Critical Condition: House of Cards (S6)

House of Cards | Netflix

☆☆☆ “If you continued to love Kevin Spacey’s hammy and increasingly dreadful lead performance and the repetitive storytelling that Frank’s well-past-parody scheming generated, you’ll surely find something missing in these closing chapters. Otherwise, the shift in focus from Frank to Claire Underwood finds the series somewhat reinvigorated through its first five new episodes.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

☆☆☆“Anything the writers could come up with would seem anticlimactic compared to Spacey’s fall from grace but House of Cards is not the same without its star … We are left, instead, with the humourless Claire, who cleverly disguises her bottomless narcissism as a triumph of feminist ideals … The best thing about the final episodes is the return of several ghosts of Underwood administrations past.” — New York Post.

☆☆☆☆ House of Cards does not suffer from the lack of Kevin Spacey; anyone who has stayed with the Underwoods this long knows Wright is more than capable of carrying the action as the show’s anti-hero … The particulars of the intrigue are not as important as the people behind it. One of the chief delights of this season is the showcase it gives to actresses in their midlife prime.” — Entertainment Weekly.

☆☆☆ “It is refreshing, it must be said, to see Claire get the power she always wanted; between Wright and her departed co-star Spacey, she’s always been the more chilling and captivating player. And the introduction of the shady Shepherd family … makes scenes crack with a sense of danger for Claire since they hold money and secrets that threaten her safety if she doesn’t do as told. But it just goes so slowly; even with a murder attempt, the action, or lack thereof, moves so methodically that sustaining interest is hard.” — TV Guide.

☆ That it’s only an eight-episode season implies pithiness, but, if you edited out the stagnant pauses and impotent staring matches, it would shrivel to five and a half. Even the sex and murder is limp. There’s a mysterious death of a major-ish character and some illicit boffing, but nobody’s relishing the transgression in the way Frank would. Season six is a web with no spider at the centre.” — The Guardian.

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