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YMMV: House of Cards (US)
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: While Lucas' investigation with Connor was deemed by some as one of the less interesting aspects of Season 2, it's nonetheless extremely chilling to see him so coldly sent off to prison. An inmate even spits blood on his face on his first day incarcerated, and the guards don't even show him any sympathy after it happens. The fact that he ends up getting discredited so that no one aside from Janine believes him makes it an even more dire case of this.
  • Award Snub: Corey Stoll's performance as Peter Russo was seen as the highlight of the first season by many, yet he ended up being one of the few things not to earn a nomination at the 2013 Emmys.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Claire goes on her morning jog, taking a route through a cemetery. Halfway through, she runs into an old lady who chides her for disrespecting the dead. It freaks Claire out a bit and that's about it. Nothing much comes of it, other than adding to the minor theme of respecting the dead that episode had.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Some viewers have complained that the show becomes difficult to watch after a while because many non-deserving people ( such as Peter, Zoe, Lucas, Freddie, and Adam) end up with their lives ruined or are even killed because of the Underwoods. The Underwoods, meanwhile, only gain more and more political power as the show goes on.
  • Faux Symbolism: The scene with Underwood confronting a screaming, deranged homeless man trying to get into the congressional office building. He says: "Nobody can hear you. Nobody cares about you. Nothing will come of this." The homeless man could be seen as a representation of the American people, whose interests never play a part in Underwood's calculations throughout the series.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Peter Russo
  • Magnificent Bastard: Frank Underwood, the man knows every trick in the book and then some more of his own invention. He amorally trumps everybody with style.
  • Moral Event Horizon: While hardly a Boy Scout to begin with, Underwood only definitely crosses it in chapters 10 and 11, where he orchestrates Russo's publicly falling off the wagon, and then murders him when he becomes a threat. To make things worse, it's heavily implied that all of it (except probably the murder) was part of the plan all along.
  • Narm: Some of the scenes where Frank is being his intimidating self are a bit much. The scene where he towers over Russo demanding his "complete, unquestioning loyalty" comes to mind.
  • The Scrappy: Some viewers were less then riveted by the Lucas the Hacker arc in season 2.
  • Villain Sue: In the first season, Frank is about a billion times smarter and more competent than anyone who does, or might, stand in his way; only Raymond Tusk comes close to being a credible threat, and when he and Frank are in open opposition to one another, the problem fixes itself within an episode.
    • Gets a bit better in the second season, as several pawns start to realize Frank is a completely untrustworthy Smug Snake, and Frank has to deal with opponents he can't easily charm, bribe, or bypass. He still wins, though, and repeatedly manages to persuade people who really should know better.
  • The Woobie:
    • Peter Russo.
    • The Walkers' life is repeatedly poisoned by the Underwoods, but they still consider them genuine friends.
    • Pity poor Freddy.
    • Lucas.
    • Adam, as of the end of Season 2.
    • Poor Rachel becomes the epitome of this trope.

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