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Old February 18 2013, 01:09 AM   #16
J. Allen
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Re: Netflix Presents: House of Cards (US) *SPOILERS*

^ While I realize to each their own, one of the things I love about the series are the occasional asides as Frank narrates his thought processes. I don't see that very often in a TV show, and of course Kevin Spacey adds just the right punch to it, in my opinion.
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Old February 18 2013, 01:14 AM   #17
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Re: Netflix Presents: House of Cards (US) *SPOILERS*

J. Allen wrote: View Post
^ While I realize to each their own, one of the things I love about the series are the occasional asides as Frank narrates his thought processes. I don't see that very often in a TV show, and of course Kevin Spacey adds just the right punch to it, in my opinion.
I think narration is cheating. I don't like it when they do it in Star Trek. I think if you can't find a way to get what needs to be said on camera, write a book. But, like you said, to each his own.
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Old February 18 2013, 01:22 AM   #18
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Re: Netflix Presents: House of Cards (US) *SPOILERS*

For what it's worth, I didn't care for them either. As reviewers have noted, they're sometimes not necessary; and only sometimes pithy/witty, which would have redeemed them.

Could've had others doing the same thing. I really liked Russo. I'm still bummed at his fate.
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Old February 18 2013, 01:30 AM   #19
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Re: Netflix Presents: House of Cards (US) *SPOILERS*

Well, to be honest, the only one I'm interested in hearing insights from is Frank. Well, maybe Claire, but definitely Frank. We're seeing him in action, and I want to know how he works, what his thought processes are, and I like the method they're using to impart those perspectives. See, TV is a "show me" medium, which means we can only get so far into someone's thoughts without dialogue, and since he's not going to pull a classic "You're going to die so let me tell you my whole plan" stunt, the reasonable thing to do is the occasional 4th wall narrative.
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Old February 18 2013, 02:06 AM   #20
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Re: Netflix Presents: House of Cards (US) *SPOILERS*

Can someone explain just what Kate and the other reporter was trying to get on Underwood? That he covered up the dui and hooker for Russo? what's the big deal? That they got Russo to back down on the vote for the ship builders? Happens all the time. Why were they acting like it was such a big deal?
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Old February 18 2013, 02:24 AM   #21
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Re: Netflix Presents: House of Cards (US) *SPOILERS*

plynch wrote: View Post
For what it's worth, I didn't care for them either. As reviewers have noted, they're sometimes not necessary; and only sometimes pithy/witty, which would have redeemed them.

Could've had others doing the same thing. I really liked Russo. I'm still bummed at his fate.
Then the reviewers haven't seen the original where FU would often break the fourth wall.

And God help them if they ever have to review Shakespeare.
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Old February 18 2013, 05:51 AM   #22
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Re: Netflix Presents: House of Cards (US) *SPOILERS*

HaventGotALife wrote: View Post
J. Allen wrote: View Post
^ While I realize to each their own, one of the things I love about the series are the occasional asides as Frank narrates his thought processes. I don't see that very often in a TV show, and of course Kevin Spacey adds just the right punch to it, in my opinion.
I think narration is cheating. I don't like it when they do it in Star Trek. I think if you can't find a way to get what needs to be said on camera, write a book. But, like you said, to each his own.
The difference though is that this isn't narration... it's breaking the fourth wall. Frank is talking directly to us, as if we were in the room with him and witnessing his acts. Narration is a completely different storytelling device, and could be a third party observer or it could be the thoughts of a character in retrospect. I think it's well done in this series, and it's not entirely done with verbal cues. Frank gives knowing glances to the camera as well, without having to say a word. An omnipresent observer can't give a knowing glance to the camera.
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Old February 18 2013, 08:33 AM   #23
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Re: Netflix Presents: House of Cards (US) *SPOILERS*

Marc wrote: View Post
plynch wrote: View Post
For what it's worth, I didn't care for them either. As reviewers have noted, they're sometimes not necessary; and only sometimes pithy/witty, which would have redeemed them.

Could've had others doing the same thing. I really liked Russo. I'm still bummed at his fate.
Then the reviewers haven't seen the original where FU would often break the fourth wall.

