“I’ve said this before, but I think one key to enjoying House of Cards is simply to accept that it has no deeper meaning or morality. That makes it an odd thing to analyze, because when someone tries to suggest that “American politics needs a Frank,” you are left wondering if they’re aware that they have just recommended a power-hungry sociopathic cartoon villain for public office. This is trash television, and that’s not an insult. I have great affection for good trash. And House of Cards, cynical though it is, is excellent trash much of the time.
- Gather All Ye House of Cards Binge-Watchers
“However, the series still struggles with the foremost issue that bedeviled season one: It’s not about a goddamn thing, other than getting you to keep watching the episodes by keeping the plotting as obvious and easy to understand as possible. What the series has to say about American politics is brain-numbingly basic and devoid of nuance, largely boiling down to the easiest kind of cynicism but then refusing to grow beyond that….
House of Cards is a series intent on congratulating the viewer for being suspicious of politicians, but it’s not particularly interested in examining root causes for political corruption—or even the motivations of its protagonist Frank, and why he so covets power. It’s the ultimate binge-watching experience, in that it rewards even the laziness of thought.
- House of Cards: Still deeply empty, still occasionally brilliant