President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) is back and appears to be more cut-throat than ever in the first full trailer for Season 5 of the Netflix series House of Cards. Also starring Robin Wright as Frank Underwood's conniving first lady, Claire Underwood, House of Cards ushered in a new era for Netflix in 2013 when the hard-hitting political drama became the venerable streaming service's first original program.
The show won critical acclaim and industry adulation out of the gate, earning 9 Emmy nominations including Outstanding Drama Series, as well as Outstanding Dramatic Leading Actor and Actress for Spacey and Wright, respectively. The series has been a perennial Emmy nominee since, and judging the quality of the 1 minute 37-second trailer, it appears to be headed toward Emmy glory again.
In Season 4, the underhanded Underwoods went from a face-off against one-another to finding a plausible way to run as husband and wife on the Democratic ticket for president; and this season promises to deliver the thrilling outcome of the faux 2016 election. Released Monday by Netflix, the Season 5 trailer features the narration of Frank Underwood throughout, who in a condescending manner tells Claire that only they know what's best for the American people. In addition to the Underwoods, the trailer focuses on the president's Republican challenger, New York Gov. Will Conway (Joel Kinnaman), and the momentum he had in the race last season has dwindled considerably, as he heads into an election that's too close to call.
House of Cards season 5 also brings back Michael Kelly (White House Chief of Staff Doug Stamper), Jayne Atkinson (Secretary of State Jean Durant) and Paul Sparks (Underwood biographer Thomas Yates), as well as Boris McGiver – whose former newspaper editor character Tom Hammerschmidt in the trailer still appears to be primed to bring the Underwoods down.
While Frank Underwood's bite in Seasons 2-4 hasn't been as strong as it was as the murderous senator-turned-vice president in Season 1, the teaser looks to find the perpetually scheming career politician back in form in Season 5. The scenes in the new trailer make the presidential race to be as divisive as it was in real-life last year, and it will be interesting to see how the replacements (Melissa James Gibson and Frank Pugliese) for House of Cards creator and showrunner Beau Willimon (who left after Season 4 – possibly not on his own accord) has crafted this season to resemble the events of one of the most controversial elections in history.
While the show is bound to hold up its high standards from a production and acting standpoint, the only peril the show faces is potential political fatigue – especially since the coverage of the presidency by news outlets has only seemed to have intensified, since Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in November.
The saving grace for the series when Willimon was in charge was that the show about politics rarely got political. Willimon showed the effects of poisonous corruption on both sides of the aisle during his tenure, which was probably as close to the truth as any political drama on TV had ever gotten. Fans can only hope that James Gibson and Pugliese will do the same when the Season 5 arrives May 30.
House of Cards season 5 becomes available for streaming on Netflix May 30th.