In House of Cards, It’s All About Claire

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In House of Cards, It’s All About Claire

Illustration: Palak Bansal

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n Monday, Netflix confirmed what we’ve all been waiting to hear: House Of Cards will continue without Kevin Spacey in the lead. The penultimate season will comprise eight episodes instead of the usual 13 and will resume with its sole focus on Robin Wright’s Claire Underwood.

Since late October, the future of the Emmy-winning show and its 2,000 employees remained unclear when actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of sexual misconduct. Since the revelation, other victims have come forward accusing Spacey of the same, with some of the testimonies detailing inappropriate behaviour on the sets of the Netflix show itself. In the light of the various sexual assault allegations over the past few months, debate raged over whether it’s really time we separate the art from the artist, and by making the news of the show’s return in 2018 official, Netflix has actually confirmed that it’s indeed possible to do so. Good riddance, Frank Underwood!

Except, Netflix is incredibly late to the “focus on Claire Underwood” party. It’s a logical plot point that the House of Cards makers should have pivoted to at least two seasons back, and one that didn’t need sexual assault allegations against Spacey to see the light of day. It’s no secret that over the course of five seasons, the narrative of House Of Cards has been racing in weirdly odd directions, sacrificing the show’s integrity and coherence at the altar of ensuring the lasting image of a winning Frank Underwood. Every twist in the show was designed keeping this in mind, making the show utterly predictable and rather conceited. The character of the once-fascinating Frank Underwood then, ended up becoming almost unbearable, evidenced clearly in the last season.

Netflix is incredibly late to the “focus on Claire Underwood” party. It’s a logical plot point that the House of Cards makers should have pivoted to at least two seasons back

The unpredictable and mysterious Claire Underwood, on the hand, was relegated to being on the sides of Frank Underwood, and the show’s ambition. It was only in the last season that the makers finally awoke to the abundant potential that her character could bring to the show. While the last season ended with Claire becoming the president, House of Cards’ final season could eventually hold the keys or the makers to revive the lost charm of the show riding on the back of its strongest character.

It may have come late, but thank heavens it’s Claire Underwood’s turn now.

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