The Claire Underwood-Melanie Grant Center For First Ladies Who Run Things

I finished season 3 of House Of Cards, and I really liked the season. Anyone who’s talked about the show with me knows the even though I really like House Of Cards and admire the work that it does, one of my favorite rants is talking about how gendered the response to it is versus the response to Scandal. If you’ll recall this time last year I pitted Olivia against Frank and said that I thought Olivia would come out on top. I still think that, because well, Doug totally failed the Huck test this season. And Remy totally failed the Abby test.

But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about the other storyline that I really loved on House of Cards this year.

Season 3 pretty much did away with any notion that Frank is the main character of this show. Season 3 was about Claire Underwood, it was about her giving up ambition, about sublimating her entire life, a life that was full of potential, to advance her husband.

Hey, do you guys know another character who’s had that plotline for multiple seasons now? I’ll give you a hint! She isn’t on House of Cards and her husband isn’t quite as ruthless as Frank Underwood.

You guessed it! We’re talking about Mellie Grant!

I said back last year, that the real joy of any universe where Scandal and House Of Cards coexisted would be seeing these two interact, but I can’t help but be annoyed that this story, which Shonda Rhimes has been telling excellently, placing in the incredibly competent hands of Bellamy Young, is now probably going to be hailed as “original” and “incredibly interesting,” when being told by Beau Willimon and placed in the also incredibly competent hands of Robin Wright.

It just kind of sucks that these two shows are held to a different standard when they’re doing the same thing. And when one of them did it first and you know that the other one if going to get the credit.

And Huck would still TOTALLY knock Doug on his whiny little ass. And Olivia would still call Frank a “little bitch baby” and then maybe shoot him in the face, because that’s a thing she does now.

But when Frank actually stood and said to Claire, “I had to give that speech without you…it’s time to do you job,” my jaw dropped. THEY DID NOT!

“Other people don’t have that luxury, other people have to get up and go to work, and do their jobs.”

Do you know when this was uttered? This was uttered nearly six months ago, in October, by Abby Whelan to Mellie Grant. There’s something to be said for paralel thinking and I hope this is that, but I still want to point it out. I know a lot of the time the things I write here are just shouting into the void. I get that. But this is a void that needs to be shouted into. I’m not saying that House of Cards or Scandal should change the stories they’re telling, because I like those stories.

I just think it’s time for everyone to sack up and admit that almost everything House Of Cards has “pushed the envelope” on, Scandal did too, and usually first. House Of Cards is revolutionary for it’s distribution model, it’s not revolutionary for content.

3 thoughts on “The Claire Underwood-Melanie Grant Center For First Ladies Who Run Things

  1. Pingback: 60 Books in 2019 #33: I Like To Watch: Arguing My Way Through The TV Revolution by Emily Nussbaum | The Fangirl's Dilemma

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