Western Herald – Spoiler-less review of “House of Cards” season two
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Spoiler-less review of “House of Cards” season two

Michael Bond
A&E Reporter

(Note: Though this review does not contain spoilers from the second season of “House of Cards”, it does include spoilers from the first season.)

The second season of the Emmy Award winning show, “House of Cards”, made its debut on Feb. 14, bringing new twists to the story of fictional politician Frank Underwood.

House of Cards season two was released much like the first season: exclusively on Netflix and all at once. This season brought new definitions of the word drama to the series, and pulled in new aspects of controversial issues that might often leave viewers speechless.

This Netflix original show was originally released in the United Kingdom in 1990, and ran as four episodes. It was originally based on the novel written by Michael Dobbs, and was one of the first shows that was released exclusively on Netflix in the United States. Since its release, this new way of viewership has changed the prospects of the future of television.

The American release of House of Cards stars Kevin Spacey as the lead character, Frank Underwood. Robin Wright plays his wife, Claire Underwood. Other leading characters include Michael Kelly who plays Frank’s Chief of Staff, Doug Stamper, Michael Gill who plays Garret Walker, the president of the United States, and Kate Mara who plays the role of Zoe Barnes, a journalist who begins at the Washington Herald and moves on to a prestigious underground fad-journalism publisher, Slugline.

The audience meets Congressman Francis Underwood as the House Majority Whip in the first season. By the end of the season, the power and respect that Frank worked so hard to build put him in the position to be tapped as the Vice President of the United States.

This television drama does reflect the legislature and procedure of the United States government, and all offices are a complete replica of the United States setup. The time corresponds completely with the release of the season, and that’s reflected in the contemporary technologies used in the show. However, the names and situations of the people who hold office and the events of the show are completely fictional.

In the second season of House of Cards, Frank maintains his stature and reputation in the Vice President’s office as he had in the first season. Publicly, Frank is an ambitious politician who gained his positions through a combination of backing the popular legislation and his southern charm and wit. Although, his reputation off the books begins to crumble.

A team of investigative reporters begin to connect the dots of the side deals and corruption that Frank has committed. In return, Frank is obsessed with staying a few steps ahead of the reporters in order to cover his own tracks. Frank’s obsession with covering his own tracks becomes his main priority, and the spotlight of the media begins to dive into situations and events that Frank doesn’t want.

The second season introduces several new secondary characters. These include Jacqueline Sharp, a congresswoman who becomes a major part of Congress, Gavin Orsay, a computer technician who helps to show further corruption in other parts of the government, and Seth Grayson, a publicist who was hired by the Underwoods.

Audiences also see major character development of many established secondary characters. Remy Danton, a lobbyist for a variety of powerful companies, is seen in a different light as his romantic side is revealed. Rachel Posner, the escort that was used to commit atrocities in the first season, is shown in her mental recovery and her realization of what politicians are capable of. The past and current struggles of Freddy, the owner of the barbecue restaurant Frank often attends, is also highlighted in a few forms.

The second season tackles new, controversial subjects that were not even brushed on in the first season. Some of these subjects include sexual assault, money laundering and alternative sexual experiences. However, the same-old Frank Underwood continues to do what he does best: threaten, extort and dominate.

Directly before the release of season two of House of Cards, a statement was released by the producers stating that a third season has been confirmed, and will be released some time in 2015. In the meantime, Netflix subscribers will enjoy the epic continuation of the story of Frank Underwood.

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