House of Cards is Thrilling
House of Cards is my new guilty pleasure and the main reason why I have been getting very little sleep for the last week. I am late to the party since I just signed up for Netflix again. I had Netflix back in the day when it was $19.99 per month and handled through the mail with DVDs. You could only have three out at a time, and you had to return one DVD before they would send out the next item on your list. They kept on offering me free trials to come back and I finally agreed to try it again. Scandal is done for the season and Mad Men has only one episode left, so the time was right for me to indulge in some marathon tv viewing. Plus darn near everyone that I know has been raving about this show.
This show has everything that I love: political intrigue, shade, indignant monologues and a fierce wardrobe. While Francis Underwood is notoriously evil, his wife Claire is every bit as ruthless and underhanded; she is just less obvious about it. If you provoke her, my girl will issue a verbal shanking that will make you sit quietly in a dark room and rethink your life. What is it with these female tv characters named Claire anyway? Huxtable or Underwood will eviscerate you with a smile while impeccably dressed, and you will deal with it. Claire Huxtable is the holder of prime time tv’s most epic side eye, but this new Claire is a lot meaner.
If You Thought Season One Was Bad….
There is one scene from the first episode in Season 2 between Claire and a pregnant woman who was trying to play hardball that ended very badly for that poor misguided soul. Mrs. Underwood looked ole girl in the eye and declared “I am willing to let your child wither and die inside of you if that is what’s required. Am I really the sort of enemy you want to make?” That woman has ice water in her veins, and she is not here to play games with lightweights as demonstrated by her fabulous wardrobe. Claire’s wardrobe is very elegant and minimalist, and she is not one for a lot of colors, frills or patterns. Costume designer Tom Broecker says that she wears clothing as armor, and these are definitely the clothes of a woman who is to be taken seriously. She has worn Armani, L’Wren Scott, Prada and Zac Posen along with more accessible labels like Banana Republic, Calvin Klein & Ralph Lauren. No matter whose clothes she is wearing, Claire always looks like money.
Another thing that I like about Claire is that she is playing a mature woman who is not trying to be younger than she is. She is embracing her age without falling into the trap of looking too matronly.
Claire Underwood is Complex
Claire is a great character because she is complex. At the beginning of the series, we see her running a non-profit that provides clean water in Africa which makes you think that she is a philanthropist and a compassionate person. But don’t be fooled by that one part of her life. Although Claire does occasionally try to serve as Frank’s moral compass, she is not above getting dirty when necessary. She is willing to turn a blind eye to her husband’s behavior so long as it furthers their goals — even if it means him hooking up with a girl young enough to be their daughter. Claire has also had an affair of her own. This woman is not exactly a role model, but she is fascinating to watch and not just because of her clothes.