Viewed HOUSE OF CARDS on Netflix and was disappointed after all the accolades the series had received. The lead characters, Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and his wife, Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) exhibit ambitious, clawing behavior which quickly gets boring and predictable, yet I continued to binge watch all four seasons, naively searching for some humanity under their steely exteriors; even when President Frank Underwood was in the hospital waiting for a liver transplant - his hallucinations were reliably monstrous. The only person who appears to have been sporadically conscience stricken was the President's Chief of Staff, Doug Stamper played beautifully by Michael Kelly. I found him to be the series’ most complex character - one who periodically "suffered" through his deeds occasionally questioning his actions and exhibiting some doubts in the face of his clearly psychotic behavior. Otherwise I never could get past Spacey's smirky face and Wright's ice queen/straight backed demeanor; when she made love, passion was corralled and lips remained dry, fleshy softness obliterated.
I continued watching because HOUSE OF CARDS does give us some insight into the way Congress operates, cynical as that might be. Particularly evident were the public lies vs. private crimes; the labyrinthine machinations involved with dealmaking and taking a peek at the rare, lonely public official who could not be "bought." Integrity is presented as absent and deaf, slinking out of the room when someone is elected to public office; regrettably no one is immune to deceitful “horse-trading."
The ending of Season 4 is right out of film WAG THE DOG - the ultimate contemptuous solution to weakened power.