Netflix series House of Cards Season 5 premiered on May 30, after fans had to wait for months since Season 4 ended at an intriguing moment. There was huge anticipation among fans, who were eager to find out what the evil partnership between Francis and Claire Underwood would bring to the White House and to the rest of the country. In this review, we are trying to highlight some key aspects of the show, without giving out any spoiler.
The incredible thing about this political thriller is that the cast members of the show manage to come up with breathtaking performances even after four seasons. The show has only a handful of characters who regularly appear in every episode. Actors like Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are almost in every scene of the show, which means the actors have to inject a lot of conviction in the characters they are playing. There is no doubt that these two have delivered outstanding performances in House of Cards Season 5, just like they did in the previous four seasons.
We must not forget the fine performances by other key characters of the show. Michael Kelly as Doug Stamper, Derek Cecil as Seth Grayson, Neve Campbell as LeAnn Harvey, Paul Sparks as Thomas Yates, Joel Kinnaman as Will Conway and Boris McGiver as Tom Hammerschmidt start exactly where they left it in Season 4. And, that is not an easy thing to do. Different seasons were shot in different times, but the actors still managed to keep the same tone, complexity and individuality of their characters.
House of Cards Season 5 introduces two important characters: Mark Usher, played by Campbell Scott, and Jane Davis, played by Patricia Clarkson. These two characters play critical roles before and after the dramatic presidential election. Hollywood veteran Clarkson shines as the composed negotiator, who has enough mystery about her to keep even the Underwoods guessing. Scott, on the other hand, plays a campaign adviser who is intimidating enough even for the presidential candidate.
House of Cards Season 5 leaves the Underwoods in the most vulnerable position so far. So far in the Netflix show, Frank and Claire have always managed to get the better of their opposition. But, this time, the opponents seem to be everywhere. The enemy has apparently managed to enter the White House and even their bedroom.
House of Cards Season 5 starts with Claire in the frame. It also ends with Mrs. Underwood saying the final words. This season makes Claire equal to her husband in more aspects than before. Wright was promised to have an equally important role to play with Spacey, even though the original UK series did not give Claire so much leverage. And, this season is her “turn” to prove so.
However, it’d be foolish to underestimate what Frank is capable of. As he says it himself, there is nothing more dangerous than Frank Underwood. We might see a lethal rivalry between Frank and Claire in Season 6. Frank gives enough hints in the final episode of this season to assume so. Nevertheless, we may have to wait for a while to know when the next season is going to happen. According to the Daily Express, Netflix has not yet revealed if the show will return.
There is an obvious comparison between House of Cards Season 5 and the real-life U.S. politics at the moment. Even though there are realistic references like homegrown terrorism, Russia’s interference and the Syria crisis, there is no blatant similarity between U.S. President Donald Trump and Frank Underwood. In fact, Frank is quite different from Trump in various things. Unlike Trump who has a comment on almost everything under the sun, Frank believes “the best statement is no statement.” Frank also believes in handshakes and does not care what is going on in social media.
House of Cards Season 5 would have looked extremely different, if Hillary Clinton won the election last November. The Netflix show would have been “most subversive – and near-treasonous” if Clinton was the U.S. president, according to The Guardian. The makers of the show might have assumed Clinton to win the election and wrote it accordingly. The show would definitely have had much more impact with the Clinton administration at the White House.
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House of Cards Season 5 is streaming on Netflix now.
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