House of Cards is back – and even Barack Obama thinks it’s a big deal

Washington is agog and politicos are even advising on plot as the  TV hit’s second series arrives

US Editor

Do they have the ability to stream Netflix on Air Force One? This is not an idle question. Valentine’s Day was also House of Cards Day and President Barack Obama let us all know, via Twitter, that he too is a fan who has been aching for season two, which was released in its entirety yesterday for fans to gorge on. The problem: he was flying all of Friday, from Maryland to California. The whole evening was taken up dining with King Abdullah of Jordan in Palm Springs.

Doubtless the tweet to Mr Obama's 41 million followers late Thursday was written by an aide trying to spin the myth that the President is like the rest of us, unable to resist the delicious darkness of this political thriller, never mind how ludicrous some of its plotting. "Tomorrow @HouseOfCards. No spoilers, please."

The chief executive of the land confessing an addiction to a show that depicts the federal capital in such dark caricature might seem a surprise. But for the cast, who gathered for a premiere screening on Thursday, it was an exciting endorsement. It is one thing that all of Washington gorged on the  first 13 episodes released all at once one year and two weeks ago. But now the Oval Office is hooked too?

"It's the coolest news ever," said Kate Mara, who plays the reporter, Zoe Barnes, who becomes close, maybe too close, to the ruthless chief whip Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey.

Fans in the real world of politics in the District want us to know – of course – that their existences are entirely more monotony than Machiavelli. No one actually kills to protect their political advancement. Well there was the New York congressman caught on camera threatening to throw a TV reporter from the balcony in the Capitol Rotunda the other day, but setting that aside ...

It's barely a secret that the opening instalment of the new season does not disappoint. No, I won't say; just that as Underwood readies to be sworn in as vice president, keeping a lid on what happened to a certain dead Pennsylvania congressman becomes more imperative than ever.

Read more:
Netflix series makes ferocious return

Such has been the anticipation on Capitol Hill that aides campaigned to have Netflix release it a day early because a snowstorm was due on Thursday and offices would be shut. The snow came, but no new season. One aide,  Alex Conant, press secretary to Senator Marco Rubio, told Politico that the show "makes politics in Washington appear even worse than it is, which is a feat".

Embracing it hasn't been a problem for politicians either. Several volunteered for an online news site to go on camera speaking some of Underwood's famous season-one scorchers. Watch Trey Gowdy, a Republican from South Carolina, giving appropriate menace to, "I have zero tolerance for betrayal", and somehow the effect is even greater than from the lips of Spacey.

And slightly worryingly, the chief writer of the Netflix saga, Beau Willimon, revealed at Thursday's screening that some of the most powerful figures in Congress have been advising on plot and characters. "Kevin McCarthy, the house majority whip and Steny Hoyer, the house minority whip, they both were really helpful in talking to Kevin Spacey and me about what it means to be a whip," he said. "They helped us achieved the authenticity we strived for."

But we must repeat. Mr Spacey and his onscreen wife, Robin Wright, are just actors. It's not real. Washington isn't like that. Which goes no way to explain why the main guest with George Stephanopoulos on his morning political show tomorrow on ABC, The Week, will be, yes, Mr Spacey.


Watch the trailer for the new season of House of Cards

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

music
Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Strictly
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
    Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

    Meet Racton Man

    Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
    Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

    Garden Bridge

    St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

    An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
    Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

    Joint Enterprise

    The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
    Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

    Freud and Eros

    Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
    France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

    Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

    Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser