House of Cards.

Fincher is back and I’m fucking psyched. To see him shoot cut-throat politics is sure to make me swoon. The way John Crace describes it, it seems to be the anti-thesis of the West Wing:

Here are the realities of political life as most of us suspect them to be. Ramped up, maybe, but still close enough to the truth. Men and women who may once have started out in politics with the intention of doing some good but have long since lost that idealism. By the time they make it to Washington or Westminster, every politician has made too many unkept promises and stabbed too many people in the front not to be compromised. All that matters from there on is the pursuit of power. And House of Cards is as entertaining a vision as any of how most politicians would like to play politics if they thought they could get away with it.

Benjamin Secher hails it as “the most remarkable new television drama of the year”.

Kevin Spacey comments on the experience:

I’m the luckiest motherfucker from New Jersey you’ve ever met…When [Fincher] becomes obsessed with something—and believe me, he’s fucking obsessed with this series—it’s a really good thing.

Fincher himself:

The idea of Machiavelli taking you under his wing and walking you through the corridors of power, explaining the totally mundane and crass on a mechanical level to the most grotesque manipulations of a system that is set up to have all these checks and balances was just too delicious.

And Willimon, the writer of the series:

I think we want two things from our politicians that are at odds with one another. We want them to be these bastions of moral integrity on the one hand, and then we want them to be effective leaders on the other. But to be an effective leader, you often have to do things that are morally or ethically abhorrent, or at least in a gray area, as far as most of us are concerned.

And hats off to Netflix for recognising modern reality and releasing this whole thing at once. They’re taking a huge punt in embracing the binging culture, but if it works it could be the next step in revolutionising ‘television’.

I must resist resubscribing and watching this until I’ve done my essay early next week. But I’ll review Fincher’s pilot for sure once I can.

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