House Of Cards (Netflix 2013, Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright)

Drama series House of Cards is one of the best series of the 2010’s and one of the key series on streaming service Netflix. It’s based on a BBC series of the same name that aired in 1991 and starred the superb Ian Richardson.

When the series begins Democrat House Majority Whip Frank Underwood vows revenge after being passed over for the Vice Presidency, by the second season the scheming Underwood (helped by his equally scheming wife Claire) has achieved his aim of Vice Presidency and by season three has become President of the United States.

A truly brilliant series with stand out performances from Kevin Spacey as Frank and Robin Wright as Claire, who is just as manipulative as her husband and in season four makes her own bid for power, eventually lining herself up as Frank’s running mate in the upcoming election. Like the original series Frank regularly breaks the fourth wall and speaks directly to camera.

season one (release date 1 February 2013)
An uncompromising exploration of power, ambition and the American way, the series orbits Francis Underwood, the House Majority Whip. Underwood is the politician’s politician – masterful, beguiling, charismatic and ruthless. He and his equally ambitious wife Claire stop at nothing to ensure their ascendancy.

season two (release date 14 February 2014)
In the second season, Francis and Claire Underwood continue their ruthless rise to power as threats mount on all fronts. Zoe Barnes, an up-and-coming reporter and Francis’s former paramour, is inching closer to the truth about his crimes. President Walker’s billionaire confidante Raymond Tusk demands that Francis reciprocate political favors or face retribution. And Claire must confront the increasing glare of the spotlight as it eats away at her and Francis’s once private existence. The Underwood’s must overcome these dangers — past and present — to avoid losing everything, regardless of collateral damage they leave in their wake.

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season three (release date 27 February 2015)
With the stakes now higher than ever. President Underwood fights to secure his legacy. Claire wants more than being First Lady. The biggest threat they face is contending with each other.

season four (release date 4 March 2016)
Frank and Claire are at loggerheads for much of the season and with an election coming up Frank needs her on side. Claire is otherwise occupied with her seriously ill mother; Frank is also under pressure with the popularity of the republican nominee Governor Will Conway; Journalist Lucas Goodwin is released from prison and vows revenge on Frank leading to an assassination attempt that leaves Frank in a coma and near death. This allows Claire to move centre stage and makes Frank, on his recovery, to realise how much he needs her.

production details
USA / Netflix – Media Rights Capital -Trigger Street – Wade-Thomas Production / 52x mostly 60 minute episodes / Released 1 February 2013

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Creator: Beau Willimon / Based on House Of Cards by Michael Dobbs adapted for television by Andrew Davies / Music: Jeff Beal / Executive Producers: David Fincher, Kevin Spacey, Eric Roth, Joshua Donen, Dana Brunetti, Andrew Davies, Michael Dobbs, John Melfi, Beau Willimon, David Manson, John David Coles, Robin Wright

Kevin Spacey as Francis J. “Frank” Underwood
Robin Wright as Claire Underwood
Michael Kelly as Douglas “Doug” Stamper
Kate Mara as Zoe Barnes
Corey Stoll as Peter Russo (season 1)
Mahershala Ali as Remy Danton
Molly Parker as Jacqueline “Jackie” Sharp
Michel Gill as Garrett Walker
Gerald McRaney as Raymond Tusk
Rachel Brosnahan as Rachel Posner
Nathan Darrow as Edward Meechum
Sakina Jaffrey as Linda Vasquez
Joanna Going as Patricia Walker
Sebastian Arcelus as Lucas Goodwin
Jimmi Simpson as Gavin Orsay
Reg E. Cathey as Freddy Hayes
Derek Cecil as Seth Grayson
Kristen Connolly as Christina Gallagher (season 1)
Constance Zimmer as Janine Skorsky
Jayne Atkinson as Catherine “Cathy” Durant
Elizabeth Marvel as Heather Dunbar
Gil Birmingham as Daniel Lanagin
Kathleen Chalfant as Margaret Tilden
Terry Chen as Xander Feng
Sandrine Holt as Gillian Cole
Kevin Kilner as Michael Kern
Benito Martinez as Hector Mendoza
Boris McGiver as Tom Hammerschmidt
Lance E. Nichols as Gene Clancy
Elizabeth Norment as Nancy Kaufberger
Samuel Page as Connor Ellis
Larry Pine as Bob Birch
Paul Sparks as Thomas Yates
Dan Ziskie as Jim Matthews
Lars Mikkelsen as Viktor Petrov
Joel Kinnaman as Will Conway
Neve Campbell as Leann Harvey
Ellen Burstyn as Elizabeth Hale

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.