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Is House Of Cards Built Upon A House Of Lies?


Okay, that (admittedly tongue-in-cheek) headline is what they call a “grabber” — and I guess if you’re reading this far, it worked. I’ve only started watching the Netflix series House of Cards with Kevin Spacey, but already it seems to me that it’s borrowing quite a lot from two other recent cable TV series. I know that House of Cards is based on a British show, and I know nothing of that program, so it could be that the UK version did all this first. But what I’m seeing is that the American version appears to be a mixture of the Don Cheadle Showtime series House of Lies, along with the Kelsey Grammer Starz series Boss. Here’s what I’ve noticed so far, after having only seen two episodes…

House of Cards = Boss
SIMILARITIES: Scheming political leader values power above all else, and fabricates stories about other politicians who do not serve his needs, in order to secure his own choices firmly in place in those positions. Newspaper reporters are fed stories by the politicos, and argue amongst themselves about the legitimacy of what they intend to print. A young female reporter becomes the flavor of the month, much to the chagrin of a slightly older female reporter who has paid her dues for much longer. Also, Robin Wright = Connie Nielsen. Sexy, strong middle-aged blonde wife of the lead character, who pursues her pet projects thanks to the name recognition and power afforded her by her husband; she may have somewhat questionable morals herself, and often feels shut out by her spouse, but when it comes down to it, is completely supportive of him.

House of Cards = House of Lies
SIMILARITIES: Firebrand hotshot works the system to get his way. Is the go-to guy when things need to get done, and he doesn’t care if he has to bend the rules to make it happen. Frequently breaks the 4th wall and talks directly to camera, letting the viewer in on the secrets of his business, and his keen insights on the people he deals with day-to-day.

There were a lot more moments in House of Cards that were extremely reminiscent of these other two shows (especially Boss), even down to some very similar scenes. But, all that having been said, I do count myself as a huge fan of Spacey (and of many of the other actors in this show), so I’m hoping it eventually carves out its own niche in the television landscape as it progresses.

Posted by DJ on March 14th, 2013 at 2:42am.

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