We've all known that annoying dinner party guest who excels at cultural one-upmanship. If someone mentions a movie, they will say it's not a patch on the novel. If you mention that you just returned from Bangkok, they'll tell you it was better in 2006 when they spent a month there during the coup. Let's call it the 'Das Rumpolschk' school of conversation.
So it's become cool over the last few years to profess a preference for the original British House of Cards series to Kevin Spacey's popular remake, now in its third season. Having watched the first two seasons, I still think the American remake is superior, but Christopher Orr's article on why the British are better at satire makes a pretty solid argument against the new version and particularly Spacey's lead character, Frank Underwood:
Underwood has no meaningful ideology or purpose beyond the acquisition of power. Like his predecessor, he occasionally dabbles in homicide, but he poses no evident threat to the body politic itself. Two seasons in, he has not yet sought to start a war or turn back the clock on civil rights or otherwise realign the course of the nation. He’s a pro-Establishment centrist—essentially a southern-fried version of Steny Hoyer, the current Democratic whip. What’s so scary about a guy like that?
But whatever you think of House of Cards v2, it is producing some good satire of its own: