4 Ways to Improve Your Character: House of Cards Edition


By Kiley Peters. I was turned on to House of Cards (a television series about government politics created exclusively for Netflix) last year and with the little time I have available to watch television, I became obsessed. I would "treat" myself with an episode at the end of a 12-14 hour work day and would revel in its glory. However, for those of you who are fans as well, isn't it a little uncanny how popular this show is when the whole thing is built on deceit and lies? When I first met The Underwoods, I loved them. Frank and Claire were model citizens and people I respected. However, as the episodes carried on, I realized they were just playing this game of politics to win and they played this Game of Thrones in all the right (or wrong) ways and ended up seated on a throne of lies! (See what I did there?)

That being said, today, season three debuts and it's sure to be a doozy. But in an effort to continue to uphold each of our own moral codes (as Frank and Clare have failed so miserably to do) let's take a look at four ways (with the assistance of the 10 Commandments - because why not?) that you can easily improve your character and teach Frank and Claire a few lessons. (Spoiler alerts)

  1. Thou shalt not lie. I mean, do we even need to get into this one? The entire show is based on lies built upon more lies that slept with more lies. Like that time Claire lied about her abortion or Doug Stamper lied about the prostitute (a lot of good that did him - see below). Do yourself a favor and live your life in a way that gives you no regrets so next time someone asks you a question you don't have to lie or keep secrets. Telling the truth is a much easier story to keep straight.
  2. Thou shalt not steal. Or scheme to take over the presidency of the United States. Frank and Claire played it pretty slick setting up the president and first lady to be succeeded quicker than anticipated. But it was all very carefully plotted. Moral of the story: don't take things that aren't yours and play fair.
  3. Thou shalt not commit adultery. That one time (or many times) Frank cheated on Claire with Zoe Barnes just to have a press insider. Or what about the love affair between Claire and Adam Galloway, the sexy photographer, that Claire and Frank ended up framing and blackmailing? How about everyone just stops sleeping around with married people? So take that as a lesson - avoid being the mistress and avoid being the cheating spouse. Let's all just be nice and considerate to one another, ok? Ok, thanks.
  4. Thou shalt not murder. Frank has a nice way of getting rid of people when he's done with them - aka buh-bye Zoe (I stand much further from the edge of the subway stations now) and so long Peter Russo. And even though sometimes it happens on accident (Doug Stamper?) it still doesn't make it ok. While Frank is responsible for these first two murders, Claire was definitely an accomplice. So yes, another way to improve your character: don't kill people and don't be an accomplice to murder. Should be easy enough.