Why “House of Cards” Season 3 Sucked

Francis, Francis, Francis.

I am so disappointed in you. I would tell you to stand in the corner but in the Oval Office that would be pointless – much like this season’s “House of Cards.”

How pointless was it? Let us count the ways… (Spoilers abound here but I assure you, nothing is more spoiled rotten than this season.)

In no special order:

  • People referring to the president as “Frank,” including the former owner of his favorite rib joint? Nah, I don’t think so.

I don’t care that you knew him when. I find it hard to believe childhood friends are going around saying: “Yo! Barack! Dude, how’s it hangin’?”

(Note to Pedro, John, Rich and Silvio: When I am elected to the White House, I won’t expect you to call me “Mr. President,” but you will have to genuflect and kiss my ring.)

  • You’re going to start a small fire in the Oval Office and no smoke alarms are going to go off?
  • The chief of staff disappears for days at a time (stalking and ultimately killing a girl who represents a loose end) and no one bats an eye at his absence. Yeah, I know. He was not officially chief of staff at the time and he was on the cusp of being announced, but c’mon…
  • Nowhere near enough good sex scenes or nudity.
  • Oh yeah, the president is going to – on the spur of the moment – meet another head of state in the middle of some godforsaken battleground. And then they dress him up looking like Michael Dukakis? Yeesh!
  • Remy turns to a total wuss. End of story.
  • You mean to tell me the president of the United States is going to take a leak on his dad’s grave and there is not going to be a photographer with a long lens shooting that or someone who visits the grave site immediately after and notices an odd stain on the tombstone?
  • The first lady passes out giving blood and there’s only a nurse who is immediately there to tend to her but her security detail is apparently nowhere to be seen?
  • Claire Underwood’s departure in the final scene of the season struck me as absurd. She declares she’s leaving Frank but she walks out clutching her handbag looking like Ruth Buzzi from “Laugh-In.”
  • The president really makes a recess appointment, naming his wife as United Nations ambassador?

Yes, some of my beef with the third season revolves around a lack of real-life details. But overall it felt disjointed and riddled with plot holes.

What makes Season 3 so crushingly disappointing is that Season 1, by contrast, was electric with tension and surprises as power-hungry Frank and Claire schemed and manipulated their way forward.

Season 2’s first episode was a WTF moment when Frank pushes the reporter in front of a train (!) and then the rest of the season got mired in trade war dialogue reminiscent of the arcane trade disputes at the center of the “Star Wars” prequels.

So it was that I had high hopes that “HOC” would redeem itself in Season 3. It featured maybe two good episodes and a couple of tense, well-executed scenes.

But overall, I didn’t like the way women were either treated or portrayed in this season (expendable or there merely to do Frank’s bidding) and the inexplicable introduction of characters (the book author is recruited by Frank, who thinks he can control him?!)

At least Douglas was true to his dark character throughout.

Bottom line: I’ve cast my ballot and I’m voting the incumbent out of office.

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