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QUICK REVIEW: House of Cards Season 2

Howdy ladies and gents, time for my first TV review for a while, and after almost TWO years I’m finally talking about the second season of House of Cards. I remember liking season 1 in 2015 and I knew I’d get back to the show at some point but with all the additional TV I watched over the last two years with Buffy, The Wire, Luther, Regular Show, Better Call Saul and so on, just finding the time has become tough. But anyway I finally finished season 2 and I’m ready to talk about it.

Story-wise the show can be summed up as the following:

“A Congressman works with his equally conniving wife to exact revenge on the people who betrayed him.”

So what I liked about this season was that it picked up right where the last left off and things escalated quickly. House of Cards season 2 to me was able personal struggle. What happens when one is pushed into a corner? When they have the weight of the world on their shoulders or have demons from their past that come back to get them? These questions and more were explored for many of the characters in this show including Frank and Claire Underwood, Doug, Raymond, Remy, Rachel and Garrett the President. Tensions run high, alliances are formed and broken, and lies and deceit are abound as many people deceive, cheat and use each for personal gain with very few genuine individuals who aren’t corrupt or end up as victims. Witnessing the ever-shifting nature of the political landscape was fascinating whether it was backhanded deals, certain individuals challenging the chain of command or having to deal with financial issues, all of that stuff is really insightful and engaging. Like before some of the political jargon got lost on me and so some of the finer details did escape me, and some episodes weren’t as engaging as others, but when this show got going good gravy it had a lot of great surprises and shocking moments that increased my love for this world that is so cold, complicated, lonely and corrupt.

The cast were all very good. Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood was fantastic, I know he’s a manipulative, calculated and dangerous individual but good god do I love him. His ambition, cunning and swagger made him so magnetic to watch, he stole every scene he was in and it also helped that he broke the fourth wall every so often with dialogue which was so cool and quotable. Robin Wright was even more impressive than last season as Claire Underwood, not only was she loyal to Frank but also had her own material to deal with which was very complicated and emotionally painful, we also got to see just how much of a force of nature she could be when attacked or how she could be as corrupt as Frank. Both Frank and Claire were tested this season, having to deal with person demons and not being able to fight back on their terms. Michael Kelly as Doug Stamper was awesome, his character is very reserved, calm and yet has personal flaws which made him very compelling to watch, and I really enjoyed seeing his relationship with Frank and Rachel. Mahershala Ali was really good as Remy Danton, he’s a guy with morals and ethics, however, he was also very crafty, illusive and a bit of a troublemaker for the Underwoods.

I also enjoyed Molly Parker as Jacqueline “Jackie” Sharp, she brought an interesting new voice to the table because of her history, her interactions with the Underwoods and her ties to Remy as well. Rachel Brosnahan was really good as Rachel Posner she had a fairly complicated and emotional time this season when it came to her living situation, Doug and some of the other people she interacted with. Kate Mara as Zoe Barnes was once again pretty good too, Sakina Jaffrey had some good moments as Linda Vasquez, Constance Zimmer was really impressive as Janine Skorsky because of some of the dramatic material she brought to the table, Michel Gill definitely became a lot more interesting at the forefront of the main plotlines as President Garrett Walker, while he was the least interesting character in this show, he was certainly at his most engaging in this season. and Reg E. Cathey was great as Freddy Hayes as his character had a lot more pivotal moments to shine, beyond his interactions with Frank, there was some specific spotlight put on him that fleshed out his character in a great way. When it comes to the presentation it’s still on point. Visually the show’s shot well, has good lighting and nicely framed shots too. The soundtrack by Jeff Bell continues to be one of the shows highlights with a fantastic sound that is eery, melancholic, haunting and uncomfortable.

In conclusion season 2 of House of Cards was a very enjoyable session for me, this second session painted a detailed picture about the highs and lows of politics, the complexity of personal and professional relationships and the pressures/difficulties that come with the road to power. For the most part I was captivated with this show and I will check out the next season very soon.

