Ben Travers at IndieWire extrapolates his feelings about the final episodes of “House of Cards” into a look at the entire business model at Netflix, which he argues is focused more on quantity than quality. “The final season doesn’t feel like a final chapter; it feels like content,” he writes. “Sure, Netflix executives can say ‘House of Cards’ is complete — to entice any new viewers who have been waiting to binge it all the way through — but the body of work feels more valuable than the work itself. Making original content is more important to Netflix than making great programming.”
‘“House of Cards” Dismal Ending Proves It Never Had Anything to Say’ [Vox]
Todd VanDerWerff admits he isn’t a loyal fan of the series, but he tries to put himself in their shoes in his vicious pan of the final season. Comparing the final season to the notoriously loathed final stretch of “Dexter,” VanDerWerff writes, “I cannot imagine being a fan of the show, getting excited for the sixth and final season, watching Season 5’s buildup to that sixth and final season, and then sitting down to watch and getting … this.”
Interviews and Otherwise
‘How Robin Wright Took Charge of “House of Cards” and Saved the Final Season’ [Variety]
Before the show returned, Variety did a complete history of the drama surrounding Spacey’s departure and how the show was saved from critical condition. The show’s co-showrunner Melissa James Gibson offered a glimpse into how the program would use Frank Underwood, telling Variety’s Debra Birnbaum, “It would have been absurd to deny the powerful existence and shadow of Francis Underwood, so all the rest of the characters have to navigate what went on with him prior to this season.”
‘“House of Cards”: What the Final Season Would’ve Looked Like if Kevin Spacey Hadn’t Been Fired’ [IndieWire]
One of the questions that can never be completely answered is how “House of Cards” would have been different if Spacey hadn’t been removed. Liz Shannon Miller came close. Her conversations with the show’s cast and crew indicate that Season 6 would have been a power play for the White House between Claire and Frank. In Miller’s feature, the co-showrunner Frank Pugliese says, “Essentially at the end of Season 5 there’s a promise Francis makes, that he’s going to own the White House by owning Claire.” He later adds: “So again, [in] Season 6 we knew that all these forces were trying to control her and own her. That seemed like something we wanted to explore and dramatize.”
‘The First Female President Will Not Carry a Handbag’ [The New York Times]
“What would the first female president wear?” asks the Times fashion critic Vanessa Friedman. Season 6 seems to provide some clues. “The show is as dark and twisted as ever, both in terms of plot and the corrupting psychology of power,” Friedman writes, “but it’s also a pretty convincing take on how the first Madam President might present herself.”
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