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The upcoming presidential election may be on the forefront of every news cycle, but November of 2016 is still far enough away that many of us prefer to get our tastes of politics from Netflix’s original series House of Cards. Starring Kevin Spacey as the scheming Frank Underwood who manipulated his way into the presidency, one unique characteristic of the show has been Underwood's habit of directly addressing the camera. Recently, however, Spacey revealed that the speeches aren’t so much elegant soliloquies as instructive monologues directed at an off-screen presence: Donald Trump. Check out the admission to Stephen Colbert on The Late Show.
It explains everything. The suspicious dealings, the murky motivations, the disproportionate reactions to slights, the unwillingness to back down even when he probably should… Frank Underwood as Donald Trump’s political advisor explains everything. Sure, Trump lacks the smoothness and self-restraint that has made Frank so terrifying, but he may well compensate by finding a way to be a terrifying candidate for the White House in entirely other ways. Truly, everything is now so much clearer.
And yet, big new questions have arisen. How did Trump make the time to watch thirty hours of Netflix? Has Kevin Spacey made sure to inform Trump that he should only be following his example from House of Cards and not from Se7en? Is Trump’s entire campaign a stunt to stir the pot and keep audiences interested for Season 4 of House of Cards? Is this a new era of collaboration between government and television? There are just so many questions to consider with Kevin Spacey’s revelation.
So, Kevin Spacey was probably joking. He did get a lot of laughs.
In fact, the Late Show interview was pretty great, and Spacey proved himself a smooth interviewee opposite Stephen Colbert as he tied the project that he was pitching into smart topical humor. Indeed, as frustrating as presidential campaign seasons inevitably become every four years, at least late night talk shows have great material to bring the laughs.
Sure, the folks in swing states will be going crazy by the end of 2016, and the red and blue states will have some big purple splotches, but what is more American than staying up into the wee hours of the morning to watch comedians and celebrities lampooning the future leader of the free world? Kevin Spacey’s dig at Donald Trump was fun, funny, and overall harmless in the best way possible as the 2016 presidential election approaches.