Two key Spinoff writers share a dirty little secret: they’ve never seen any of the defining ‘important’ TV shows of our time. They launched Catch Up Club to save them (and possibly you). This week’s show is the taut-as-heck political drama House of Cards. //
Alex: Hello, President Spacey here
Joseph: Why hello theyar Aleyux (I’m trying to do his accent)
Alex: Did you watch House of Cards then?
Joseph: Yes, obviously. Based on my pitch perfect Kevin Spacey impersonation above.
Alex: “Ah du declayuh”
Joseph: Oh, that’s good
Alex: What did you think of it? I was hooked. I want to be the president.
Joseph: I am a regular hu-wip. Sorry, still trying to do the accent. Yes it was very good. Crazy huh? These critically adored shows all turn out to be good?
Alex: I’m constantly surprised and impressed.
Joseph: Were you on board from the get-go? I was skeptical about Spacey getting chatty with the camera
Alex: Yeah, at first I found it a little jarring. Like, this ain’t no lovable Ferris Bueller guy.
Joseph: Yeah agree. Like, this ain’t Alfie, this is K-Pax from K-Pax.
Alex: This is the scary serial killer from Se7en. But I feel like having him as this creepy (and probably unreliable) narrator added to the giant sense of unease. Which was also helped immensely by that classic David Fincher vomit-green tint on everything.
Joseph: It definitely grew on me as a technique.
Alex: I think it worked for me because Presidential/parliamentary stuff is a very alienating and confusing world to observe. Maybe that’s just me, but I would have loved having a little Spacey Microsoft Paperclip explaining everything to me during say, West Wing.
Joseph: How sharp is that script? “I love that woman like a shark loves blood” (I’ve given up on the accent).
Alex: So so good. And also “how you eat a whale is in little bites” or something. Amazing script. Marine-metaphor laden script.
Joseph: I think it was written by Kelly Tarlton himself. Are you familiar with/interested in American politics at all?
Alex: Not really. But now I feel like I know everything and I don’t trust anyone. Are you?
Joseph: I read a book about Barack Obama once. But I don’t think they put all the stuff about the lies and the cheating in the officially endorsed Barack Obama book. So this was very eye-opening.
Alex: I ain’t never seen Barack Obama looking at a thong before. But, I have seen him smoking so, similar.
Joseph: So what is Spacey’s gig in this show? He’s a “whip”, which I don’t know what that means.
He is a problem solver right? Like an in-house version of Kerry Washington from Scandal (my sad reference point). Expect one with a straight-up Macbeth complex.
Alex: He’s some kind of major congress guy right? Like seemingly very integral, “keeps things moving” and flushes out…blockages.
Joseph: I assume the “flushing out of blockages” is a metaphor. But I don’t have a degree in politics so what do I know. Is he gonna try and be the president?
Alex: Well, he wanted to be Secretary of State right? And then they said “no no u american beauty, we need you to stay in congress.” So then he decided to eat a whale (metaphorically). And kill a dog (literally). He instantly gets to work assembling a kind of back alley A Team of his lil congress buddies. Including a young upstart insider at the Washington Herald.
Joseph: And a drunk awful guy. And a woman. Shit I’m good at paying attention to names and specifics. I watched this at 6 this morning.
Alex: That seems fitting to be honest, seeing as the majority of the show seems to occur between the hours of 10.30pm and 6am. I liked how it was quite seedy being constantly at night, made it feel very “under the deep dark surface” (theres another Tarlton metaphor).
Joseph: Yeah, they definitely work overtime in Washington DC.
Alex: I mean, who even knows what’s going on in the Beehive?!
Joseph: I read Dirty Politics recently, no one is nearly as charismatic as Kevin Spacey unfortunately. Do you see yourself continuing on with this one? When it started I was all “this is a one off.” But god damn, the set-ups. All of a sudden I find myself stressing out about Education Reform bills. I have to know more!
Alex: Absolutely. I wanted to watch another one straight away. I have a feeling that Spacey might kill someone and eat their ribs at 7am. He seems that hellbent on power.
Joseph: I read a spoiler by accident on the Wikipedia – what a disaster. I’m not used to fancy shows and having to care about these things. I will soldier on anyway, and hopefully forget it…
Alex: Yeah, I need to see what happens next and the spoilers are very tempting. I now get why even Obama tweeted about House of Cards spoilers. But yeah, that shot of Spacey waving at the camera from just behind the President was the most chilling “Where’s Wally” of my life. I’m hooked. Please forward all mail to my new house, of cards.
Joseph: PS, how are you doing with Mad Men? Remember, from last week?
Alex: I haven’t watched any more unfortunately, I did watch Bridesmaids, which has the Hamm in it…
Joseph: I watched half an episode and fell asleep again. Because I was tired. Not because it is bad. I maintain it is v good.
Alex: I will definitely be watching more Mad Men, I figure there’s still ages till the new season so there’s plenty of time to catch up. Whereas House of Cards has filled me with a huge sense of urgency for some reason.
Joseph: Shoosh, I have a lot of shows to watch now.
Alex: Better get to it then!
Alex: Guhdbai Josuff Mooyre. Nope. I lost it
Joseph: It’s not easy. Maybe that’s why Kevin Spacey is the actor and we are the people writing about his acting on the internet two years later.
Alex: *addresses camera* “…and that’s the way, the House of Cards crumbles.”
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.