"House of Cards": Season 5 Non-Spoiler Review
I was pretty late to the game with House of Cards. I didn't start watching it until after season four was released. That might have been a good thing, though, as I was able to binge all four seasons and really take it all in. Suffice to say, it became one of my favorite TV shows in recent memory, and perhaps one of my favorite TV shows of all time. So, as you might expect, I was pretty freaking excited for season five. But it felt like an eternity waiting for it to be released, especially after it got delayed for several months. Well, it finally got released earlier this month and I finally got through all of it. And while I still thoroughly enjoyed it and think it's one of the better television shows around, I think season five of House of Cards is the weakest season yet.
But first, let's get one thing straight: Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are still outstanding in this show. Hell, all of the actors involved in this production are excellent. They are not the reason why this season is sub-par compared to the other four seasons. That, falls on the story, which means it falls on the writers.
The story just isn't as compelling as previous seasons. I can't say that this is a huge surprise. I mean, think about it. The show was at it's best when Frank Underwood was rapidly rising up the ranks, power hungry and willing to do anything to become President. Then he became President and the show suffered a little bit. It somewhat stagnated, in my opinion, and it's even more of an issue this season. The first half of the season is very, very slow. There isn't a whole lot going on and what is going on doesn't seem extremely important because you know how it's going to turn out. And shocker, it turns out exactly how you expect it to. The show also tries to squeeze some political commentary into this season, and it really doesn't work. And that's because House of Cards has never really been about the politics. It's been about the characters, and what those characters are willing to do to become more powerful. That's why the show has been a little bit less interesting since Frank became President, because it was no longer about his rise to the most powerful position in the United States. It's about what he does while he is the most powerful person in the United States. Anyway, I think that they did realize this while writing this season because the show starts to take a pretty drastic turn around the mid-season point. It gets a bit of it's mojo back and starts to take some risks like we've come to expect from House of Cards. And man, by the end of the season this show is shaping up to be completely different from what it was at the beginning of season five. It caught me completely off-guard. I wasn't expecting it in the slightest, but I actually like the direction that the show is heading and I'm looking forward to seeing if it can succeed with the new feel.
In the end, season five isn't the worst season out of the five seasons because it's a bad season of television. It's the worst season so far because the first half of it is a crawl and it never really figures out what it wants to be until the second half. On the bright side, we should get a very focused and hopefully more consistent season six.
If you've already watched the first four seasons of House of Cards, I don't even know why you're reading this review. Go watch it! But if you've never watched House of Cards and are thinking about binging it. Do it. Like I said, this may be the least great out of the five seasons, but it's still pretty damn good television.