HOC Season 2 – Good Times Continue

The road to power is paved with hypocrisy….and casualties. Never regret.

– Vice President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) in House of Cards Season 2, Episode 9

House of Cards Netflix TV Series

For less than the cost of a Bollywood movie ticket, once again I got to watch 13 episodes of a top-notch political drama – House of Cards, Season 2.

Darker, More Cynical

If ever the lotus eating Americans get out of their stupor and rise against their oppressive rulers in a second revolution, the TV drama House of Cards can lay claim to at least some minor credit.

Season 2 of the political series from the Netflix Instant Play streaming service debuted Friday and I quickly binged on it, completing it by Saturday evening.

Like its predecessor, the new season proved to be a riveting delight.

Solid acting, decent writing, good photography. All in all, classy stuff.

With only a bit of dramatization, House of Cards Season 2 shows America’s leaders in Congress (mainly the House of Representatives) and the administration for what they truly are – A bunch of hypocritical, self-serving, lying, corrupt, vengeful, petty bastards and thugs who’ll stop at nothing in their relentless, reckless pursuit of power and pelf (campaign contributions).

Some of the events touched upon in Season 2 – Trade war with China, illegal campaign contributions, a naval stand-off near Japan, impeachment, a deliberate murder, an accidental murder (intended victim escapes), wheeling-dealing, chicanery of a high order, lobbying and more lobbying.

One of the disappointments of the new season is that there’s absolutely no mention of the massive NSA surveillance over the American people.

Although whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations on illegal mass spying came to light as early as June 2013, there’s not a pipsqueak about the NSA shenanigans in any of the episodes.

To that extent, the episodes don’t seem current.

Also, Frank’s asides to the audience seemed fewer.

Season 2 of House of Cards strikes me as a darker, far more cynical take on our politicians in its depiction of their ruthless venality.

But moi loves the dark side of humanity. 😉

Plus with the continuing recession, the Edward Snowden revelations of mass spying, government shutdown, lousy winter storms etc, the dark side works well in these unsettling times for most Americans.

Not Convincing?

Some SI readers like Guruji whine that the ‘plot’ in Season 2 was sometimes not ‘as convincing’ as in its predecessor.

Who can say if it’s more convincing or less convincing since much of the actual political process is concealed from the public.

Hey, the reality may even be worse than depicted.

More importantly, there’s no single plot in House of Cards (be it Season 1 or 2), just multiple threads running around the core of a hopelessly corrupt political system and Congressman Frank Underwood’s ascent to the top of such a dirty system.

I thought the major subjects in Season 2 like influence of lobbyists, growing Chinese influence over American politics, and the crisis wrought by huge unidentified campaign contributions for TV ads were very convincing.

Season 2 includes 13 episodes of about 55-minutes each, same as Season 1.

Remarkable Satire

Although the venality of our leaders was never a great secret, it’s mighty entertaining to see hyper-narcissistic Congressmen and senior members of the administration exposed as exemplars of egregious bad behavior.

Since the thought of serving the public never crosses the minds of our leaders, not  even as an afterthought, I suppose we ought to consider House of Cards as a political satire on our corrupt, dysfunctional system.

And at the center of the sordid drama in Season 2 are the familiar figures of Frank Underwood, now Vice President, and his wife Claire.

Once again, the Oscar winning actor Kevin Spacey has done an outstanding job of playing a hopelessly amoral pol for whom nothing is beyond the pale.

But it’s Claire (Robin Wright) who seems more sinister in Season 2 since she smiles less.

All China, No India

Compared to the massive screen time for China, the Indian presence in Season 2 is minimal.

Sakina Jaffrey is back as President Garret’s Chief of Staff.

If you ask me, Sakina badly needs a laxative!

The woman has the perennial look of one whose bowels are in serious disrepair.

Then there’s mention of Indian curry (takeout) in episode one and some talk of using India as a conduit to import rare elements over Pakistan’s objections in episode 6.