And God help them if they ever have to review Shakespeare.
Shakespeare didn't have a camera. And usually the character was all alone.
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Old February 18 2013, 08:42 AM   #24
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Re: Netflix Presents: House of Cards (US) *SPOILERS*

tighr wrote: View Post
HaventGotALife wrote: View Post
J. Allen wrote: View Post
^ While I realize to each their own, one of the things I love about the series are the occasional asides as Frank narrates his thought processes. I don't see that very often in a TV show, and of course Kevin Spacey adds just the right punch to it, in my opinion.
I think narration is cheating. I don't like it when they do it in Star Trek. I think if you can't find a way to get what needs to be said on camera, write a book. But, like you said, to each his own.
The difference though is that this isn't narration... it's breaking the fourth wall. Frank is talking directly to us, as if we were in the room with him and witnessing his acts. Narration is a completely different storytelling device, and could be a third party observer or it could be the thoughts of a character in retrospect. I think it's well done in this series, and it's not entirely done with verbal cues. Frank gives knowing glances to the camera as well, without having to say a word. An omnipresent observer can't give a knowing glance to the camera.
I don't know who's technically right here, and I didn't look it up before responding, honestly I don't care. The fact is that when you break the fourth wall or narrate like this, it is taking you out of the world, and it is jarring for me. I'm in the middle of a scene, trying understand subtext and pay attention to the acting performances and what's in frame for clues and suddenly, mysteriously, he turns to me and says exactly what is on his mind. I don't need to pay attention to this scene because he'll tell me what's important about it. It's either redundant or it's lazy to not somehow work his motivations into the scene. Choose one--exposition and context for the scene or show me the scene. Don't do both.

It's overused and it gets tired fast. I may not be the smartest person in most rooms I walk into, but this makes me feel like the audience is supposed to be stupid. It's less than this show needs.
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Old February 18 2013, 08:47 AM   #25
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Re: Netflix Presents: House of Cards (US) *SPOILERS*

HaventGotALife wrote: View Post
tighr wrote: View Post
HaventGotALife wrote: View Post

I think narration is cheating. I don't like it when they do it in Star Trek. I think if you can't find a way to get what needs to be said on camera, write a book. But, like you said, to each his own.
The difference though is that this isn't narration... it's breaking the fourth wall. Frank is talking directly to us, as if we were in the room with him and witnessing his acts. Narration is a completely different storytelling device, and could be a third party observer or it could be the thoughts of a character in retrospect. I think it's well done in this series, and it's not entirely done with verbal cues. Frank gives knowing glances to the camera as well, without having to say a word. An omnipresent observer can't give a knowing glance to the camera.
I don't know who's technically right here, and I didn't look it up before responding, honestly I don't care. The fact is that when you break the fourth wall or narrate like this, it is taking you out of the world, and it is jarring for me. I'm in the middle of a scene, trying understand subtext and pay attention to the acting performances and what's in frame for clues and suddenly, mysteriously, he turns to me and says exactly what is on his mind. I don't need to pay attention to this scene because he'll tell me what's important about it. It's either redundant or it's lazy to not somehow work his motivations into the scene. Choose one--exposition and context for the scene or show me the scene. Don't do both.

It's overused and it gets tired fast. I may not be the smartest person in most rooms I walk into, but this makes me feel like the audience is supposed to be stupid. It's less than this show needs.
Not trying to make you feel wrong or bad, but how has the 4th wall reference been overused in dramatic teleplay? To be honest, I've watched a lot of television over the years, and rarely have I ever seen it. This show is the first instance in years where I've seen it employed.

As for submersive storytelling, the asides to the viewer don't take me out of the story. If anything, they pull me in further because I get to be privy to Frank's thoughts and motives while he's deceiving the hell out of his targets.
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Old February 18 2013, 09:20 AM   #26
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Re: Netflix Presents: House of Cards (US) *SPOILERS*

