Friday, 16 January 2015

My New Obsession is... House of Cards (No, not that one, the other one)

 My scanner still isn't working!

 I'm gonna work on getting it sorted out over the weekend.

 However, I have got Steam and Chrome working, so here's a post about what I've been watching on Prime lately.

 My interest in this series was raised by the fact that there's been an American adaptation and I was uncertain of how exactly that would work.

 Having watched two episodes, I am further convinced that this isn't a super great idea.

 The House of Cards is the story of Chief Tory Whip Francis Urquhart seeking upper class revenge on the Prime Minister and other members of the party for being denied a promised promotion to the cabinet.

 He's like a more aggressively evil Sir Humphrey Appleby from Yes Minister. Humphrey is Lawful Neutral but hovering closer to Lawful Evil, but Urquhart is on the border between Lawful and Neutral Evil.

 If they were to join forces, one can only imagine the destruction.

 Now, my discomfort with the American version is largely caused by three things.

 One: Urquhart is a Tory, Underwood is a Democrat. Honestly, the right wing thing is kinda necessary as it informs a lot about Urquhart's character without having to actively say anything.

 I understand why Underwood is a Democrat (contemporary issues, yo), but the Democrats just don't have the same... underlying air of evil.

 But not just any evil, posh people evil. The worst kind of evil.

 Two: Urquhart and Underwood are both Chief Whips. Thing is, American Party Whips have no where near the amount of power that British ones do.

 No, really, Whips are genuinely scary in British politics. They can really screw an MP over.

 Whips in this country have privileges that they can grant or remove as they see fit.

 They're also far more important as government is part of the House of Commons.

 Long story short, it basically comes down to the fact that British Prime Ministers are more powerful within British parliament than the American President is in American parliament. A large part of this is down to the Whips.

 Three: Urquhart gets his revenge by orchestrating a leadership challenge.

 In British politics the party leader becomes Prime Minister should their party win and they have a seat in the House of Commons.

 When a party is out of power, they hold a leadership election. This is how we got the current leaders of the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats.

 However, when a party is in government and the leader steps down for whatever reason (usually in disgrace) internal party politicking results in a new leader being selected.

 This is how Jim Hacker became Prime Minister in Yes Minister, it's how Gordon Brown became Prime Minister after Tony Blair, it's how John Major became Prime Minister after Margaret Thatcher in reality, and how Henry Collingridge became Prime Minister after Margaret Thatcher in House of Cards.

 That's... not how American politics works.

 I've had a quick look at the Wikipedia page for the American version, and he manages to become Vice President. Which is far more sensible than the plan I came up with, which was become head of the House of Representatives and somehow kill both President and Vice President in one fell swoop.

 Yeah, if something bad happens to both Obama and Biden, Boehner is who you should be side eyeing suspiciously.

 I think what I'm taking from this is that stealing the Prime Minister-ship is a lot easier than stealing the Presidency.

 So yeah, these are my three main concerns.

 Although, while looking into how they'd resolve issue three, I was surprised to see that Underwood is more... Chaotic Good? Neutral?

 Well, he's not a complete shit like Urquhart appears to be. I'm not sure I'm keen on that.

 (I feel like this is more of an 'uninformed opinion on a programme I have not watched' post than anything.)

 So, I'm only two episodes in, and I'm really enjoying it.

 The fourth wall breaking was kind of weird, but I really like it now I've got used to it. I feel like I'm some kind of accomplice in his evil plan.

 There is one thing I'm not used to, though.  It is intensely quiet. It's so quiet that I cannot watch it when other people are around because I can't hear it at all.

 But, oh well, I'll just have to watch it during the day in the week.

 I can live with that.

No comments:

Post a Comment