Tag Archives: house of cards

TV Review – House of Cards – Season 6

As they say in Gaffney, all good things come to an end.

BQB here with a review of “House of Cards.”

You know, 3.5 readers.  There ought to be a rule.  Call it “The Spacey Rule.”  If you’re an actor about to take a role in a compelling TV series that hinges on that role, you should not have allegations of pervery against you.

Spacey’s character, Francis Underwood, a ruthless, cunning politician who bargained, bribed, bought, cajoled, sweet talked, murdered, screwed (literally and figuratively) and worse, convinced many of his victims to do themselves in, was crucial to the series.

Indeed, Claire (Robin Wright Penn) was his partner-in-crime and before Spacey’s alleged pervery was made public, it looked like the show was heading toward an eventual showdown where the President and First Lady would duke it out.

Thus, the writers were boxed in with this last season.  No season without Francis was going to feel satisfying and yet, to not provide some kind of ending would be a letdown as well.

At the beginning of this final season, Claire is in the first 100 days of her presidency.  Diane Lane and Greg Kinnear play a brother/sister team of wealthy business moguls who apparently were bankrolling the Underwoods and expecting favors in return, though this is the first we’ve heard of them.

Francis is dead, ostensibly due to an overdose of prescription medication, though true accidents without someone at fault rarely, if ever, happen on this show, unless some sort of nefarious evildoer wants it to seem that way.

Claire has learned the art of underhanded politics from the master himself and now free of her husband, she wants to make one last series of weaselly doings to secure her power, push out her enemies and, one might assume, make the world a better place?

Her foil is Doug Stamper, Francis’ longtime henchman.  Claire wants to throw Francis’ reputation under the bus to save herself.  Doug wants to save Francis’ legacy.

Claire, the bro/sis team and Doug go all in on a battle royale and indeed, there is a victor but I won’t spoil it for you.

Suffice to say, imagine if you were invited to a fancy dinner at a friend’s house.  You were promised that if you work your way through five courses, each more tasty than the last, you’d eventually get to that final sixth course that would make your toes curl and your taste buds scream out in orgasmic delight.

Then, alas, your friend comes out and says, “Hey, I’m so sorry, my head chef just got fired due to allegations of pervery so I’m not able to serve you that sixth course you long waited for but hey, here is a tasty bag of Funions.”

Sure, you’ll eat the Funions.  You’ll enjoy the Funions but…you’ll always wish that head chef had kept it in his pants so he could have stuck around to make that final filet mignon.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  The writers made the best out of a bad situation and ultimately, Spacey is the one to blame but it’s hard not to think about how satisfying a final Francis-centric season would have been and sigh a sad, defeated sigh.

Tagged , , ,

TV Review – House of Cards – Season 5

As they say in Gaffney, this review is for people who have been watching the show from the beginning and are all caught up.  Otherwise, the SPOILERS will ruin it for you.

BQB here with a review of “House of Cards-Season 5.”

I thought this show had jumped the shark a couple seasons back where Frank and the fictional Russian President had a personal showdown in the desert but I was wrong.  The shark not only jumped this season, it did backflips.

Here are my observations:

#1 – Surprise Murders/Attacks

The show got a lot of bang for its buck when Frank tossed Zoe in front of that moving subway car with literally no warning.  It made for great, disturbing viewing and heightened the stakes, letting you know the show could turn on the drop of a time.

Sadly, now they always seem to be trying to recreate that moment.  Frank pushes Kathy down a flight of stairs at random in the midst of a conversation with her.  Claire kills Yates with her vagina.  Speaking of…

#2 – Claire Did Not Kill a Man with Her Vagina

I thought maybe she had as Yates died mid coitus.  Maybe she had some sort of top secret CIA device inside her cooter but nope, it was poison (in his drink, not in the vagina.)  Still, another surprise murder.  I mean, not really because Yates had threatened the Underwoods and that’s never a good move for your health but I think the sex part was to trick you into thinking Claire was going to let him off the hook but nope, she just wanted one more turn on that penis before Yates bit the big one.

#3 – Elysium Fields

I had mixed thoughts on that.  First, it was funny.  Second, I think we all assume the rich and powerful get together to divide up and rule the country/world but still, to see it unfold brought the show to a different place.  It was creative and fun though.

#4 – Claire Becomes Vice-President/President

I never really bought that.  It could happen but usually if the First Lady is an asset, they just keep her and put her out there more and then try to add a VP who is also an asset.  In other words, if someone is on your team and scoring points for you, then you’ve got them, so you just add another person to score points.

#5 – Frank Frames Himself

That was way out of left field and total bullshit.  The whole premise of the show is that Frank does evil shit and then does more evil shit to get himself off the hook, that if you are willing to do the most evil shit then you will always win in politics.  He loves power and his own ego so that he’d somehow be willing to hand his wife the presidency and take a powder while she rules seems highly unlikely.

#6 – Claire Acknowledges the Audience

Frank has always had his little asides, breaking the fourth wall to let us in on what he’s up to.  Now Claire is doing it, so to me, that seems like the show is moving towards a final showdown between Frank and Claire.  I kind of yearn for the early days when Frank was the boss and Claire his evil consigliere.  That dynamic just seemed to make more sense.

