TV review Has House of Cards come tumbling down?
KEVIN Spacey – remember him? Course you do. Netflix, however, would rather you didn’t. If you decide to watch the latest, and final, season of House of Cards, Netflix hopes your response will be something like: “Well, golly-gosh, wasn’t that gripping! Much better than when wassisname was in it. Y’know, that Oscar-winning superstar bloke. The one who chewed up scenery like it was Hubba Bubba, and spat out lesser acting talents (that is, everybody else) like they were watermelon seeds jammed in his shark-sharp teeth.”
Yup, Kevin Spacey has departed House of Cards. And, boy, does it show.
Maybe he had to go. There were allegations of sexual impropriety from various sources. No court of law was involved, no guilty verdict. But Twitter Town was mighty twitchy (when is it not?) and Spacey was airbrushed from the showbiz family album.
Such is Hollywood politics. Politics is also the name of the game in House
of Cards, of course. More specifically, the pursuit of presidential power. In previous seasons Frank Underwood (Spacey) achieved his White House goal, then lost the top spot due to allegations of corruption. Season five’s cliffhanger had Underwood’s wife Claire becoming president and at loggerheads with hubby. All was set for a thrilling final season, with Frank and Claire battling for control of America, the western world and perhaps even the entire known universe. (This is Stateside TV, remember. No place for Hubris Lite.)
None of the above can happen now, of course. So instead, Frank’s been murdered, leaving Claire to wage war on lesser mortals, including a corrupt business clan intent on controlling the White House. Robin Wright, as Claire,
about her family’s secret history, but the Doctor is more concerned by tales of demons haunting the divided country.
Escape to the Chateau (Channel 4, 8.30pm)
Dick Strawbridge and his partner Angel Adoree, along with their two children Arthur and Dorothy, throw open the shutters of their French chateau for a new season. Spring is in the air in Pays de la Loire and there are some rather unusual plans afoot. It’s the couple’s fourth year in France and they’re keen to take the interior magic of the 19th-century chateau outside, by creating a luxurious glamping experience. But with the first guests booked to arrive at the 45-bedroom castle in just six weeks’ time, have the pair taken on too much?
They Shall Not Grow Old (BBC2, 9.30pm)
Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson, the man behind The Lord of the Ring and Hobbit films, is no stranger to epic, ambitious projects, but this documentary may be his most remarkable to date as he sets out to bring the First World War to life in a way that’s never been seen before. The filmmaker has used original footage from the Imperial War Museum’s film archive and audio from the BBC to show the realities of war. Jackson has colourised the film and transformed it with modern production techniques.
Britain’s Poppies: The First World War Remembered (STV, 9.30pm)
The story behind the art installation of more than