House of Character

“Not just seen, I want to be significant”

Clair Underwoord

Over the past few months, I’ve been watching popular television series. From Friends, The Big Bang Theory and Arrow to more.

But House of Cards was so incredible that it made me write about it. Which is surprising, because politics is a subject I try my best to be oblivious about.

But it wasn’t the politics that impressed me so. It was the sole character of Clair Underwood.

Beautiful name, isn’t it – Clair?

Oh and not to mention that awesome pixie cut — very appealing. It’s not just the hair and flair though. I loved her characterisation. The things she did to support her husband. She wasn’t just another woman married to a Congressman. She was a woman of ambition and that’s what sets her apart from all the female characters I’ve seen on television before.

Besides that CNN interview, she showed immense strength when she gave up, or paused her ambitions and devotion to ensure continued support for her husband.

She was twisted, yes. She was the embodiment of everything we have ever been advised against our whole lives. She’s not the kind of role model parents would expect their daughters to idolise. The affair, the manipulation and the threatening — she’s as cold as ice.

Nevertheless, there was something about her that made her much less detestable than Francis Underwood.

She seemed so inhuman in so many incidents, it was so well portrayed that it added a sense of extra beauty to the only incident that made her seem humane.

When she sat on the staircase of their home just after speaking the to First Lady about visiting Megan. Clair cried. Briefly, but she cried nonetheless. And that’s the only time she displayed frustration and helplessness.

That’s when she was the most natural. Every other time, she merely took the side that would help her achieve her goal — even if it weren’t the way she’d have preferred it. The water project — she gave up on the funding because she had to for her husband’s sake. Yes she did resist, but eventually she gave up. She sacrificed. A lot. For her husband.

Another great thing about the couple — they understood each other unlike anyone else.

But the woman and her resolve! Undeniably a powerhouse. I admire her.

I don’t agree with her methods though.

Her attitude and the way she carries herself are things I will always revere. But her habits were unhealthy. Not the smoking, but the way she took everything in her stride.

Annoyingly silent. Annoyingly patient.

She waited and waited for as long as it took to get what she wanted. She never broke down, never threw a tantrum, and she hardly complained.

That’s why that crying scene was the most natural. The only instance she displayed vulnerability, however briefly that might have been. That’s what I consider unhealthy. I’d have liked a more spontaneous woman. A woman who would just show her emotions a bit more naturally.

But I do have to admit, a more spontaneous woman might have ended up like either Zoe Barnes or Christina Gallagher.

Clair Underwood, a masterpiece in modern fiction. Excited for season 3 – yes, I only just finished seasons 1 and 2. 😀


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