Mad Men, House of Cards, and The Killing

Last week our daughter and granddaughter went on a trip for a week. We did not have the money for the vacation that we had planned (curse you septic system!) so, for the most part, we spent the week at home. No cross-country travel. No exotic destinations. No McKay’s.

House of CardsIt did give us the time to finally catch the American version of House of Cards. The BBC set of miniseries is excellent (House of Cards, To Play the King, Final Cut) and Ian Richardson is wonderful as Francis Urquhart. I was worried that the American version would not be very good as remakes seldom are.

I was quite wrong. Kevin Spacey is splendid as southern politician Francis Underwood. The politics are quite a bit different so this is more of a re-imagining but it is a good one. We blazed through the entire series of thirteen episodes and look forward to season two at some point.

Mad MenAfter House of Cards, we blazed through the thirteen episodes of season five of Mad Men. I think Mad Men gets better with every season. The story, dialogue, and acting are great but the set design and costuming are so wonderful that they often distract you. My only quibble was a decision made by Don in the twelfth episode that seemed a little arbitrary. While I love Jon Hamm, this season was clearly an ensemble piece and not The Don Draper Show.

The KillingWe actually had some time left over so we started The Killing. We are only eight episodes into the first season but find it to be an excellent and clever show, albeit one that moves at a snail’s pace.