That’s it for India in House of Cards Season 2.

Definitely Worth It

I will not mar your pleasure by revealing details of any of the individual episodes.

In any case, House of Cards is not the kind of TV drama where there are earth-shattering revelations in individual episodes.

The thrill and excitement here are all in the flow, of diverse events centering around Congressman Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and his wife Claire (Robin Wright) and their conquest of power, overcoming numerous obstacles and steadily climbing to the top.

Some tidbits for you – Two of my favorite characters met a bloody end in Season 2. Not telling you who! Also, interesting things happen in the first and last episodes of Season 2.

Yes, the U.S. Vice President too watches porn. 😉

SearchIndia.com strongly recommends House of Cards – Season 2 to all North American readers.

House of Cards – Season 2 is a classy affair and most definitely worth $7.99 (plus you get to watch thousands of movies and other TV shows for a month).

13 Responses to "HOC Season 2 – Good Times Continue"

  1. Vinith   February 17, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Wow. Majority Whip becomes Vice President eh?

    You forgot to mention that If it’s the first time you’re using Netflix, then you get to watch season 2 for free, plus thousands of other movies, for a month.

    Coming to think of it, I guess my free trial is over. Well, $7.99 for a month doesn’t hurt, especially because I’m someone who watches a lot of movies.

    Wiki says that a season 3 is coming next year. Guess the VP will then be the President of United States.

    Btw, are you planning to watch Non-Stop, which is releasing at the end of this month?


    I love Liam Neeson and I’m not gonna miss this one.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    1. I saw the trailer of the Liam Neeson film Non-Stop in the theater last month…looked intriguing.

    2. You write: You forgot to mention that If it’s the first time you’re using Netflix, then you get to watch season 2 for free, plus thousands of other movies, for a month.

    I’m writing primarily for an Indian audience (save a few law-enforcement guys here and there) in the U.S.

    And when it comes to sniffing out “Free Stuff” Indians are masters and need no help from me. 😉

    • Vinith   February 17, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      Ha ha. You’re right. Indians are masters at sniffing out free stuff 😛

      No matter which part of the world they’re in, they are always the same (most of them, at least) 😛

      Btw, law-enforcement guys? Really?

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      You have obviously not seen:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZ9vamMKFzE 😉

      • Vinith   February 17, 2014 at 1:11 pm

        Tell me you’re kidding.

        Why are they so interested in SI?

        Btw, just finished episode 2 of season 1. I’m not able to stop now. HOC is addictive.

  2. Vinith   February 17, 2014 at 10:32 pm



    Mumbai Police official trailer. No subtitles unfortunately. Don’t bother turning on the captions. The translation is hilarious and far from the real meaning.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Looks like an interesting film.

    I wish there was a Netflix equivalent for Indian movies…None of the Indian streaming sites I’ve checked out comes close to Netflix.

    • Vinith   February 17, 2014 at 11:26 pm

      There was one Malayalam movie in Netflix.. Grandmaster (Mohan Lal). It’s an above average thriller with a decent plot. Good to see Mohan Lal delivering a restrained performance and in a role fitting his age but the film makers could have avoided certain things, like the kidnapping scene in the beginning, which contributes nothing to the plot.

      The songs are decent but interrupt the flow of the movie. But the premise is interesting. Head of the Metro Crime Stopper cell Chandrashekar (Mohan Lal) who is estranged from his wife and hence negligent in his duties, gets a letter from an unknown person “Z”, who challenges him to figure out his identity while he commits a series of murders following an alphabetical pattern, and reveals the place and date of the first murder. The events that follow are quite interesting but the songs act as speed breakers. Certain things like the crude kidnapping scene at the beginning and the gunfight at a desolate building could have been avoided.

      If not for the songs, the movie would have been under 2 hours.

  3. Vinith   February 17, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    It is available for online streaming in […..], but I’m not sure if it’s legal. Most of my Indian friends here use the website to watch Indian movies and I joined the club.

