If you haven't watched House of Cards (or aren't caught up) you really should not read this review as I'm sure I will inadvertently spoil a lot.
Somehow I missed writing up a review on Season 2 of House of Cards (even though I did write up Season 1). How did I do that? That might have been one of the best seasons of television I've ever watched. Frank Underwood was all sorts of ruthless in Season 2. It had one of the best first episodes of a season that set the tone for the remaining twelve episodes. But sadly I did miss writing that up and without re-watching that incredible season I will just keep marching on. Season 3 of House of Cards was released around a month ago and Jenn and I just got done with the thirteen episode season.
I've heard really mixed reviews on Season 3. And rightfully so. The first two seasons were so incredibly well produced that any slight falter in quality was going to be noticed. For me though (and Jenn to an extent) found this season to be less of a change in quality, but instead a change in focus. Frank talks to the camera far less in this season. Which is both a blessing and a curse. It made the moments even sweeter when he did, but those moments at times felt forced.
For me the tonal change was changing this from a drama/thriller, to a political drama. We got far more insight into the political mind of Frank and Claire. Their minds are a scary place and make for incredible television. The political intrigue and the political manipulation they have to do is downright scary. One of my favorite scenes was a Presidential debate where three candidates who had all been scheming with and against each other go to battle and no one comes out unscathed.
Season 3 was a completely different experience then the first two seasons. It was a lot slower. The plot lines less fantastical and more grounded. There are still some "that could never happen" moments but there are a lot that feel like there grounded in some sort of reality. Although both Frank and Claire are completely disgusting human beings you can't help both root for and against them. It does feel though that the House of Cards might start falling apart in the fourth season.