Robin Wright as a steely blond with coldly calculating ambition. Kevin Spacey as the know-it-all, solidly sophisticated Washington politician who helped elect the incoming President, expected to be made Secretary of State, and just found out he was being passed over.
So opens Netflix's first original series, House of Cards available to subscribers — with all 13 episodes released at once.
Now-stuck-in-Congress Francis Underwood and wife Claire (head of the Clean Water Initiative and about to decapitate half the staff) plot to be a major thorn in the side of the new administration that screwed him.
In addition to this master manipulating power couple, there's Zoe Barnes, a young journalist chomping at the bit to move her editors into the blogosphere and current with the interests of her generation.
Kevin's character speaks to camera and brings a caustic edge that is classic Spacey when he coolly says about his wife Claire:
"I love that woman. I love that woman more than sharks love blood."
From its time-lapse video opening to showing us text messages on screen as caption balloons (à la Charles Schwab ad at left), it feels sharp.
Frank positions himself to get back on top — by using protege-turned-Chief of Staff Linda Vasquez, salivating reporter Barnes, fellow congressmen, and others unfortunate enough to be in his path — and his conniving has me intrigued.
I'm a third through season one. Politics anyone?