    As for English movies, I stick to Netflix. Didn’t subscribe to the DVD plan as I prefer online streaming. That way, I can watch whenever I want and even re-watch the same movie if I want to.

    Planning to finish a couple of episodes of House of Cards and watch Escape from Alcatraz (based on an interesting real-life incident) tonight.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    1. Does not look legit…So I deleted the link.

    2. Another streaming site but not subscription based:


    • Vinith   February 17, 2014 at 11:35 pm

      1)Hmm. Then I guess you would have to get the DVD if you’re planning to watch it.

      2)Nice collection. It’s got movies that aren’t available in Netflix streaming. So you got to pay for every movie you’re watching there? Because every movie I search for has a “buy” and “rent” options,

  4. Vinith   February 20, 2014 at 12:47 pm


    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Interesting, different perspective.

    Given my exposure to European films, it’s easily possible that in the British version, “The acting is subtler, the dialogue cracklier.” (quote from story in your link)

    There’s a certain crassness in American culture that’s less evident in European films or Korean movies.

    Of course, none can beat our Indians when it comes to absence of class and culture. No filth like Indian filth. 😉

  5. shadowfax_arbit   February 25, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Have you seen Game of Thrones?

    How I wish you watch it, review it and we discuss episode by episode at length!!

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Netflix has Seasons 1-3 of Game of Thrones (each season has 5 discs).

    Just ordered Disc 1 of Season 1…Contains 2 episodes “Winter is Coming” and “The Kingsroad.”

    I should get it Thursday.

    The opening episodes should give me some sense of the series.

    • shadowfax_arbit   February 26, 2014 at 4:09 am

      Yes first season is awesome.

      And second season is a little boring for the first 7 episodes but the looming war would keep you glued. And when you watch the 9th episode of season 2, you will be just awestruck! And the 3rd season rocks as well. Waiting for the 4th like anything!

  6. Madmax673   April 16, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Howdy SI!

    Finished watching both the seasons.

    I liked Doug Stamper’s character a lot! 🙂

    I don’t think Seth would be a good replacement now that they have announced season 3.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Hello Sweetie!

    Maybe, they’ll bring Doug back to life.

    Is he really dead…I remember him lying in the woods after being struck with a stone (??).

    Borgen (Danish political TV series) is good too.

    Once the BJP comes to power, I’m sure the Indians (in India) will come out with a me too political drama.

    • Madmax673   April 16, 2014 at 4:50 pm

      I hope they bring Doug back to life.

      With his eyes open I am sure he’s dead.

      Borgen looks interesting. Its not available for streaming in Netflix, though.

  7. ravinternet   June 5, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Amazon Prime Video has at last got some good additions.

    “The Sopranos” and many more HBO series. The Sopranos revolves around New Jersey. So you may like it.

    Critically acclaimed “The Wire” about is about (crime) life in Baltimore. I wasn’t impressed, but some critics say that it is the great TV series ever.

    Have you watched “Breaking Bad” on Netflix?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    1. Amazon Prime? $99 a year for old stuff.

    Not in this life time! Count me out!

    I pay $8 a month to Hulu Plus and I have not watched anything (well, hardly anything) in the last six months.

    HBO I have on TV. And Hulu Plus provides access to latest TV shows. Not that I watch much of either.

    2. Am aware of Wire set in gritty Baltimore. A few years back it was all the rage. Never watched a single episode though. Sopranos, I’ve seen a few episodes…Decent stuff.

    If you like European Crime TV shows, I recommend Bridge & Salamander – For Crime TV Buffs

    3. NFLX – I only subscribe to the DVD service now. Canceled the streaming option. So no to “Breaking Bad.”

    Spanish film DVD Gloria from NFLX is wasting away on my desk for the last two weeks. 🙁

    Movies are just not giving me the high these days.

    I’ve recently started smoking Cigars. Even that’s not helping! Maybe, I need to put some “powdery stuff” inside those Cigars. 😉

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