Netflix released House of Cards Season 4 Friday, guaranteeing a sleepless weekend for millions of binge-watching fans everywhere who were more than ready to devour the hit show’s 13 newest episodes. And this season, the high-profile run for the real White House that is heating up in the U.S. presidential election has only added to the typical buzz surrounding the global launch of the show, reported The Guardian after speaking with Joris Evers, head communications for Netflix in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
Evers called Friday’s House of Cards premiere “a major event,” and a “true phenomenon” that has Netflix members worldwide eager to see what happens during Season 4.
“The Underwoods won’t disappoint. The season is epic and especially timely in the context of the U.S. election.”
Even the marketing for the new season of House of Cards has taken advantage of today’s hot political issues, with advertisers drawing parallels between the 2016 real-life presidential race and the one happening in the series. According to The Guardian, when promotion of the fourth season began in late 2015, it started off with a spoof presidential campaign ad that aired during the real-life CNN Republican debate. The show’s clever marketing plan also includes a fake campaign website and a presidential pardon from Frank Underwood on Twitter for those who wish to take the day off work to binge-watch the show.
You need permission to miss work this morning?
— Francis J. Underwood (@RepUnderwoodSC) March 4, 2016
All joking aside, however, it turns out that House of Cards Season 4 actually does have some interesting parallels to the real political races that are happening right now in the bid for the White House. For one thing, we see Frank Underwood get badly beaten in South Carolina due to allegations that his father had once been associated with the Ku Klux Klan, reported the New Yorker. This is eerily similar to allegations that surfaced last month about Donald Trump’s father, who was arrested while rioting with members of the Klan in Queens on Memorial Day in 1927.
And then there is Trump’s recent fight with Romney, which was echoed by Claire Underwood in Episode 6 of the new season of House of Cards. Recalling how Romney had asked for his endorsement during the 2012 campaign, Trump blasted him at a press conference.
“I could’ve said, ‘Mitt drop to your knees,’ and he would’ve dropped to his knees.”
By contrast, Claire – also blonde and ruthless, but with a much better stylist – is seen threatening the President of Russia during a closed-door meeting in “House of Cards.”
“I’m done letting you have your dignity. The truth is, you’re a beggar, on your knees, and you will take whatever we shove down your throat.”
Of course, it’s impossible to discuss parallels between the hit series and real life without noting the interplay of dynamics between a highly political power couple – um – Bill and Hillary, anyone? As Salon eloquently points out, the 2016 presidential election has brought the former president and first lady – undoubtedly one of the world’s most famous – not to mention controversial – power couples, back into the spotlight.
“There is no rendition of the Clinton presidency that is more pointedly about Bill and Hillary than Netflix’s ‘House of Cards.'”
The always very public relationship between President Clinton and Secretary Clinton can be traced back to 1976, just one year after they were married. And like the Underwoods, they have a dogged, seemingly tireless ability to ultimately support one another over the years, despite serious setbacks and scandal in their relationship.
The fourth season of House of Cards opens with Claire and Frank working against one another during the already shaky primaries. Frank is seen struggling to maintain his hold on the oval office, which creates a sense of tension and deliciously cynical momentum throughout the entire fourth season.
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]