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Where Are You, Frank Underwood? An Open Letter to the Sadly Absent Protagonist of ‘House of Cards’

HOC
Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright star as Frank and Claire Underwood in Netflix's "House of Cards."

Note: The following contains spoilers regarding season 3 of Netflix’s “House of Cards.”

Hello, Frank.

Remember us? The viewers? You used to talk to us every episode. What happened to that?

Don’t say you were busy, because we’ve been watching your performance as president—so we all know that’s not true. You make Walker look like an energetic activist. You used to be such a schemer, always manipulating people behind the scenes, stirring up controversy, and making things happen. These days, though, it seems like all you do is sit in your office and try to be a good little public servant.

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You aren’t even a good public servant. Your political plans are absolutely terrible. Your plan for peace in the Middle East is to deploy troops in the Jordan River Valley? Even assuming you could get them installed there (turns out you can’t), what exactly are they going to be doing? Not contributing to the peace process, that’s for sure.

That looks like a great idea compared to your economic plan, though. Solving unemployment by having the government hire everybody? Have you ever taken an economics course? Even assuming this wasn’t a laughable plan, you want to fund it by slashing Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security? Do you realize how many of your voters are too old to work but not too old to collect benefits? How can you possibly think this is politically feasible?

Let’s talk about Jackie now. Remember back when you were a master manipulator, able to get anyone to do what you wanted with a good offer and a little time to talk? So what exactly happened here? You had all the time in the world, a thousand different incentives to offer and you couldn’t muster up the tact to say please and thank you a couple of times? At this point, it’s honestly like you’re a completely different person.

It’s not all your fault, though. You couldn’t have predicted Claire’s sudden decision to go completely off the rails. Most people who’ve been spending their entire adult life working toward a political career don’t abruptly give up on the whole enterprise when they’re just now getting close, but whatever. Claire’s apparently not most people, or rational, or good at being an ambassador…or able to notice someone hanging himself a few feet away from her.

And of course, there’s Thomas. You didn’t need to fire Tom because his book could be politically damaging, you know. You could have fired him because it was bad. The first draft at least seemed to be made up of good stories. The second draft was just a string of semi-connected platitudes about you and Claire. The only damaging information voters would have gotten about you if it had been published is that you have bad taste in novels.

Don’t worry, we’ll come back next season—are not many better original options on Netflix. But would it kill you to say a few lines to the camera now and then?

Sincerely,
Your viewers

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