Netflix’s version of House of Cards has gained a dedicated international following. (If you are fan and you haven’t seen the original British version, go watch it right now!) Maybe it’s just how Kevin Spacey breaks the fourth wall, or the fact that we get to see the glorious Robin Wright back in action, or maybe we all like a little dirty politics: it doesn’t matter, Frank Underwood has entered the pop culture collective consciousness. Here are just 7 ways that House of Cards has changed the world in only two seasons.
7. Machiavelli Back in Vogue
Netflix has reacquainted Americans with political attitudes like the “zero sum game”, “better to be feared than loved” and the whatever-it-takes-to-get-what you want. The show brought Machiavellian concepts poignantly back into minds of Americans. At a time when political cynicism had reached a new high, House of Cards indulges those negative views with a sexy new drama featuring a perfectly evil villain to embody it.
6. We Love Politicians Who “Get Shit Done”
Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer expressed criticism of the show, but Kevin Spacey pointed out that for all his flaws, the character of Frank Underwood gets stuff done. And *REMINDER* Americans like that.
5. Modernizing Shakespearean Themes
House of Cards plays upon classical techniques, bringing them to a mass audience. The show employs lots of breaking-the-fourth-wall, soliloquies and even deeper themes of hubris, betrayal and the succession to power. So maybe those freshman English classes really were worth some.
4. Surreal Political Tweets
Maybe it is how House of Cards has portrayed text messaging and digital issues, but suddenly real life politicians have become very aware of their online presence…. and Underwood will troll them for it.
3. Real Politics : Real Time
The idea of real political issues in fictional shows has become more common (though West Wing probably did it first). However, House of Card’s gritty feel does lend a certain gravitas to these themes. A lot of them deal with women’s issues, since Claire as a strong female lead in the show.
In the mind or on the table, you know you’re thinking about it.
1. Question Reality
Is this really how politics works? Of course not everything in Washington is this dark. Remember, the book and TV shows are still fiction. But it makes you wonder doesn’t it?
Bonus: House of Cards is a verb now.
“Don’t you dare House-of-Cards me.”
Its a thing.