House of Cards creator Beau Willimon doesn't just rise to the challenge, he crushes it, with a storyline that tackles the real-life rise of terrorism, the spread of fake news and political conflicts with the press, without actually treading on Trump's toes. If President Underwood didn't know better, he would probably feel he was victim to the worst witch-hunt in political history.
The Underwoods return as Macbeth-ish as ever. It's a bit of a slow start, as season five opens with a few humdrum opening episodes in which the Underwoods prepare for the presidential election and a fight with Republican hunk Will Conway.
But, soon, old corpses from seasons past begin to rise from their graves. Oil paintings of George Washington peer down stairwells at dark dealings, coverups and the implementation of mass White House surveillance. Claire and Frank Underwood replace their heavy, old rowing machine with a treadmill, and take turns running on it, faster and faster, attempting to keep pace with the frenzied pace of events around them.
Can the two of them hold onto their ill-gotten power? Could it be possible that Claire is sharpening her claws against her husband? New alliances are formed as previously watertight relationships begin to leak under the pressure. There's plenty of sex, of course, and there's a confession or two. There's a bit of romance and lots of extraordinary little House of Cards moments, such as when Frank instructs speechwriter Tom not to 'cheat on my wife'.
All the while, poor old George Washington looks on benignly from where he hangs on his high ceilings. It could be worse, of course. Old George could be hanging in Trump's White House.
House of Cards season five arrives on Netflix 30 May
|What||House of Cards, season five review|
|Where||UK Netflix | MAP|
30 May 17 – 30 Jun 17, 8:00 AM – 12:00 AM