The 2016 presidential election cycle has been full speed ahead for a while now, with much celebration and derision coming from literally everywhere. But there’s only one presidential personality we’re interested in sitting down with for hours at a time, and that’s House of Cards’ Frank Underwood. We’re still a month away from seeing his latest exploits, but Netflix has already put in the order for Season 5, and while that’s obviously great for fans, the 2017 season will unfortunately come together without creator Beau Willimon, who is vacating the role of showrunner.
I hate when exciting news and disappointing news are allowed to co-mingle in such a way. On the one hand, this is excellent for everyone who just can’t get enough of the Underwoods deviously slithering through Washington D.C. The fact that Netflix is renewing the show for a season beyond the one that hasn’t even aired yet is a sure sign of both a loyal viewership – though don’t expect hard numbers to back that up – and the company’s confidence in this political drama being worthy of an extended shelf life.
But on the other hand, Willimon was a big part of why House of Cards is so addictive, even as viewers might be screaming profanities at their TVs and computers over whatever ill-advised plays Frank and Claire decided to run with. A playwright who spun his own Ides of March into an acclaimed film, Willimon turned the original British House of Cards into the rare stellar remake, and his guiding hand gave us everything from Zoe’s demise to the crumbling of the Underwoods’ marriage. Having someone new come in and run/ruin these people’s lives could be hard to adapt to.
Unless, of course, the producers and Netflix execs bring in the perfect replacement for Willimon. I have no idea who that replacement might be, but there are surely many creative minds in Hollywood that could expand this story in a way that pleases even those who feel the show has gone downhill. Perhaps a woman could step in as showrunner to give us more insight into what’s happening with Claire and some of the show’s underutilized female cast members. Or maybe they could bring True Detective’s Nic Pizzolatto in there to make everything even more unnecessarily complicated.
Or hey, why not just promote Kevin Spacey to showrunner? This month has already seen him taking over as a chairman for the on-the-mend Relativity Media. Sure, his writing resume only consists of his passion project Beyond the Sea, but he’s more inside Frank Underwood’s head than anyone else.
House of Cards continues to be Netflix’s longest-running show, beating out the equally popular and quickly renewed Orange is the New Black by a few months, and Season 4 is set to hit Netflix on Friday, March 4. You can find out everything else that’s premiering over the next few months on our midseason TV schedule.