So have you seen the second season of House of Cards and if so what do you think of it? Please be sure to comment below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2017 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: House of Cards Season 1

Howdy ladies and gents, time for a TV review again, YAY! Today I’ll be talking about the first season of House of Cards. I recently gave my quick thoughts in a recent blog post, but this post will be a little more expansive.

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Story-wise the show can be summed up as the following:

“A Congressman works with his equally conniving wife to exact revenge on the people who betrayed him.”

At first things unfold in an interesting way. You’re basically being introduced to this world through Frank Underwood’s eyes, you learn about the world of politics and government, and then there’s the journalism side of things as well. And you see how these two things operate separately but also how they intersect and have positive and negative effects for the people on either side. But what you learn quickly is that this is Frank’s story, everything is about him, and even when he isn’t the primary focus, in some way things will tie back to him, and there lies the show’s biggest strength and flaw. Frank’s a character with ambition and aspirations, but in order for him to get from A to B, he has plot and plan ahead and this involves everyone around him whether they are his wife, friends, enemies, other colleagues or people he doesn’t know, as they serve a purpose in the grand scheme of things. It is really smart and creative to see how these stories pan out and how the characters do things that intentionally and unintentionally relate back to Frank’s main plan. Of course there are parts of the story that don’t directly involve Frank like the smaller stories involving Claire, Zoe, Peter or Doug that have varying levels of significance. I will say Peter Russo’s arc is one of the most intriguing and dramatic and Claire’s story certainly gets more dramatic towards the latter half of the season. In terms of negatives HOS takes a little while to get into, the pace is slower than most shows I normally watch, I wasn’t completely sold on the first few episodes and a lot of the time I forgot the names of many characters and sometimes couldn’t follow certain conversations because of the political jargon. And finally certain stories set up some interesting possibilities, however they don’t all pan out the way you’d want them to (or at least the way I wanted them to).

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As the cast there are all pretty good. Kevin Spacey just kills it as U.S. Congressman Francis “Frank” J. Underwood. Frank’s a thinker, he’s proactive and is always a few steps ahead, and if something isn’t going his way he knows how to flip it and make the situation work for him. In some ways Frank reminds me of Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones in the sense that they are smart, cunning and confident. They know the game when it comes to politics and power, they know how to manipulate and persuade people, they’re stubborn and know no defeat. Rarely are they on the side of failure. So when they do trip up or make a mistake it is worse because they’ve been right for so long. I’ve always liked Spacey as an actor and this show really displays his acting talents in full force as he is charming, aggressive, relatable and just fun to watch. Robin Wright is just as important as Claire Underwood, at first she does come across as Frank’s wife and rock who supports him in all that he does, but as things progress you start to see that she’s a very strong individual who’s just as smart and cunning as her husband. Plus there is moments dedicated to her backstory and seeing how she develops as a person. Wright is an actress I haven’t seen that much of in recent years so it’s nice to see her in such a great role here. Kate Mara as Zoe Barnes is really good, Zoe is a young, gorgeous, intuitive and forward-thinking kind of woman who wants to further her work in journalism and will do so whether the means are morally or ethically correct or not. I love the working relationship that she obtains with Franks and how they help each other but also how the relationship changes when they really start to need things from each other. Mara plays this character pretty well with style, grace and beauty.

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Corey Stoll may be the season-stealer as Peter Russo, Russo is a good man with a troubled background, he’s involved with a lot of bad stuff and that in turn leaves him in dangerous situations which he eventually gets out of thanks to Frank. So Peter, through manipulation actually gets his act together and tries to do good, and I’d like to say more but it would be ruining things. Peter’s story arc is one of the best aspects of the season and Stoll is brilliant and I really like what he brought to the role. Michael Kelly as Douglas “Doug” Stamper is great, I’ve seen Kelly in a few TV shows and films here and there, but this is the most substantial role I’ve seen from him and he’s really good as Frank’s Chief of Staff. Kristen Connolly is great as Christina Gallagher and I also liked Sakina Jaffrey as Linda Vasquez. Sandrine Holt as Gillian Cole was quite good too, at first she’s a nice and respectable lady, but then she really grows some balls and goes into some aggressive places. Constance Zimmer is good as Janine Skorsky, at first I found Janine quite mean and frustrating but she eventually cooled down and showed  more resourceful and nicer side later on. Michel Gill does well as President Garrett Walker, even though his character seems a little plain at times, at other points he’s shown to be smart and cunning too. Mahershala Ali is also great as Remy Danton, I like how he and Frank have history and sometimes are opposed but other times need each other for mutual purposes. Ben Daniels as Adam Galloway was good, however I felt like his character could have been delved into a little more or just been taken out altogether. Reg E. Cathey is good as Freddy Hayes, even though he’s only around every so often, I love his interactions with Frank and how relaxed and friendly he is. And finally Rachel Brosnahan as Rachel Posner is good as well and I found her character interesting considering her line of work and how she progresses.

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Oh by the way the presentation is great. The show is shot really well, everything looks so clean, the lighting is nice and the cinematography in general looks pretty. The soundtrack is also very good as it is very dramatic, haunting and disturbing, most times it feels unsettling and it works with the action on-screen. Oh and that opening, at first I really didn’t care for it as it came across as a bit plain with the music and just a time-lapse of different locations in DC, but I started to get into it and I will say that both the music and imagery gets more interesting after the sun goes down.

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In conclusion season 1 of House of Cards is pretty damn good. It introduces you to the world of politics and journalism, and how they intertwine. There is tension, drama and chaos, and it is just intriguing to see how these key characters interact and develop. I will say that certain story aspects didn’t pan out the way I would have liked and some of the political jargon lost me, but overall a good start to an interesting show.

Rating: 8/10

So have you seen the first season of House of Cards and if so what do you think of it? Please be sure to comment below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2015 in Films, Media, Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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What I’m Currently Watching #3

Howdy ladies and gents, and welcome to post #3 on What I’m Currently Watching where I give you a tiny update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. With that out of the way let’s go!

Z Nation

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This is a show I literally watched because my sister told me about the ridiculous stuff that went down in the first episode, a few weeks later and I’m still watching. Z Nation is absurd, silly and crazy and yet that’s what makes it so fun. I’m sort of over zombies these days in terms of their ‘cool’ factor, but there are certain TV shows that keep me coming back (The Walking Dead and iZombie primarily) and I can add this show to the list. I’m only around 6 or 7 episodes in but so far it’s fun. I would like to actually finish the show quicker but since I’m watching it weekly on TV with my family, it’ll take ages before I finish it haha.

Blue Mountain State

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I’m honestly not sure why I’m still watching this show. I’ve started season 2 and it’s more or less the same as before except with a few new faces and the loss of some previous ones. I’m only a few episodes in and so far the show is has moments when it feels like I’m actually enjoying it with the jokes and changes, but it is still not a very good show. I mean it’s tolerable, but all the issues that plagued the show before are still present like the raunchy humour and unlikable characters. It is the kind of show that’s made for people that enjoy a unique brand of humour, but since I’ve started this madness unless it pisses me off I’ll probably finish it haha.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

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So I’m FINALLY getting around the final season of Buffy. I’ve only seen six episodes and I’m having fun so far. I won’t say too much here because I’ve got a review on the back-burner, but I will say that this season is very interesting. There’s a lot of change but also nostalgia, certain aspects of previous seasons are coming to pass now and I’m finding the journey of Buffy and the rest of the main characters very dramatic, emotional and fun. I can tell that things are gonna get pretty crazy later on and I’m prepared for the worst. 😛

House of Cards

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Last time I did my blog post related to House of Cards I’d just started, well this morning I just finished it and I have to say so far so good. With it being one of the most talked about TV shows of the last two years its nice to finally get to see what the hype was about. I won’t go into too much detail primarily because I may do a review of the first season in a separate post later in the week, but I will say that it was good, but not as amazing as I’d hoped. There’s certain things I loved, some stories and characters that were really compelling and awesome, but then there were a few issues I took with specific plot points and characters as well. But that’s all I’ll say for now. I’m super curious to see how season 2 pans out.

