Critic Consensus: Season three introduces intriguing new political and personal elements to Frank Underwood's character, even if it feels like more of the same for some.
House of Cards: Season 3 Videos
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Tv Season Info
as Francis Underwood
as Claire Underwood
as Lucas Goodwin
as Jacqueline Sharp
as Adam Galloway
as Raymond Tusk
as Christina Gallagher
as Linda Vasquez
as Edward Meechum
as Gillian Cole
as Janine Skorsky
as Catherine Durant
as Rachel Posner
as Garrett Walker
as Remy Danton
as Doug Stamper
as Tom Hammerschmidt
as Gavin Orsay
as Freddy Hayes
News & Interviews for House of Cards: Season 3
This series dwindles into sleek, well-oiled, smoothly professional office drama, a beautiful example of ensemble playing with Robin Wright's Claire the equal of her husband. But not more than a couple of episodes at a time.
Wright... remains one of the best parts of the series, while Underwood's bottomless appetite for dark dealing keeps Spacey so deliciously detestable you can't help but keep rooting for the bad guy to win.
With the cupboard bare, Willimon does his best to inject some residual humanity into House of Cards in Season 3. But it's awfully hard to retroactively Frankenstein a human heart into what is essentially a monster show.
The season starts extremely slowly, but gets pretty good, starting in the third episode. It never reaches the dark, dramatic heights of previous seasons, but it's also a little more focused and intelligent than they were.
House of Cards benefits from hurried viewing. It keeps you from noticing how much of a political soap opera it really is, or questioning who to root for, since every major character is just different shades of self-obsessed and power-hungry.
Audience Reviews for House of Cards: Season 3
Still a gripping show, to be sure, but the third season of House of Cards ultimately represents a step down for the show's previous bold, audacious, and amoral nature. Quite simply, it seems to have lost a bit of its edge. Instead of a character study of Underwood and the chilling dynamic he has with his wife and those of his subordinates, the third season focuses on a flawed man struggling to hold on to power with good, albeit self-serving, motivations. Instead of utterly corrupting Underwood, the highest office has instead spurned a lighter, and slightly less cunning Underwood. At times it does seem to boarder on a more mature West Wing, but its narrative shortcomings are overcome by the continual brilliant performances and expert direction and production values.
I always figured that the right way to do S03 of House of Cards was to witness Underwood's empire crumble before him and be a little more cynical and comical because o fit. In certain aspects, that's what we get but this season was a big step back on the quality of the first two seasons and it barely has any of the dark humor that preceded, excluding the escapist fun this show previously had. The direction, writing and acting from Spacey and Wright are still spot on, but the way secondary characters are handled leaves much to be desired. There's no sense of momentum to any storyline going on and I barely cared for any of them. Even Doug's story which takes on forever to unfold, held promise but quickly started to be a nuisance. Only to have that awful conclusion. So many contradictions... Are you trying to get the viewer confused? That's a good thing if handled well but this was just poorly executed. We also seemed to had a very interesting escalating conflict between the USA and Russia with two very charismatic presidents, to, once again, be left out to dry, not offering a satisfying enough conclusion. There were many other characters who were ditched way too soon and for what? To get a bunch of new ones which are practically the same, but on a new skin? Blhergh. Get a grip, House of Cards. You have much to prove next time.
It may not be as addicting or as focused as the previous two seasons, but House of Cards Season 3 is still top notch television that has strong lead performances and a strong sense of tension and addiction.
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