Critical Condition: House of Cards

House of Cards (Netflix, season five streaming now)

“How eagerly fans embrace the fifth season could depend on how eagerly they embraced the fourth, or at least the fourth season’s wrap. That domestic terrorism plotline must have played well in the writers’ room, but less so under the camera’s impassive gaze … The fifth-season opener efficiently brooms away that creaky storyline, and even pivots on an effective twist that reinforces one more HoC theme: Frank will be Frank.” — Newsday.

“While not as irresistibly binge-able as the series’ first two seasons, House of Cards season 5 stands on its own as the most out-there, absurdist season of all, largely due to the influence of real-life political events. It feels as though the show was forced to push the boundaries of silliness in certain ways to match the outlandishness of our current political reality, which doesn’t always yield the most believable of narratives, but makes for a wild, wholly watchable political thriller that still stands as some of the most polished programming to be found on any streaming service.” — We Got This Covered.

House of Cards has re-discovered its swagger in a new political era that makes the ruthless Frank and Claire Underwood look pretty great, reasonable and ever appealing as the Netflix series goes for the full soap opera …  This year jumps right back in, but with a renewed relish. It is a vigour that that I never even knew the always engaging and aesthetically appealing series was lacking until this season started. Now it is here, House of Cards almost bursts with madness and menace.” — Deadline Hollywood.

“From the opening episode, season five is shaping up to be a thrilling ride as you get the impression that the Underwoods are going to fall from grace at some point as the titular house of cards starts to crumble. Could this be the beginning of the end for the Underwoods – or perhaps just Frank?” — Express.

“The fifth season of House of Cards is the first without longtime showrunner Beau Willimon. Fans of the series will be relieved to know that new showrunners Melissa James Gibson and Frank Pugliese have kept the trains moving on time, while more tentative or wearied viewers should be warned that the frustrating aspects of the series have only grown worse and House of Cards spends at least seven or eight episodes of the new season spinning its wheels and running on forgettable fumes.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

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