House of Cards

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I finally finished watching House of Cards.  Late to the party?  Perhaps, but the party’s still going, so I don’t mind.  Well done in some of the most brilliant ways, I’m not even sure where to begin with this show.  Is it even a TV show?  Where did this magic come from?

House of Cards is a Netflix-only show that was released all at once to stream on Netflix.  Thirteen episodes of gorgeous, scandalous political anarchy, that Kevin Spacey talks us through step by step.  I’ve described it to friends as The West Wing with Hamlet’s soliloquies and more sex (I’ve noticed as I grow up a lot of things can be described as [blank] with more sex).

Since they released all of season one at once the format gives way to easily slipping into spoiler territory.  The format vs. content thing has actually been a bit of a point of frustration for me.  We keep getting distracted by the format when I want to talk about the content.  It annoys me, so I’m going to go ahead and talk about the content of the show as much as the format.  You’ve been warned.

The format vs. content discussion usually leads to the binge watching discussion, which is actually a very short discussion.  Either you binge watch or you don’t.  I don’t.  Though I see the appeal.  Each episode of this show leads beautifully into the next.  When you finish one the only thing you want to do is click through and continue to be consumed in this world.

The show is visually stunning from the opening shots of Washington to the angles and movements.  They show visually how the characters grow and how relationships between them change.  This is visual story-telling at it’s absolute best.  Personally, I love when they show text messages on screen (They have a similar style in Sherlock).

The world of House of Cards is full of shady deals and misplaced trust.  Honestly, the shifty morals going on here make me more than an little scared of Washington. Is this how candidates are chosen?  Is this actually the way things work?  I hope not.  But outside of reality, it makes for pretty fantastic television (internet-vision?).

In fact, the shifty morals and under the table deals are what makes this show feel so real.  Haven’t we all been in situations where we think it would be easier to make a deal and let something slide than face the actual consequences of our decisions and the decisions of others?  No?  Just me?  Well then…

Bottom line is that every character on this show is trying to play their hand to their advantage.  And seeing the board shift as each one makes their move is fascinating.  No one has a bad hand, but sometimes the cards don’t intermingle nicely.

They have signed on for season 2 and I couldn’t be more entranced.  Have you seen House of Cards?  What do you think?

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My Alternative Life

When things get stressful I look for a way out.  I turn an idea into a not-very-well-thought-out plan to escape my life.  I’ve never acted on any of these, and doubt that I will in the foreseeable future, but here are some of the plans I’ve come up with to escape my life.

  • Backpack the Adirondack trail from start to finish.  (When living on the east coast)
  • Drop out of school and go to culinary school.  (Reoccurring throughout my first year of college, especially around finals and when unfinished projects were due the next day)
  • Just find some younger politician and start working as their secretary.  (Because one of my role models in life is Donna Moss of The West Wing)
  • Become a nanny in San Francisco.  (Because I’m good with kids and I freaking love that city so much)
  • Move to [Cambodia, Tokyo, India, or Morocco] and blog about it.  (Mostly sophomore year, especially around the time of Freq Out, but also through last semester)
  • Buy a live-in van and become a climbing bum.  Blog about it.  (A dream in high school that returned after climbing in Colorado)
  • Become a ride operator at Disneyland.  (Mostly while visiting there)
  • Sleep on my friend’s couch in Berlin and hide from their immigration agents by becoming a perfect German girl.  (After reading about What Moves You reunions all over Germany)
  • Drop out and go to Eurythmy school.  (A few months ago, after going to a Eurythmy performance)
  • Or just do Waldorf Teacher Training and hope for the best.  (In the same vein as above)
  • Ride the Trans-Siberian Railroad from end to end.  (Always)
  • Just move to LA and start working.  Do I really need a degree? (Still considering this one)

These day dreams are all a form of escapism.  I think of all the things I could be doing that would be more fun than writing an essay or a script.  Of all the places I would rather be than in my bedroom facing a mountain of homework.

I consider it a tribute to my awesome friends and family that none of these have ever actually come into being.  Whenever I start to think more seriously about one, someone will drag me back to the present.  My friends remind me of all the good things in my life.  My family encourages me to stick it out when school gets tough.  And I can’t thank them enough.