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Saturday, December 1, 2018

House of Cards Season 6: Animus in the White House

Well, I thought I'd begin my reviews for December, the last month of the year, with House of Cards Season 6, presumably the final season of the series that broke the hold of cable television in stunningly original content back in 2013, and would soon see streaming well surpass cable and network television as the cutting edge on the home screen.

This final season came with two all but insurmountable problems:

1.  Kevin Spacey is a great actor, and his Frank Underwood character one of the most memorable ever on any television screen.  But due to numerous allegations of sexual misconduct throughout his life, Netflix removed him from the series that Spacey, more than any other actor, had helped put in such triumphant play.

2.  Donald Trump was elected (via the Electoral College) President in 2016.  Other than Frank literally murdering people who got in his way, Trump is in most ways more horrendous and pettily conniving that Underwood.  Life, in other words, surpassed art, before the sixth season even began.

Yet, somehow, against all those odds, the sixth season of House of Cards succeeded.  Although I missed Frank, Claire (peerlessly performed by Robin Wright) amply filled the role, as someone as brilliant, manipulative, and murderous as her late husband.  And, as a woman, Claire added a whole new feminist dimension to the story.  She cleverly turned her battle for survival and success into a battle for women in what is still a man's world, politically.

There are all kinds of surprises in this sixth season.  I won't be spoil any of them for you.  (I will say this:  I bet the man in the very last scene originally was Frank.)  We see a lot of old scores settled, vivid new characters in high gear, and it was great to see Petrov again (he's much better than Putin, as far as I can tell).

Everyone says this is the last season of the series.  It even says so on the poster.   But, I wouldn't be at all surprised if we see another season somewhere down the road.  Indeed, I'd be delighted.

See also House of Cards Season 1: A Review ... House of Cards Season 2: Even Better than the First, and Why ... House of Cards Season 3: Frank, Claire, "Putin," and Superb ... House of Cards Season 4: Trump and Frank ... House of Cards Season 5: Reality Less Alternate

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