The second season of House of Cards is horribly disappointing.
When I reviewed Season One, I compared it favorably to The West Wing. About its stars, I noted – “… the protagonist Kevin Spacey, who plays a S.C. congressman, is exceedingly cynical and pragmatic, and his wife Robin Wright, who runs a D.C. non-profit, shares his attributes while providing the viewers with wonderful eye candy.” Well, Wright remains wonderful eye candy, but she and her husband in Season Two crossed over the line into intolerable villainy. I’ve always been a sucker for villains, growing up as a fan of Richard Nixon, Archie Bunker, and J.R. Ewing, but Francis and Claire Underwood in Season Two are certifiable sociopaths who I cannot stand. Their sociopathy became obvious early in the season, but I forced myself to watch them to the bitter end. The only saving grace is the emergence of a politician who might eventually bring the Underwoods down – Jackie Sharp as the new House Majority Whip (played by Molly Parker, more eye candy). I can only hope she turns out to have more mettle than JR’s pipsqueak nemeses Bobby Ewing or Cliff Barnes. I give the season only one and a half stars out of four.
Enough Said (2013) is a romantic comedy starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini. Louis-Dreyfus is excellent as good-hearted but somewhat neurotic single mother, which is a variation of her Seinfeld role, while Gandolfini is even better as a warm-hearted, sensitive single dad, which is completely different than his Soprano role. The plot involves Louis-Dreyfus starting to date Gandolfini, who unbeknownst to her is the ex-husband of her new best friend. The plot thickens once she learns of their connection and is more interested in mining the relationship than disclosing it. The Rotten Tomato critics love it at 96%, while the audience is less enthused at 79%. I agree with the critics and give it three and a half stars out of four.