Too true to be good any more?
“Trump has stolen all of our ideas for season six,” Robin Wright, the actress who plays the fictional vice-president Claire Underwood, told Variety last week.
She is echoing comments made a year ago when I spoke to the show’s creator Beau Willimon. “Truth is now stranger than fiction,” he said. “There were times when we thought we were really pushing the plausibility of our story. It’s supposed to be an exaggerated view of the lust for power — something might have been unlikely, but it had to remain possible.”
Willimon stepped away from the show after last season (a topic he refused to discuss with me). It is certainly within the realms of possibility he saw the writing on the wall.
In truth, having watched the premiere episode of season five, this show might have a problem — not with the next season, as Wright suggests, but with this one and the zeitgeist. House of Cards
Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing had tremendous appeal because it imagined a White House occupied by a thoughtful Democrat with a PhD and a heart of gold during the administration of George W. Bush.
The previous seasons of House of Cards imagined a craven, power-mad couple who were prepared to trample on anyone or anything to grab power — and whatever criticisms you might legitimately level at Barack Obama, he was no Frank Underwood.
Is this show’s conceit still entertaining? Or will it feel like a freakish hall of mirrors, reflecting an already discombobulating reality?
The best moment of the first episode is what the young daughter of a slain soldier whispers in the president’s ear — it is a chilling portent. Tuesday. streaming on Netflix from
Kevin Spacey as president Frank Underwood in