“House of Cards” Changes Views of Politics at FCLC


“House of Cards” is now available on Netflix, and is in its third season. (Jessica Hanley/ The Observer)


For many, American politics is a very sensitive subject. But for approximately 5 million viewers from the ages 16 to 24 on Netflix, the show “House of Cards” has successfully turned this hesitant view of American politics around, including students and faculty at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC). On March 31 in the South Lounge at FCLC, “House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon will discuss the various aspects of this hit Netflix series.

Beth Knobel, professor of communication and media studies at Fordham College Rose Hill (FCRH) and coordinator of the event, said, “Willimon, creator and executive producer of ‘House of Cards,’ will be coming to Lincoln Center to talk about many aspects of the show, such as what it is about, how it came about, how they come up with story lines … et cetera.”

As the show leaves many people with questions waiting to be answered, this will be a great opportunity for students to get an inside scoop of “House of Cards” from the creator himself. “[The event] will also operate as a question and answer session with the students. The students will have the opportunity to ask [Willimon] any type of question about the show. It will be an open question and answer session,” Knobel said.

In regards to the show, Paul Levinson, professor of communication and media studies at FCLC, said that “House of Cards” transcends the way audiences watch television and politics. “The show has sparked a new light on politics by putting together an interesting plot and dramatizing it to a point that makes it attractive to a mass audience,” he said.

Furthermore, “House of Cards” successfully makes viewers think about what really goes on in the White House. Jennifer Clark, assistant professor of communication and media studies at FCLC, said, “The producers structured the show in a way where it is up to the audience’s imagination to figure out what goes on in the White House. As much of the show is fictional or dramatized, the truth of the White House will away remain a question to Americans.”

The combination of the show’s drama and fiction spark a sense of entertainment about American politics. Sara Jackson, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ‘15, said, “A show can never fully portray the operations of the government because honestly it would be boring. It would be like watching C-span all day. And nobody wants to do that.”

There are multiple elements of the show that students find fascinating. For instance, many are drawn to the show’s main character, Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), who is the ruthless congressman. Through violence, manipulation and collaboration with his wife, Claire Underwood (Robin Wright), Spacey’s character rises to power in the White House. In regards to the show and Spacey, Alex Hladick, FCLC ’17, said, “When I see Frank Underwood, I find it really hard to picture him as the president; he’s done so much evil in the show.”

Even with its drama, “House of Cards” finds a way to maintain a sense of realism, as it connects to current events. Connor McHugh, Fordham Gabelli School of Business (GSBRH) ’17, said, “I really like how it keeps up with current events and what is actually going on in the world.”

Another factor of the show, which many feel is a key to its success, is the show’s  premiere strategy.  While many shows premiere once a week at a particular time and date, “House of Cards” releases its series all at once. In addition, being an Internet series, the show allows people to watch the show on the go from tablet devices, mobile phones and personal laptops.

Arianna Miskel, (GSBRH) ’17, said, “Regardless of the platform that ‘House of Cards’ is aired on, I believe the show has grabbed the interest of millennials. Although it was bound to be an influential show, ‘House of Cards’ definitely has more young viewers because it is aired on Netflix. Airing the show on the Internet enables more people to watch it.”

“House of Cards” has succeeded in attracting attention. If you’re a fan or not, it cannot be argued that “House of Cards” has become a major topic of interest for many people.both young and old.