambition.”