J. Allen wrote: View Post
HaventGotALife wrote: View Post
tighr wrote: View Post
The difference though is that this isn't narration... it's breaking the fourth wall. Frank is talking directly to us, as if we were in the room with him and witnessing his acts. Narration is a completely different storytelling device, and could be a third party observer or it could be the thoughts of a character in retrospect. I think it's well done in this series, and it's not entirely done with verbal cues. Frank gives knowing glances to the camera as well, without having to say a word. An omnipresent observer can't give a knowing glance to the camera.
I don't know who's technically right here, and I didn't look it up before responding, honestly I don't care. The fact is that when you break the fourth wall or narrate like this, it is taking you out of the world, and it is jarring for me. I'm in the middle of a scene, trying understand subtext and pay attention to the acting performances and what's in frame for clues and suddenly, mysteriously, he turns to me and says exactly what is on his mind. I don't need to pay attention to this scene because he'll tell me what's important about it. It's either redundant or it's lazy to not somehow work his motivations into the scene. Choose one--exposition and context for the scene or show me the scene. Don't do both.

It's overused and it gets tired fast. I may not be the smartest person in most rooms I walk into, but this makes me feel like the audience is supposed to be stupid. It's less than this show needs.
Not trying to make you feel wrong or bad, but how has the 4th wall reference been overused in dramatic teleplay? To be honest, I've watched a lot of television over the years, and rarely have I ever seen it. This show is the first instance in years where I've seen it employed.

As for submersive storytelling, the asides to the viewer don't take me out of the story. If anything, they pull me in further because I get to be privy to Frank's thoughts and motives while he's deceiving the hell out of his targets.
It's not overused in television, it's overused in House of Cards. I apologize for not making that clear. And I'm glad that you found it useful.
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Old February 18 2013, 09:28 AM   #27
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Re: Netflix Presents: House of Cards (US) *SPOILERS*

HaventGotALife wrote: View Post
It's not overused in television, it's overused in House of Cards. I apologize for not making that clear. And I'm glad that you found it useful.
Ah, okay. My mistake for not seeing that.
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Old February 18 2013, 03:50 PM   #28
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Re: Netflix Presents: House of Cards (US) *SPOILERS*

The glances to the camera were more jarring to me. It looks like Michael in The Office.

What reviewers have noted is that they're often just not necessary re. the machinations -- that we already knew what was going on; or that they don't reveal more about the character than we'd have gleaned by watching his actions.

OTOH -- we don't always know ourselves accurately and perhaps the writers intend this to be true for Francis. Maybe we are supposed to be hearing Frank as he views himself, but not as how he objectively is (if such a thing exists). He isn't the perfect manipulator. People surprise and betray him and he screws up on CNN (which, like Apple, must have paid some pretty product placement pennies).
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Old February 18 2013, 04:26 PM   #29
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Re: Netflix Presents: House of Cards (US) *SPOILERS*

I'm cool with breaking the fourth wall in this show. Unless Frank turns to the camera and calls for a timeout, and then rearranges everyone in the room so that they drop their textbooks, I'm good.

::Tighr issues knowing glance towards the reader of this post::
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Old February 23 2013, 08:02 AM   #30
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Re: Netflix Presents: House of Cards (US) *SPOILERS*

Finally finished it - not my favorite series of all time (political machinations usually just bore me, and I rarely enjoy the way journalism is depicted in drama) but very well done. Liked Russo the best, so not sure what will draw me next season other than maybe rooting for Christina and Paul to get revenge?

Is Frank an evil person or is he justified?
How can he be justified if everything he's doing is just for the sake of personal ego? It's a realistic motivation, but not an interesting one, too one-note.

Compare him with other anti-hero characters like Vic Mackey or Dexter Morgan, who are an intriguing mix of selfish and selfless motives. That gives the character more dimensionality, with an internal dramatic conflict that helps generate more kinds of stories and makes them viable over the long haul.

Despite Spacey's riveting performance, I'm not sure how much longer Frank is going to be interesting to me. I feel like I've seen pretty much all there is to him. I guess he could start having a Macbeth-style guilt-induced meltdown. They seem to have started that. So that's good for S2, but beyond that...?

Frank killed a man. That's a quantum leap beyond lying and manipulating.
Yeah, that puts him beyond the pale. It's not Vic Mackey murdering a fellow cop so he can continue his own vigilante brand of street justice or Dexter Morgan murdering a killer because it's a way for him to survive without killing anyone innocent. It was nothing but pure selfishness. Whatever good Frank does is incidental to his utterly selfish motives. He's not remotely sympathetic and too one-dimensional. I'm worried that it's going to get boring fairly quickly.

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