House Of Cards (UK) “To Play The King Episode One”

We may be stepping into virgin territory here.  I’ve seen the American version, obviously, but here we have a second four-part mini-series where current Prime Minister Francis Urquhart has to deal with something Frank Underwood never had to worry about:  a king.

Yes, it seems the old, unnamed queen has passed away and the crown has passed to her son.  The new king, well, he has some ideas.

It’s an interesting premise.  The modern day English monarch does retain some powers, but mostly the job these days is completely symbolic.  Technically, there’s nothing really wrong with a king weighing in on various issues, but traditionally the modern monarch doesn’t really get involved.  But this time around, Francis is dealing with a king who wants to fix some social issues, and given Francis’ own more conservative politics, he doesn’t care much for that.  But what can a prime minister do against a king that doesn’t want to sit idly by and stay above it all while “his” government does the actual business of running the country?

That’s an interesting question on multiple levels.  While I am sure Francis will prevail, and it seems his ambitious wife Elizabeth is completely behind him, the king isn’t exactly someone you can box in.

Besides, Francis actually feels guilty for dumping Mattie off the roof of that building.  Maybe he’ll feel differently when he finds out she recorded all their conversations and someone got the tape.

In the meantime, he has a new blonde assistant type to talk to thanks to his wife, a conservative pundit named Sarah Harding, and to emphasize that there are people who haven’t gotten the benefit of whatever economic upswing Francis has presided over, we see plenty of homeless people.

See, if Frank Underwood ever seemed to actually matter on the American version, maybe it would work better.

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