It seems like Netflix’s “House of Cards” had a real opportunity for a fresh start with season six.
Granted, the behind-the-scenes turmoil probably made this season particularly challenging: Production was already underway when “Star Trek: Discovery” actor Anthony Rapp came forward with allegations that Kevin Spacey made a sexual advance toward him when Rapp was only 14. In response, Netflix and production company Media Rights Capital halted production and ultimately decided to rewrite the season without Spacey’s character Frank Underwood.
If you’ve watched “House of Cards,” you know that this must have been a big change, as Underwood and his political schemes have been at the center of the show for five years. Still, the previous season ended with Robin Wright’s Claire Underwood taking over the presidency, so it seemed like the right time to rethink this as a show that’s centered on Claire.
What we got, however, was a season that’s still very much about Frank Underwood. Sure, he’s died off-screen before the season starts, and Spacey never appears in these new episodes. But he still casts a long shadow over the show, with all of the characters focused on the mystery of his death and the power vacuum he left behind. On the latest episode of the Original Content podcast, we try to explain why we found this approach so unsatisfying.
In addition, we talk about the death of comics legend Stan Lee and Hulu’s plans to create multiple series based on “Wild Cards,” a set of superhero stories edited by George R.R. Martin. This, in turn, leads us to the question on every “Song of Ice and Fire” fan’s mind: When is he going to finish the next book?
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