This is about the Netflix show, not the 90s British show of the same name and theme.
I didn't see the British version, only the Kevin Spacy version, but I was blown away in the first 3 minutes. Francis "Frank" Underwood is a master political manipulator, the Democratic Majority Whip. Actually he's a master manipulator. Period.
We begin with the election of a new president, very clearly with Frank's help; Frank even helped the President's Chief of Staff get appointed. Frank expects to be appointed Secretary of State as his reward for all his help to the new president. The president has other plans. At the ninth hour, before Frank believes his appointment is to be announced, Frank learns the president needs him in congress and won't be extending the Secretary of State chair appointment to him.
This is important to the rest of the season and into season 2. Actually, these are the events that drive the entirety of House of Cards. Frank wants revenge for being slighted. He doesn't take kindly to broken promises. But when Frank gets even, it's a blood sport.
House of Cards is a smart, tight, gripping political thriller that takes you on a ride with twists and turns you'd never expect. Just when you think all is lost, Frank Underwood, or as the cufflinks that are gifted to him by a trusted Secret Service agent show, FU pulls not just a rabbit, but an elephant out of his hat.
5 stars. Definitely.