#7 “I’m Fucking You Because I Hate You”

That lady whose husband died so Frank could have his liver knew Doug did it all along and had sex with him because she hated him?  Please.  I’ve had women completely dump me and abandon all contact because I left the toilet seat up or forgot to wash a dish so I can’t imagine the vengeance a woman would have if a liver was involved.

8 – Real TV Reporters

Does it ever bother you when real TV reporters make cameos in which they “report” on Frank?  If they’re able to act that well, makes you wonder how much of the real news involves acting.

9 – It’s getting boring.

I try not to get too deep into the weeds on some of the more complex conspiracy theories.  At this point if they say it happened then it happened.  I can’t keep track of it all.

10 – It should wrap up soon.

I feel like they’ve gone as far as they can go.  It should probably end with Claire besting Frank or maybe they both take each other out in one last Mr and Mrs Smith style battle royale to the finish.

Your thoughts, 3.5 readers?






Tagged , , ,

Loss of Productivity

Should have written more novel this weekend.

Alas, been binge watching House of Cards instead.

Tagged , , ,

House of Cards – How to Talk Like Frank Underwood


“I want some cereal.”

TRANSLATION: As they say in Gaffney, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”  And as the President of the United States, my days are more important than those of the average man.  But which cereal, pray tell, should I feast upon as a prelude to this glorious morn?

Captain Crunch?  Hardly seems worth the time of a man of my stature.  Why would a sea captain be so interested in cereal anyway?  It boggles the mind.

Lucky Charms?  Bland oats and sugary marshmallows.  My teeth hurt just thinking about it and really, is there such a thing as luck?  I’ve gotten where I am through sheer will and determination.  Dumb luck had nothing to do with it.

Fruity Pebbles?  As delightful as it would be to watch my milk turn various colors I must resist as this Flintstones themed product harkens my mind back to prehistoric times – the days when a man was allowed to be a man.  If he wanted food, he killed it.  If he wanted something, he took it.  And if he wanted a woman, he took her.

Oh how I would have been a god had I lived amongst early man.  It’s best to not remind myself about what I missed out on.

Perhaps I’ll just have some Kashi Go Lean. Mix in some fruit.  Full of fiber. Good for the bowels.  Cleanses them of their deepest, darkest secrets, the things you don’t want anyone else to know about, the things everyone has done but ironically, no one would ever forgive you for.

Also, it helps you poop.



Tagged , , , , , , ,

Special Guest Book Reviewer Frank Underwood

Bookshelf Battlers, I’m pleased to announce that Frank Underwood, Fictional President of the United States in the House of Cards world, has agreed to be a guest book reviewer today.  I interviewed him earlier this week to get his thoughts on the timeless children’s classic, Green Eggs and Ham, by the incomparable Dr. Seus.  Here is the transcript of that interview:

FRANK UNDERWOOD (LOOKS DIRECTLY INTO THE CAMERA):  As they say in my hometown of Gaffney,

Planning to read and review the House of Cards novel by Michael Dobbs soon.  Until then, enjoy Frank's review of Green Eggs and Ham.

Planning to read and review the House of Cards novel by Michael Dobbs soon. Until then, enjoy Frank’s review of Green Eggs and Ham.

South Carolina, if you’re going to do something, do it big.  So why on earth would I ever allow myself to be featured on a book blog that only has 3.5 people reading it?

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER:  Mr.  President, thank you for agreeing to this interview.

FRANK UNDERWOOD:  (TO ME)  No problem, sir.  Why frankly, book blogs such as yours contribute to this great nation’s literacy and educational efforts.  (TO CAMERA)  They have another saying in Gaffney. Time is money and my time?  It’s very valuable.  For allowing my precious moments to circle round and round the drain of eternity only to be swallowed by the sewer of oblivion, I’ll have this wannabe writer dispatched posthaste.  It will look like an accident and the world will be none the wiser.

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER:  Mr. President, who are you talking to?

FRANK UNDERWOOD:  What?  Oh, no one in particular. I just like to break the fourth wall from time to time.

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER:  So  – Green Eggs and Ham.  What did you think?

FRANK UNDERWOOD:  To try new things or to stay with the same old same old is the raisone d’etre of this childish farce from a man who, between you and me, had very questionable doctor’s credentials.  I don’t believe I ever saw him perform a single surgery.   However, his credentials as a bona fide scribe are without question.  I enjoyed it thoroughly.

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER:  Did you learn any lessons you’d like to share with my 3.5 readers?

FRANK UNDERWOOD:  Why, I’m glad you asked.  People should open their minds.  To remain steadfast to old, worn out traditions  is to become irrelevant. I’m all about trying new things. My wife Claire and I try new things all the time…  (TO CAMERA) – …usually with Meechum.

