More broadly, the series has always operated within an exaggerated version of politics, wedding echoes of real-world scenarios (a former First Lady ascending to the Oval Office, nefarious Russians and rebellious cabinet members) with the lavish trappings of a classy soap opera. Perhaps that’s why news anchors and pundits remain eager to appear in cameos, even if most of them demonstrate that they’re more adept at their day jobs than acting.
Wright certainly provides a commanding presence at the center of the maelstrom, again demonstrating a mix of grit and ruthlessness that made Claire every bit Frank’s match. Still, Spacey’s situation isn’t the only off-screen event to intrude on the show’s florid imaginings, with the Trump administration having seemingly done all it can to give even the most over-the-top political dramas a run for their money.
As a practical matter, it’s easy to see why those associated with “House of Cards” wanted to keep it going, if only to provide this signature series — which, along with “Orange is the New Black,” helped put Netflix on the programming map — a more satisfying element of closure.
That said, there’s no escaping the awkwardness that surrounds permeates this sixth and final season — an inevitable byproduct of having to shuffle the deck, creatively speaking, after discarding one of its aces.
“House of Cards” premieres Nov. 2 on Netflix.