House of Cards: "Simply a bad show"

Alan Sepinwall of has seen every episode of Netflix's popular series House of Cards, and he's just not able to hop on the bandwagon:

And by the time I finished watching the second season, most of it within the space of a few days, I had come to the conclusion that it's simply a bad show with the pretensions of a good one — a USA show that's bad because it thinks it's an HBO show.

Later, he adds:

"House of Cards" wants very much to be an Important Show about the intersection of power and government and media and business, and about the depths people will sink to in order to hang onto what's theirs. It has the veneer of that kind of show, with a polished look crafted by David Fincher, then maintained by later directors. It has a two-time Oscar-winner as its star in Kevin Spacey, an impressive co-star in Robin Wright as his wife Claire, and an ensemble made up of actors who played roles big and small in some of the great cable dramas of this century. It has all the trappings of quality.

But "Cards" is really a sleazy potboiler about a sociopath politician who will do anything to get what he wants, and about the line of amazingly stupid people briefly standing in his way.

In principal, I'm with Sepinwall on this one. While I can't go so far as to say that it's "a bad show" (his "USA show" barb is preposterous), I definitely have trouble buying into House of Cards the way that so many people, including critics, have after the first two seasons.

My overall verdict is that Netflix tried- perhaps too conspicuously- to include all of the "great show" ingredients, but the final dish simply didn't pan out.