House of Cards

Its not because I am British, its honestly not, cross my heard and …….. etc!

But for those devoted to the US series with Kevin Spacey (Frank Underwood is his character), do yourself a favour and watch the original (from which the Americans actually stole the concept/idea). The late Ian Richardson, as Parliamentary Chief Whip, Francis Urquhart, is something else altogether.

Pretty obvious how the Americans got the name Frank Underwood too isn’t it?

The original version is a totally different and more enthralling event. In my view it is akin to comparing a very average bubbly with a rare French Champagne! As a reviewer/writer said recently, .. “if you are interested in either politics or satire, the original series is not to be missed” …. as are the other parts of the Trilogy which also include “To Play the King” and “The Final Cut”.

You may be interested to note that the series took home a primetime Emmy, a Peabody, 2 British Academy Awards as well as a Writer’s Guild Award. Urquhart as a character, displays the most fascinating blend of horrifying wit and venomous charm!

I am not saying that Kevin Spacey is anything but great but the late Ian Richardson is something else together.

As an American reviewer very recently stated “that watching the two versions shows why the Brits excel at just this kind of thing!”

Interesting, the British version has both fewer episodes and fewer characters and no quirky threesome. Which do you prefer – watch both and see.

Got to be completely honest and upfront – As far as I am concerned House of Cards American style just does not match the bite of our British original.

As far as I could observe watching the series, the true genius of the original was that its fictional British politician Francis Urquhart (played superbly by Richardson) was a beast of pure political calculation – he never ever did anything without a secondary political motive! Enthralling!

I delighted in seeing how his every action was so carefully designed to either force a response or else to manoeuvre someone out of the way. You observe that the real action is always in the background – as is the case in reality (a political adviser acquaintance of mine has told me).