Netflix’s new original series Bloodline centers around an affluent family …
House of Cards
Although the Underwoods in all their conniving glory is one of the main appeals to House of Cards, season three presents a slow but forceful tear between Frank and Claire that drove the plot into new territory. With Frank resorting to old but now ineffectual methods of coercion by putting his foot down until he gets his way, he finds himself weakened under Claire’s unwavering high heel. Restless and tired of her husband’s ways and her seemingly permanent position at his side, she ends the season with an exciting and unexpected decision to leave him. In spite of the fact that Frank and Claire seem to be an unbreakable duo hellbent on complete power, there are several moments throughout the latter half of season three that seem to suggest Claire’s desires to surpass her husband’s position or at least break apart from the illusion that they are a single organism, such as in multiple scenes where she is sitting alone at the presidential desk.
After a whirlwind second season ending with Frank Underwood in office as the President of the United States and the fate of both Rachel Posner and Douglas Stamper unclear after the former’s attack of the latter, season three has a high-stakes tone to maintain. Fortunately, the first half of the season is very watchable, remaining appropriately dramatic without being transparent and avoiding the stumbling block many political dramas face of putting too much dependence on ridiculous standards of practice within the halls of power. With that being said, FEMA has tweeted about the new season, stating, “Hey, Frank Underwood: We’re not on board with claiming your own emergencies. #HouseofCards” in regards to the character’s twist on the Stafford Act. However some drama-for-the-sake-of-drama is to be expected and so far in season three, House of Cards has done a good job balancing drama with believability.
House of Cards premiered last year to tremendous buzz, the highly-anticipated, prestige-soaked first original program from Netflix. Viewers embraced the series and no one was surprised to see it rack up nomination after nomination, both for the Golden Globes and Emmys. After the initial furor died down however, many critics were left cold by the show’s self-satisfaction and paint-by-numbers approach, the strong individual performances let down by predictable plotting and under-developed characterization. Fortunately season two of House of Cards, while still flawed, greatly improves on many of the first season’s biggest problem areas and this self-awareness bodes well for the already-commissioned season three.
With the recent release of House of Cards and Hemlock Grove, Netflix has established serious interest in the original programming market. Amazon, another major player in online streaming services with Prime Instant Video, has made the first major step to follow suit. Late last week, 16 pilots were made available for free streaming on Amazon – 8 comedies and 6 children’s series.