“House of Cards began as a fun-house-mirror reflection of Washington, an outlandish sendup decked out in the pinstripes-and-Prada props of real-life politics. This Netflix series about a conniving congressman wasn’t realistic, but it was sly and knowing enough to pass as a naughty behind-the-scenes peek at government,” the New York Times notes.
“Fittingly enough, the first several episodes of Season 3 are weighed down with the same burden that bedevils real politicians when they come to power: After all the campaign high jinks and maneuvering come to an end, it’s time to actually govern.”
“And policy is not nearly as sexy and exciting. As a result, the series, whose new episodes all debut on Friday, gets off to a surprisingly sluggish start. The pace picks up and the subplots thicken by the fourth episode, and by the fifth the series recaptures some of its early panache, but given that there are only about 13 hours per season, that’s quite a slow windup. Viewers who intend to feast on the entire season should beware: Before dessert, there’s a heavy, overcooked first course that is hard to swallow.”