REVIEW: House of Cards Season 6 Should Practice What It Preaches
House of Cards season 6 doesn’t play around. Instead it gets straight to the point: it’s time for women to finally take the lead. In the final season of the series we watch as Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) take the lead after Kevin Spacey was fired from the show due to sexual assault allegations.
Frank Underwood is finally dead, and we watch as Claire struggles to keep her job as the President of the United States due to sexism and misogyny. We watch on and on as she battles, not necessarily for power, which Frank easily did, but to simply do her job as a President. The show gives us new enemies for the season: Shepherd family. The new enemy is rich and powerful and represents the patriarchy Claire has to fight against. The frustration is real, especially for the first couple of episodes out of only 8. We constantly wait for that moment we’ve all been used to in the previous seasons, where the Underwood’s brutally strike back. But with Claire it’s a little different. We witness her being pressure and ‘guided’ by men around her; as men physically lead her hand to sign agreements she doesn’t want to; as no one gives her simple and direct answers to her questions. However unsurprisingly she strikes back harder than ever. Claire finally lives what she deserves. She does things what every woman would dream of doing if president and what every male president has done before, but because she’s a woman it feels revolutionary, when it’s actually the norm for men. We finally get to see Claire in the shining spotlight, instead of being one of the women behind a man’s back.
The show truly emphasises on what it means to be a woman in season 6. It doesn’t just put more female characters, instead it looks and comments on women in workplaces, women in power, women in family. However, the show isn’t short of flaws. Like many other TV shows, House of Cards focus is once again on white women. A white woman is the president of USA, her companions are white women, her colleagues are white women, her enemies are white women. Ironically the previous seasons were more diverse. This unfortunately tells women that we can’t have two things at the same time. We can’t have women in power and have them diverse. And like many productions House of Cards easily makes its choice and they really put it out there.
Wright has done a great job and she easily carries on the series by herself. Claire hasn’t lost a single characteristic and we get to see even more intimate moments of her life. The series truly focuses on Claire now. However, one thing the show fails to deliver is the part behind the scenes. While using #MYTURN to promote female empowerment in the series, the show fails to deliver it with the people working behind the camera. Out of the 8 episodes only 4 of them are directed by women and all of them are white women. Out of the 7 writers only 3 of them are women and once again all 3 are white women. House of Cards fails to practice what it preaches. We need the same effort of diversity behind the camera as well as on camera. It’s easy writing and acting out female empowerment, but actually putting it into work is where House of Cards disappoints. It seems the feminism the film promotes only exists in fiction.