“House of Cards” is Getting a Bad Rap.
This critic cannot help but like this too-sweet political series.
The Netflix original production, “House of cards”, has been receieving a great deal of negative press from media critics as well as drawing fire from bloggers, facebook posts and tweets. While the show has a core fan base, the majority opinion seems to be that the series presents an artificial and entirely too positive view of politics within the beltway. One group of non-fans is even circulating a petition online to have “House of Cards” moved to the Hallmark Channel claiming it has much in common with “Little House on the Prairie”.
While I recognize that “House of Cards” presents an artificially rosey picture of American politics, I do not think that is necessarily a bad thing. With multiple cable news networks running 24×7 we see enough of the actions of actual politicians. Can a little fantasy hurt us? I will admit that the series can be faulted for glossing over the seamy side of our two party system. Instead the writers often portray the characters engaging in harmless political shennaigans and childish pranks. However, I am sure that the show was never intended to be anything other than light entertainment. I enjoy watching it even while I realize that it is nothing more than a feel-good viewing experience. There are times when all of us can benefit by escaping the day’s concerns by consuming an hour of fluff. Every generation has their version of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” and this is ours.
Rather than bemoaning the lack of reality in the show I would ask the critics of the show to watch it as the harmless diversion it is. For just a moment we should be allowed to imagine that both parties are filled with people as altruistic and self-sacrificing as those on the screen. We might even discover that things improve in Washington as our legislators and others seek to emulate the show’s protagonists. Occasionally wishes do come true.
If Frank Capra was alive today he would be on the writing staff of “House of Cards.”