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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Live Blog: House of Cards Season 5, Episodes 3 and 4

I am just going to say it: I am bored. I am so bored.

I am just going to say it: I am bored. I am so bored. But I committed to watching and blogging about the season five premiere of House of Cards and due to my pride and my need to break my personal record of published words per day, I will continue the challenge I accepted. However, I am also going to be completely fair and fully honest by admitting that this season is a real snoozefest, but perhaps that is for the welcome reason that Americans are simply sick of elections.

Fictional dramas are now stealing plot lines from reality to make their shows more interesting.

As I mentioned in previous posts, one of the most intriguing elements of political dramas is the connection often made between the fictional plot and the real life political sphere. As this has been a particularly interesting election season, it has been undeniably clear when watching political thrillers like Scandal and House of Cards that fact has become stranger than fiction.

Stranger Than Fiction 

In fact, American real-world political theater has become so absurd, fictional dramas are now stealing plotlines from reality to make their shows more interesting. However, if American viewers wanted to be reminded of the current state of affairs in American politics, we could do so with five minutes on CNN or Facebook.

In the third episode of House of Cards, it is the final stretch of the presidential election and the stakes are high. It is in these moments that even the most politically elite becomes more human as they face the fear of possible failure. But, which candidate will break under the pressure first?

Four episodes in and I feel like I have lost at least 2.5 hours of my life that I will never get back.

Unfortunately, I don’t really care, and from feedback I have heard from fellow viewers, they don’t either. This could very well help explain why this season is, at some moments, almost unbearable to watch. Americans are burned out! We don’t want a show that mimics political reality; we want to escape reality with a great over-the-top storyline, which season three is, thus far, missing.

Bored and Cynical 

Perhaps I have spent too long living in Washington, D.C and as such, have become increasingly bitter about the political process, but I cannot help but feel I am not alone in my opinion. As someone who was neither for Hillary, Donald, Bernie, or anyone else, watching the election unfold was the same as watching a circus. It may as well have been House of Cards only real life was more traumatic for the American psyche in the long-term.

Part of the initial “charm” of the show was its ability to be far-fetched but still somewhat believable. Having the show’s central character be a power-hungry politician who is unafraid of a little murder, gave the show a dark feel that suspended reality for its viewers.

Between every speech made by Donald Trump and the Wikileaks drama with Hillary Clinton, the only way to top the absurdity of this election would be a really great twist to liven up the story line. But four episodes in and I feel like I have lost at least 2.5 hours of my life that I will never get back.

Oh and in a real “original” twist at the end of episode four, the Republican candidate unexpectedly takes Pennsylvania… I will need to replenish my caffeine before I start episode five.

  • Brittany is a writer for the Pacific Legal Foundation. She is a co-host of “The Way The World Works,” a Tuttle Twins podcast for families.