House of Cards Season 5 Episode 1 Review #HOConZCafe

I have been a fan of Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, individually, for years before I ever set eyes on House of Cards. Robin Wright had become famous on a daytime soap called Santa Barbara, and followed it up with commendable performances in movies like Forrest Gump. Kevin Spacey, of course, is everyone’s favourite bad guy, and has sent chills up our spine in several movies, including Se7en.

But together, the couple, acting as Francis and Claire Underwood, make a terrific, terrifying, electrifying pair on this drama that rivals the real-life political drama that is playing out in the world right now.

I had been waiting for House of Cards Season 5 for a long time now. And I finally read the words that thrilled me:

Frank Underwood is coming to India with the television premiere of House Of Cards Season 5 on Saturday, 3rd June, 5 PM onwards, only on Zee Café!

Season 4 ended on a suspenseful note with Frank as the President and Claire angling to be his VP. The last episode hinted at terror to come, and Francis & Clare Underwood did not disappoint. They amp up the terror quotient, preying on the fears of their citizens, even as Tom Hammerschmidt continues his investigations into Francis’ crimes committed while he was VP.

On the other side are Will Conway and his wife, the picture perfect couple who’re trying hard to upstage the Underwoods and get into the White House themselves.

Francis Underwood’s demand for a “Declaration of War” in Congress is electrifying, and with each passing moment one can’t help but appreciate the parallels with the real-life president. Claire, however, looks set to wrest more screen-time and control this season. Her character offers a tantalizing combination of femininity and toughness, and I think I’ll learn more from her as the season proceeds.

Thanks to Zee Café for showing this series – one of my most favourite serials ever!

 

Stories & Ads

Since the last time I posted, I’ve had a few published pieces:

This is my first published poem – a fun, light piece aimed at writers and their obsession with big words. I enjoyed writing it and was delighted to see it published in Page & Spine. They showcase excellent fiction as well. Do check out the site and read the stories.

This is my first published YA story. A teenage girl is dragged into a football competition, and is petrified about playing and making a fool of herself. Maybe she will get lucky and not have to play after all, or will she?

Work continues on the Short Story Challenge. I submitted my first sci-fi story to the group and to my surprise it wasn’t torn to shreds. Issues were pointed out gently, of course, which proved quite a relief for me. This was also the longest story I’ve written to date, clocking in at around 4,500 words. This, from a person who couldn’t string together a flash fiction piece even if pressed to do so at gunpoint. As I sent in the story, it dawned on me how I’d grown from writing short pieces devoid of meat to 5000 word tomes that had to be pared down rather than fluffed up. It’s a welcome change, and I hope I can continue in this vein.

When I’m not writing in my spare time, I’m watching TV. The last few months I’ve become engrossed in House of Cards, and Elementary. Both have sharp writing and dialogues, and are a treat to watch. Of course, I’m honing my writing skills watching television! Who says I’m only getting entertained?

Speaking of television, a recent ad quite amused me:

Presenting, the Daddy Cool ad of Blue Star AC:

It reminded me of Christopher Walken’s superb performance in Fatboy Slim’s video:

Enjoy both the masterpieces of dancing!

 

The 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards

On Monday morning as I bustled about the house readying myself to go to office, I caught sight of the Emmy awards airing live on Zee Café. ‘Twas an unexpected treat, so I didn’t succumb to it. I simply picked up my Tata Sky remote, scrolled through the program listing for Zee Café and sure enough, found that it would be repeated, or telecast dead if you prefer, at 8 pm. 

I loved how they kicked things into gear with a Glee-style introduction and then continued in a musical vein throughout. I love Glee, and have become quite addicted to it, but that’s another post for another day. 

I have not been such a keen follower of the Emmys in years before, except for idly glancing at the winners in the paper next day. But thanks to a steady diet of primetime comedy shows like Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, and The Big Bang Theory, I was all set to watch this year’s show and cheer on my favourites. 

Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester winning the Best Supporting Actress award for Comedy made me very happy. What makes Glee such a riot, apart from the wonderful performances, is her act as a lethal, brutal, no-nonsense cheerleading coach. That, and Matthew Morrison who is irresistibly cute. He came arm-in-arm with Tina Fey, another comic genius. Her spoofs on Sarah Palin are legend now, I guess. 

My sister and I were pleasantly surprised to watch Jim Parsons (Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory) win Best actor for Comedy series because we were just discussing the other day about why this serial didn’t win awards. She was extremely pleased that I tipped her off about the show as they featured the great GC many times. He even received the Bob Hope Humanitarian* Award for his work in Haiti, which led us to speculate that he is contemplating a career in politics. He peppered his speech with gentle rebukes to celebrities who don’t use their power for social causes (“Don’t look around, you know who you are!”). 

Host Jimmy Fallon’s act at Elton John singing about 24 had me in splits.

Now before the show started, I didn’t remember that it was divided into five categories – Comedy, Variety, Drama, Reality and Movie and Mini-series. So around ten-thirty when the Movie and Mini-series segment kicked in, I switched off the light and went to sleep, satisfied that my favourites had won the day. 

*The word ‘humanitarians’ always reminds me of the PJ: If vegetarians eat vegetables and fruitarians eat fruit, what do humanitarians eat? How do I get this crap joke out of my head?
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