Overview

Netflix fans are likely to know all about the popular series House of Cards, which aired between 2013 and 2018. This series, which combines the political and thriller genres, has Frank Underwood in the central role. Played by Kevin Spacey, the story sees how a man who doesn’t get his dream role as Secretary of State deals with the letdown by hatching a detailed mission to gain power.

House of Cards is known for being the recipient of an impressive number of award nominations. Statistically speaking, it is the first online-only TV show which received nominations for some of the bigger Emmy awards. Eight nominations were given in the Golden Globes, and both Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey won for their roles in the Drama category in 2015. Other popular Netflix shows include Queer Eye and Mindhunter.

Premise

Each season of House of Cards has a different plot. For example, season one focuses on how Frank Underwood is angered to discover the new President – Garrett Walker – will not honor their agreement to assist with him becoming Secretary of State. He decides to begin developing a plan which will result in him being granted a place in the cabinet. Meanwhile, Frank’s wife Claire is working on an NGO called the Clean Water Initiative and is similarly ambitious compared to her husband.

In season two, we see Underwood in a prestigious position in government, but he is being investigated by a political reporter called Zoe Barnes and two of her colleagues, Janine Skorsky and Lucas Goodwin. With Frank beginning his duties, Claire develops a friendship with the First Lady and learns some secrets about their marriage.

Cast and characters

  • Kevin Spacey – Frank Underwood
  • Robin Wright – Claire Underwood
  • Kate Mara – Zoe Barnes
  • Corey Stoll – Peter Russo
  • Michael Kelly – Doug Stamper
  • Kristen Connolly – Christina Gallagher
  • Sakina Jaffrey – Linda Vasquez
  • Sandrine Holt – Gillian Cole
  • Constance Zimmer – Janine Skorsky
  • Michael Gill – Garrett Walker
  • Sebastian Arcelus – Lucas Goodwin
  • Mahershala Ali – Remy Danton
  • Boris McGiver – Tom Hammerschmidt
  • Nathan Darrow – Edward Meechum
  • Reg E Cathey – Freddy Hayes
  • Rachel Brosnahan – Rachel Posner
  • Molly Parker – Jackie Sharp
  • Gerald McRaney – Raymond Tusk
  • Jayne Atkinson – Cathy Durant
  • Jimmi Simpson – Gavin Orsay
  • Mozhan Marno – Ayla Sayyad
  • Elizabeth Marvel – Heather Dunbar
  • Derek Cecil – Seth Grayson
  • Paul Sparks – Thomas Yates
  • Kim Dickens – Kate Baldwin
  • Lars Mikkelsen – Viktor Petrov
  • Joel Kinnaman – Will Conway
  • Neve Campbell – LeAnn Harvey
  • Dominique McElligott – Hannah Conway
  • Campbell Scott – Mark Usher
  • Patricia Clarkson – Jane Davis
  • Damian Young – Aidan Macallan
  • Korey Jackson – Sean Jeffries
  • James Martinez – Alex Romero
  • Diane Lane – Annette Shepherd
  • Greg Kinnear – Bill Shepherd
  • Cody Fern – Duncan Shepherd

Production

The rights to House of Cards were bought by Media Rights Capital, an independent studio. It was their intention to turn the concept into a series. After David Fincher had finished his film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, his agent showed him the original BBC series. He expressed interest in producing a series alongside Eric Roth.

When MRC went to networks such as AMC, Showtime and HBO, Netflix was the one who came out as top bidder due to their desire to create original programming. After chief content officer Ted Sarandos examined streaming habits for the streaming platform’s audience, he realised that Fincher and Spacey would be well received by those subscribed to the service.

Episodes and reception

As is the norm with many TV series, the first season of House of Cards was received positively and then ratings went down slightly as subsequent ones were released. In other words, the first season had 86% on Rotten Tomatoes and 76 on Metacritic. However, season 6 saw 67% from Rotten Tomatoes and 62 from Metacritic.

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