It seems like just yesterday Netflix introduced curious viewers to ruthless politicos Frank (Kevin Spacey) and Claire Underwood (Robin Wright). After three deliciously twisted seasons, Frank sits in the seat of power as House of Cards returns this spring. And with a new addition to the cast in Neve Campbell, fans are steeling themselves for another round of political intrigue and ruthless power grabs from this award-winning series.
After season 3 began with Frank Underwood declared the acting president, it was obvious – for all his backroom dealings and murderous schemes – he had no intentions of giving up power. Unfortunately for the interim president, America is a democracy. So, he’ll have to cast his hat into the ring just like everyone else.
And Underwood for President 2016 is where we’ll pick up season 4 of House of Cards on March 4, 2016. Cleverly released during the Republican debates on Tuesday, Netflix aired the latest teaser, a full-blown satire of typical campaign ads. The faux TV spot was laced with all the saccharine Americana expected during election time, including movie trailer voiceovers, military families hugging, fighter planes soaring, and multicultural children running through a field of grain with their flags rippling in the breeze.
The 30-second ad ends with Spacey’s wry smile, as his voiceover proclaims: “America, I’m only getting started.” It’s an effective teaser for season 4, especially due to its placement during the primary debates. The parody ad is also coupled with the release of an ‘election’ website, featuring a massive image of Underwood’s snide face hovering above the tongue-in-cheek campaign slogan, "FU 2016." The website, constructed like a political website with updates about Underwood and Chief of Staff, Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly), a media kit, and scrolling slogans, is a smart bit of promotion which will likely appeal to fans of the series and the election-news-hungry crowds as well.
Season 4 will presumably follow Frank Underwood’s attempt to claim a second term and the spider's web of machinations he constructs to maintain his power. Season 3 also ended with the Underwood’s marriage on the rocks, something of great importance to Underwood as he seeks reelection – since divorced and single candidates are rarely viable candidates in U.S. presidential campaigns. It will also be interesting to see how Neve Campbell’s recurring role impacts the course of the 2016 elections, since early speculation has her either playing a political opponent or an antagonist of another sort.
Since season 3 was a bit of a mixed bag, seeing the show depart from plot devices like Spacey's mise-en-scene shattering monologues, and garnered an uncertain fan response, season 4 may be House of Cards’ watershed year. If season 4 can effectively deliver more of the great character drama and development fans desire, and answer a few lingering questions – like Stampers’ peculiar behavior, for instance – House of Cards may stick around for several more seasons than its across-the-pond namesake.
House of Cards season 4 will debut March 4th, 2016 on Netflix.