Ace political drama shuffles format in new season

By Samuel Correa

Former house majority whip Frank Underwood and his wife Claire Underwood of “House of Cards” were climbing a mountain, and they would strike down anyone who would get in their way. Now, with the start of season three, Frank and Claire are at the top of this mountain, the White House, and we see them at their most vulnerable. It is a fundamentally different show.

Friday’s premiere began with Frank delivering one of his notorious monologues. He speaks to the audience about wanting to seem more human now that he’s the president of the United States.

This dialogue is not only a reference to the monstrous things Frank has done to get where he is, but also foreshadows the physical and emotional situations Frank and Claire will find themselves in as the season progresses.

Courtesy of “House of Cards” Facebook page

All eyes are on Frank now. His approval ratings are down and he is a hard man to play with. Frank is desperately trying to get a new employment program off the ground while trying to work with the Russian president in order to smooth things over in the Middle East.

The show’s Russian president, Viktor Petrov, a clear satire on Vladimir Putin, is just as stubborn and hard-headed as Frank. As a result, it is evident that Frank will have an extremely difficult time being re-elected in 2016. Very early on in the season Frank proclaims to his wife “I will not be a place holder president. I will win, and I will leave a legacy.”

Frank’s motives for everything have never been more clear. It is refreshing to see Frank trying to do some good instead of murdering and weaseling his way through his problems to have the outcome he wants. Despite making some controversial presidential decisions, his work on employment is amazing.

Having some innovative ideas and some even more creative ways of overcoming obstacles still is not enough. Most of this season shows Frank and Claire being pushed into a corner. Everywhere they turn they get shut down. Their relationships and their allegiances are being put to the test.

If you’re familiar with “Game of Thrones,” then you’ll feel close to home — people come and go, are fired and replaced and certain biases regarding domestic issues are overwhelmingly obvious as the show progresses.

“House of Cards” season three is a new and refreshing portrayal of the characters we have come to know, love and possibly hate. The show manages to become more human and emotional all while staying on the same dark path it started us on. It’s like Frank states at the beginning of the season, “you have to be a little human when you’re the president.”