Five Things I learned about House of Cards

Well the Card -a -thon has continued today and I have managed to slow down my rate of consumption, but only by physically leaving the house three times. I am now well over halfway through the series and we are building up to the last few episodes.

I am about as good at following the ins and outs of the American voting system as I am at speaking Japanese, whether it be in real life, or in a fictional TV series about it. I do know that it is a very long business and a very expensive one, but that is about it. But that does not stop me learning about House of Cards. Here are five things I have picked up from my binge watching over the weekend.

1. One episode is never quite enough. It is not that every episode ends on a cliff hanger, but there is enough going on that at least one of the story threads holds your attention enough to want to see what happens next. The writing is excellent, the characters drive the plot and the whole thing beautifully shot. It looks like a million dollars, which is amazing as each episode costs significantly more than that to make – I read somewhere today that one season costs around $100 million dollars to make. That does not surprise me. Even the opening titles are a work of art and tell you everything you need to know about the series.

2. The reason Claire Underwood is so thin is because she can’t cook. I am sorry to deliver this spoiler so early one, but I guess it should have been obvious by now. During one episode this season, we see Claire in the kitchen making a salad, which she offers to share with her visitor. She dips a serving spoon elegantly in a bowl and what she serves up bordered on indescribable. It was a huge, wet dripping ball of dark leaves, like a football made of boiled spinach. I like salad, I like spinach. I would not have eaten that.

3. The reason there has been so much tension in the Underwood’s marriage is not why you might think. It is because they travel a lot and Frank always forgets to pack the phone chargers. They are on their phones a lot – and unless the president has access to some sort of nuclear powered battery, those puppies are going to need charging all the time. Maybe they have chargers in their car? I hear you ask, but which car? They always have at least three each. That is six opportunities to lose a phone down the seat after you have forgotten to charge it.

4. This season there is a new political rival to challenge Frank Underwood in the race to the White House, but he won’t win. The reason I know he won’t is because he does not know the difference between ‘less’ and ‘fewer’. He may have a gorgeous wife and kids, but when you stand for less unemployment, I say yes! But if you follow it with a commitment to less taxes: NO. Less tax, I would accept, but I don’t care how cute your son is, it is fewer taxes and you just lost my vote.

5. I read today that the cost of this (real) election in America, which is still almost a year away and is already flooding my Twitter timeline, thanks to a certain – let’s call him colorful  – character (Louis C.K used a different C word which was a lot less polite about him today) is going to be around $5 billion. FIVE BILLION. That is five thousand million. It takes $100 million to produce a series of House of Cards. That means for the cost of one presidential race, Netflix could produce 50 more seasons – around 600 episodes. I guess the money would be better spent on education, welfare and health, but as that is not going to happen, then I vote Netflix.

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