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House of Cards (BBC)

 

No, not that NetFlix one. This one: the evil brother of “Yes, Minister!” and “Yes, Prime Minister!”, the ruthless evil uncle of “The Thick of It”. The BBC three season BBC show with a terrifying Ian Richardson at its dark heart… As Government whip and (spoiler alert… ah well …) Prime Minister, he is not stopping at anything to pursue his personal goals (he does have political opinions, I guess, but that is a side effect rather). He talks to the camera, and often reverts to Shakespearean monologues, some of which even made it into British political lingo. He is utterly quotable in any situation that requires cruelty and insult, and the only difference in that respect to Malcolm Tucker is that he maintains his temper and style, and would never insult his own and the lesser intelligence of the victim by use of crude language. What he says is “Would you like to be my slave? To put it bluntly: You have a remarkable brain, and I should like to plunder it”, or “Let’s give their mothers something to cry about, shall we?”, followed by “I think I’m ready for a bit of mischief now”.

Behind every successful politician, there is a creepy Lady Macbeth, and this Elizabeth that stands behind Francis Urquart is as LadyMacbethian as you could wish for …”break him, Francis…” is only the beginning, with her role getting stronger through the seasons, and only late will we realise what kind of lady she really is.

The stand-off with the king in Season 2 was kind of breathtaking: “Your Majesty, it is you I want to destroy, not the monarchy”, and I wonder whether ever before on British TV somebody dared take on the monarch so straight-facedly, open visor, pulled broadsword and ready to draw blood.

But – as FU mentions himself in the opening of the show – “nothing lasts forever, even the longest, the most glittering reign must come to an end someday”, before he turns Margaret Thatcher’s portrait on the face and grins diabolically into the camera…

Creepy side note: MT died the day in real life when I watched her dying in the show…

Wikipedia article here

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