(UNDERWOOD’S PHONE RINGS.  BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER was able to obtain a transcript of the following exchange between the President and the First Lady.  A sawbuck to Doug Stamper may or may not have been involved)

CLAIRE:  Frank, how is the interview going?  Are you informing bookshelfbattle.com’s 3.5 readers about why they need to read The Lorax?

FRANK:  I’m sorry, dear.  I changed it to Green Eggs and Ham at the last minute.

CLAIRE:  But we talked about this!  We agreed that a review of The Lorax would be more conducive to my non-profit environmental efforts!

FRANK:  The Lorax is an unwashed hippie, Claire.  Running around, talking gibberish, trying to shut down corporations that keep the working man employed.  I’m sorry Claire, but association with the Lorax is a no go.  Joey the Dog’s reluctant yet eventually compliant spirit of can do enthusiasm is exactly what my presidency needs.

CLAIRE:  Reluctant yet eventually compliant…

FRANK:  I know.  Sounds like the night we spent with Meechum.

(FRANK hangs up the phone)

FRANK:  Where were we?

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER:  Discussing Green Eggs and Ham.

FRANK:  Ahh yes.  Now sir, philosophers may disagree about the socioeconomic strategies vis a vis green food products but I for one…

(My phone rings)

BOOKSHELF Q.  BATTLER:  I’m sorry, Mr. President.  Hold that thought.  Hello?

CLAIRE:  Bookshelf Q. Battler, this is the first lady.  You need to tank Frank’s review of Green Eggs and Ham, but never let it be known I had anything to do with it.  You need to put up a review of The Lorax in its place.


(I hang up my phone).

FRANK:  (TO THE CAMERA)  Kept waiting by a wordpress wonder.  The indignity.  (TO ME) Now then, if we could discuss Sam I Am’s place in the literary world, I think we’ll find that…

(My phone rings again)

BOOKSHELF Q.  BATTLER:  Mr. President, I’m so sorry.  One moment.  Hello?

REMY DANTON:  Mr. Battler.  Remy Danton, big time Washington lobbyist here.  We need to talk.  Listen, cancel Underwood’s review of Green Eggs and Ham.  What the American people really want is a review of The Cat in the Hat.

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER:  You think so?

REMY DANTON:  I know so.  A magical cat whisks a pair of children into a fantasy filled with wonder and make-believe.  Your 3.5 regular readers will find that much more enjoyable.  For Christ Sake’s, you might even get yourself on Reddit.  That’s the big time for book bloggers.

BOOKSHELF Q.  BATTLER:  I’ll think about it.

(I hang up.  My phone rings again)

FRANK:  Oh, don’t mind me, I’m just looking through some files while I wait.  (TO CAMERA) And also plotting as to which dumpster your bloated corpse will find itself in.


RAYMOND TUSK:  Hello, Mr. Battler.  This is Raymond Tusk, a highly influential rich man who bears a striking resemblance to Major Dad.  Listen, Frank Underwood is trying to shove Green Eggs and Ham down your throat and Remy Danton is trying to stick the Cat in the Hat up your you know what.  Ignore both those losers and offer your readers a review of Horton Hears a Who.


RAYMOND TUSK:  Son, trying new things is overrated.  Do you know why eggs turn green?  Mold.  Eggs turn green when they are moldy.  Let me ask you a question.  Have you ever eaten a moldy egg?


RAYMOND TUSK:  Of course not.  And do you know why?


RAYMOND TUSK:  Because you don’t need to shove a pile of mold in your mouth in order to realize it would taste awful.  Some things that are new to you should never be experienced because you already have a built-in sense that certain things are better left untried.


(I hang up)

FRANK:  (TO CAMERA)  As they say in Gaffney, sometimes you need to stick your hand up a book blogger’s posterior and work him like a puppet.  (TO ME)  Level with me son.  You’ve got my wife demanding that you review The Lorax. I know you’d never do that because you’re smart enough to realize that no one cares what that walrus mustached clown has to say.


FRANK:  That two-bit hack Remy Danton wants you to review The Cat in the Hat.  Imagine.  A six foot tall anthropomorphic feline waltzes right into a home uninvited and proceeds to encourage the unattended children to engage in all sorts of tomfoolery.  Why, the fish is the only voice of reason in the entire publication.  Where on earth were the children’s parents amidst all of this foolishness?  I’ve a good mind to call social services.

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER:  I have always sided with the fish.  Except for one book I wrote and tried to turn into a movie.

FRANK:  And Horton Hears a Who?  An elephant who believes he talks to tiny people.  That book is absolute madness and has no business offending your 3.5 readers’ eyes.

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER:  Agreed.  Green Eggs and Ham it is.

FRANK:  Delightful.  Now, how are you getting home?  Do you need a car?  Scratch that.  You should just take the train…

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER:  Ummm….I’m fine.  I think I’ll just walk.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Joey the Dog is the actual name of the guy that Sam I Am tries to feed green eggs and ham to.  I had to look it up.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

As they say in Gaffney…

There will be a special guest on bookshelfbattle.com this Friday Feb. 27 in honor of the release of House of Cards Season 3 on Netflix.

All 3.5 of you should clear your schedules.


Tagged , , , , , ,