So that’s what I’ve been watching, if you have any thoughts on anything that I’ve been watching be sure to drop a comment below and let me know, oh and do be sure to let me know what TV shows you’re watching at the moment too. Until next time, this is me signing out. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2015 in Life, Media, Television

 

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What I’m Currently Watching #2

Howdy ladies and gents, and welcome to post #2 on What I’m Currently Watching where I give you a tiny update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. With that out of the way let’s go!

Dragon Ball Super

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So this show I’ve technically been watching since the beginning, but I haven’t had the chance to put my thoughts out there yet plus I wanted to give it a few episodes before I gave an impression. So far there is an upside and downside to this show: The upside is that we have Dragon Ball on TV with new episodes for the first time since the 90’s and it is just nice to get reacquainted with these classic characters, but also to have a new DB cartoon with the fresh art and animation that’s come with the recent specials, films and video game intros. The downside is that for everyone that watched Battle of Gods last year, this show basically looks like a rehash of that except with slightly different scenarios leading up to the main key aspects of the film. I guess its nice that to have an anime just so it’ll give more time to the other DBZ cast member who aren’t Goku and Vegeta, but still, I had hoped for something a little better. Oh and is it me but did episode 4 look really off with the random thickness of the lines for characters changing continuously? That was very off-putting. And I have recognised some fans complaints about the animation in episode 5 as it was very loose, lacked detailed and look quite lazy by today’s standards of anime. That being said, I have enjoyed what I’ve seen, the show’s quite fun and I’m curious to see how the show will develop in the future.

Blue Mountain State

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For some reason I continued to watch this show and I have to say that after finishing the first season I kind of like it. Now this comedy is nowhere near as funny as other comedies I’ve seen I wouldn’t put on the same level as Community, Parks and Rec or It’s Always Sunny, but it does have its quirks. After the initial 4 or 5 episodes which are kind of crappy, the show starts to find its rhythm and gets decent. Some of the characters start becoming less annoying and more humourous, the stories and scenarios, while still ridiculous, juvenile and vulgar, actually have some entertainment value. AND there is some character development for at least two of the main characters which makes just that bit more credible and likeable than it was in the beginning. By the time you reach the final 3 or so episodes it feels like this show is actually good enough to see what happens in the future.

The IT Crowd

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Yeah, this is the good stuff. The IT Crowd is one of my all-time favourite TV shows and every once in a while I come back to it for some quick entertainment. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before but I don’t re-watch many live-action TV shows often, at least when it comes to specific episodes/seasons. That mainly comes into play with cartoons. For me watching random episodes of Regular Show, Dragon Ball Z, Rugrats or Dexter’s Laboratory is normal, but for live-action TV I rarely ever do it unless it’s Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares or Come Dine With Me haha. But The IT Crowd is the exception, I can jump into that show at any point and have a good time and that’s what I did when I started watching the latter half of season 2 and the start of the third. The show’s still hilarious, random and so in-sync with my brand of humour. “Moss and the German” is one of my favourite episodes just because the nature of Moss and Roy’s relationship, Roy’s constant need to watch a film and the fact that there’s a German guy that wants to eat someone. It’s bloody absurd and it is brilliant.

House of Cards

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So this week I finally started season 1 of this super popular Netflix show and so far so good. I’m only two episodes in, but I’m really liking what I’m seeing so far. What I’m getting from this show is that it is about nature of politics, what happens in the public eye and what goes on behind the scenes. There is a lot of choices to be made, questionable alliances being formed, two-faced characters and a lot of grey areas when it comes to moral and ethical decisions. The tone is dark, aggressive and sometimes unsettling, but that is part of what this show so interesting. The show centers on Kevin Spacey’s character Francis “Frank” Underwood, but then there’s his wife Claire Underwood, journalist Zoe Barnes and Peter Russo, a U.S. Congressman from Pennsylvania, a host of other people who have their own lives and issues to contend with, but what makes this show really interesting is how they all relate back to Frank. Whether he’s in competition or alliance with said people or just doesn’t like them, it all leads back to this man in a really interesting way.

So that’s what I’ve been watching, if you have any thoughts on anything that I’ve been watching be sure to drop a comment below and let me know, oh and do be sure to let me know what TV shows you’re watching at the moment too. Until next time, this is me signing out. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2015 in Life, Media, Television

 

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