In both the British and American versions of House of Cards, the central character is the majority whip — played, in this 2013 incarnation, by Kevin Spacey, who, as Frank Underwood, is perfectly ruthless and ruthlessly perfect. Robin Wright plays his equally ambitious and cold-blooded wife, Claire, and they’re both like characters straight out of Shakespeare. She’s Lady Macbeth, with her own insatiable drive and ambition — and he’s Iago, the evil lieutenant who manipulates everyone above and below him. And Frank, like many a character from Shakespeare, often pauses to address his audience directly, and privately, to reveal his inner-most thoughts. He’s giving a soliloquy — but, as in a scene when he pauses during a re-election party to turn to the camera and speak, he turns us viewers into unindicted co-conspirators.
Image from Verdi’s Macbeth via the Royal Opera House