No Spoilers Ahead !
The Underwoods ! Well, people who follow HoC know very well how unpredictable, fearless and brutal they can be. The more you’re told about these couple, the more you get intrigued in a weird yet convincing way possible. The very success of this show relies heavily on its characters, star-cast and above all its writing. But, is season 4 a revival of its last season’s mediocrity, let’s have a look.
Synopsis : Centered around Frank’s presidential run for 2016, Frank and Claire go through various personal and political rivalries, haunted by their past deeds, trying their best to fight against all the odds to retain power.
The writing : It’d be fair enough to say that season 4 is a welcome back for the show-runner Beau Willimon and his writing team. It’s been a roller-coaster ride as far as the emotions go and has too many layers added to its plot. It’s bold, original, unconventional yet very dramatic. They are using a few interesting anecdotes to go with Frank’s ‘signature’ monologues with the audience this time.
The thing that bugged me here when the plot behaves a bit flimsy at times. I mean, when you’re trying sell a story to be real and relatable, you have a very little margin for error to make it sloppy or obnoxious. It seems like the writers are trying so hard to make it perfect and when you look back after finishing the season, you’d understand that the reason why they brought back the unwanted old character is just to reason with that perfection.
Character Development : A few new characters are introduced in this season such as Claire’s Mother, Republican Presidential Nominee, Will Conway and Campaign Manager, Leann Harvey. Besides them, a few old characters also reprise in this season.
Performances : Enough already said about Spacey’s performance as Frank Underwood in one of our previous articles. And I still cannot imagine a better Claire than Robin Wright. The character which moved me the most was Claire’s Mother played by Ellen Burton. I wish I could see more of her. Joel Kinnaman did a good job as Will Conway but disappointed with Neve Campbell as Leeann Harvey. She was the least convincing character in this season in my opinion.
Production Design/Score : Production design has always been top-notch in HoC and this season is no different in this sector. Overall background score of season 4 is above average to go with its ever-so- amazing title track. Season 3 was better than season 4 when it comes to this segment.
Final Call : Overall, season 4 is a refreshing take on the show. It’s compelling, surprising, sometimes bizarre, dark but very entertaining at the same time. The first few episodes are a bit slow but later picks up well, raising the stacks to the utmost extent that leaves you jaw dropped in the end and you just can’t wait to know what happens next.
Trivia : Since the very beginning of this show, there have been a few video games and independent gaming apps mentioned or referred by Frank (Spacey). Last season he mentioned about ‘Monument Valley’ and this season, there are multiple sequences of him with a gaming app called ‘Agar.io’ by Miniclip.