House of Cards season 4: the reviews are in…
House of Cards will return to Netflix tomorrow (Friday, February 4), hopefully to answer three questions. One, how on Earth will Frank Underwood ever win a legitimate general election? Two, what is Claire doing and has she left Frank for good? And three, will this season (please) be better than the disappointment of season three?
The reviews for the latest series of the hit political thriller have been unleashed upon the internet, and the general consensus on the newest series seems to be mixed. Here’s a round-up of what the critics thought:
1. Kevin Spacey, as ever.
“Kevin Spacey, that wicked walking wink, remains a spellbinding hoot as Frank.” – Entertainment Weekly
2. Robin Wright, as ever.
“Claire’s drive, in her personal and professional life, take on a new centrality in season four, and Wright is more than up to the challenge: Both as an actor and as director of some episodes, she humanizes Claire’s steeliness.” – Yahoo
3. Ellen Burstyn, guest-starring as Claire’s mother.
“Ellen Burstyn, as Claire’s mother, is superb — you never doubt for a second that this is the parent who imbued Claire with a ruthless view of the world.” – Yahoo
“[Burstyn is] essentially guaranteeing herself an Emmy nomination.” – The Hollywood Reporter
4. Michael Kelly.
“The solid Kelly put on a performance, as I say in my video review, that makes you want to cross to the other side of the street when he comes your way for fear you wouldn’t even see his blade fatally slip between your ribs as he takes you out for the Underwoods.” – Deadline
5. It’s eventful (and better than season three).
“Significantly more happens this season, much of it absurd and contrived, but at least it’s better than a total absence of on-screen incident.” – The Hollywood Reporter
1. There’s little comparison to Donald Trump and the current presidential campaign.
“The writers choose not to say anything insightful about the actual 2016 presidential election. Its campaigns are old-fashioned races to battleground states and constant press conferences with each candidate criticizing the other, with no real reflection on what inspires people to vote for a candidate.” – A.V. Club
2. Donald Trump actually makes Frank Underwood look like a gentleman, and it’s a let down.
“Because of this [the excitement caused by this year’s election and the conniving Underwood looking comparatively pleasant next to to Donald Trump], and because the previous season of Cards led itself down blind alleys of narrative that now require some escape, the new episodes — six of which were made available to critics — can frequently seem somber to the point of soddenness.” – Yahoo
3. Frank’s [lack of] character progression.
“The whole point of his character is endless ambition. To what end? […] There’s so little to be done with a Frank Underwood presidency that he spends the whole time drawn into petty conflicts, with old enemies nipping at his heels. The new season does little to fix this issue.” – A.V. Club
4. We need to talk more about Claire.
“Claire is a fascinating character, but too much of what works in her character is wrapped up in how much of a mystery she remains, even four seasons in.” – A.V. Club
5. The lack of Frank breaking the fourth wall.
“Frank no longer cares about us in the same way. The only to-the-camera conversation in the first six episodes of the fourth season comes while he’s making a sandwich, and it feels like it’s only there because Frank has nothing better to do. And if Frank doesn’t care about us, I find that I don’t care about him.” – The Hollywood Reporter
“What I still can’t promise is that you’ll care.” – The Hollywood Reporter