In 2013, House of Cards, the first show made especially for Netflix was created by Beau Willimon and was based on the 1990 BBC mini-series of the same name. The show, featuring Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey, who played the murderous Democratic American president Frank Underwood, landed dozens of Emmy nominations and won Golden Globes. Now in its sixth and final season, House of Cards has begun without Kevin Spacey.
Last year, after Spacey was accused of multiple sexual assaults (though he is not yet charged) the streaming service pushed Spacey from the show and announced that the eight episodes of season 6 would be the last, and that Frank Underwood would be killed off between seasons.
Sadly, the moment when Frank Underwood realises his crimes have been in vain never arrived. Instead his wife Claire, so lovely in looks, is now President. When the trailer for the final season appeared, Underwood was already in his grave, with Claire, played by Robin Wright, standing over it.
According to Vulture, the writers of House of Cards were in the middle of crafting the final chapters of the show’s operatic showdown between President Claire Underwood and her estranged husband, former President Frank Underwood, when actor Anthony Rapp accused Kevin Spacey of making unwanted sexual advances toward him when he was 14.
“Co-show runners Melissa James Gibson, Frank Pugliese and the show’s five writers had been convening at their New York office since June 2017. They had finished writing nine episodes and outlined 11 out of the 13 overall. While they hadn’t figured out how exactly the epic power battle between Claire (Robin Wright) and Frank (Kevin Spacey) would conclude, they were close,” reported Vulture, adding that the first two episodes of the final season had already been filmed when two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey was alleged of sexual misconduct.
More than a dozen men came forward with similar accusations of sexual assault, sexual harassment and attempted rape against the actor within a week of being accused by Rapp. Some rumors suggested an imminent cancellation, but in the end the most obvious answer was to promote Robin Wright and her character Claire Underwood, who’s set to take over the White House, to the show’s lead.
“The original plans for the show’s final season that was written before the Spacey revelations revolved around Claire coercing Frank into giving her a divorce. Frank would retreat into the background as he fought to keep his hold on the Oval Office with the help of two new characters, the Shepherds, sibling corporate Republican power brokers (essayed by Greg Kinnear and Diane Lane). With their money and influence, the Shepherds controlled Frank Underwood’s White House. But they couldn’t control Claire’s; the season would have pitted Frank against Claire until the bitter end,” noted Vulture.
With the final season of House of Cards available on Netflix, the show is getting mixed reviews. The Hollywood Reporter noted that “the shift in focus from Frank to Claire Underwood is somewhat reinvigorating”, while The Guardian reported that “Spacey’s absence drains the show of strength and energy. Nobody’s relishing the transgression in the way Frank would. Season 6 is a web with no spider at the center”.