I was a little late to the House of Cards game. People kept telling me about this great show on Netflix, and, well, I was too busy watching Orange Is The New Black. Eventually, I gave in. Just like everyone else, I became obsessed. I binge-watched the entire first season in two or three days. Each episode was more addictive than the last. But, something kept bothering me. And, it wasn't until the second season that I actually realized what it was (and, yes, spoiler alert, it was more than the murder in the first episode of the season).
Part of me feels sorry for House of Cards. I grudgingly enjoy the premise, the fast pace, and Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey's acting skills. But, that doesn't change the fact that I don't like the main plot, or Frank Underwood — or really any of the remaining characters. While all of my friends post Buzzfeed quizzes saying that they ARE Frank Underwood (Is that a good thing?) and talk about how amazing he is, I am secretly growing more and more concerned. How can people like a character that is so narcissistic and manipulative? I keep waiting for some backstory or some moment that makes me feel some empathy for him. Spoiler: It hasn't happened yet. (In full disclosure, I haven't watched the final episode of season two yet, so perhaps it happens then. And, if it does, please feel free to tell me in the comments section. That may just give me motivation to finally hit play. It has been sitting in my Netflix queue for weeks.)
Normally, I am one of those people that doesn't give up on shows. Yes, I still watch Glee and Grey's Anatomy, even though they are both long past their prime...and logical story lines. They are still on television, so I feel someone should watch them. It might as well be me. Yet, I can't finish House of Cards. Each episode leaves me feeling awful. I mean can't-sleep, can't-socialize, can't-write, can't-click-play-on-the-next-episode awful. Why should I keep up with a character that addressed the audience to say "There is but one rule: hunt or be hunted. Welcome back" after committing a murder? Never before has the fourth wall being demolished bothered me so much.
At the end of the day, part of me still longs to see what happens to every single character in the Underwoods' world. I will eventually hit play on that final episode. I will enjoy it. But, not long after I am done, I will start to feel guilty.
The truth is, even writing this story is making me want to forget everything else and return to my Netflix queue. I will make myself refrain. The weekend is about to start, and no one deserves to feel guilty about enjoying something on the weekends. No matter how many critics praise the show, no matter how many aspects I like, ultimately I will feel bad for enjoying even a moment. But, I know that when season three starts, I will be all caught up and pressing play once again. So, maybe after all, I am just like Frank Underwood — my own worst enemy.