We’re hooked. We just watched another episode of House of Cards. I could sit and watch it for hours, but I’d feel guilty spending so much time sitting on my duff watching television. The thing is – we just signed up for Netflix, but the story of addiction began a couple of months ago before the start of the World Soccer Cup.
My husband bought one of those “smart” TVs, the better with which to watch the soccer matches. With the World Cup behind us, my TV life returned to normal, which is an hour or so a day to keep up with the news on the Chilean channels and CNN, and “The Big Bang Theory” if I happen to catch it. When I heard our three granddaughters were coming to spend the day this week, I suggested to my husband we sign up for Netflix. The girls, on their winter vacation from school, had seen all the kids’ movies in town. How could I keep them entertained? After considerable trial and error and frustrations handling two remote controls, we were able to find a movie they hadn’t seen and format it in Spanish, as the girls’ English is not up to following a movie.
Based on the enthusiastic comments I’d heard about “House of Cards”, including a recommendation from a son in New York, I suggested to hubby that we check it out. Fortunately, here it’s presented with Spanish subtitles which make comprehension easier for him. But, I didn’t expect I’d have to explain the intricacies of U.S. politics, no easy task for someone who hasn’t lived in the States for forty-two years. He’s been patient with me over the decades explaining the Chilean political machinery, which still leaves me perplexed. Now it was my turn – the U.S. government in a nutshell: Congress, Speaker of the House, majority and minority leaders, party whip, vetting, congressmen, senators, lobbyists.
“Who’s that?” he’d asked.
“He’s an important member of the House.”
“What’s he doing?”
“Digging up some dirt about the President’s nominee.”
“To get revenge…and more power.”
“Where is that voice coming from?”
“It’s his speaker phone. He’s following the meeting long distance.”
After the third episode, he was asking fewer questions. And I’d begun to wonder if this was the political reality now. After all, from what I can gather, Congress has been stuck in a quagmire for years, unable to agree on the important issues. Even with access to Internet, cable TV and a deluge of emails from the Democratic party, I realize I don’t honestly know what’s going on behind the closed doors in Washington. Does anyone?
Every night now, after the news, I wait expectantly until he says, “Well, shall we watch another episode of that program?” I dim the lights while he deals with the sleek, shiny remote control.