Shows you should be watching: "House of Cards"

Few shows capture the essence of the raw, back alley borderline-criminal dealings of Washington politicians like the Netflix-exclusive series “House of Cards.”

“House of Cards” was adapted from a BBC miniseries with the same name and is based on the original novel by Michael Dobbs.

Starring Kevin Spacey, the series follows House Majority Whip Rep. Frank Underwood, a Democratic representative from South Carolina, as he seeks revenge after the newly elected president passes him over for secretary of state.

Collaborating with his charming-yet-manipulative wife, portrayed by Robin Wright, Underwood sits in the center of his web of powerful connections, called-in favors, loyal assistants and blackmailed colleagues, pinching and tweaking his influence as he reels in his end goal: the presidency.

All 13 episodes of the first season were released on Netflix on Feb. 1, which is ideal for those avid binge watchers with plans to hunker down for some relaxing spring break Netflix streaming sessions.

Regardless of your level of political savvy, if drama is your guilty pleasure then “House of Cards” is a must-see. You do not have to have an in-depth understanding of collective bargaining and Congressional vote counts to appreciate the raw ambition and unadulterated political warfare that Underwood wages.

Employing the sexual and literary skills of an aggressive journalist, the charisma and underdog charm of a recovering alcoholic congressman and the henchman services of a reliable chief of staff, Underwood works towards exacting revenge on those Washington higher-ups that snatched success from the tips of his fingers.

According to, several real-life members of Congress have become fans of “House of Cards.” Sen. Claire McCaskill said that the show is “highly entertaining fiction” but is “not very realistic.”

“Honestly, the egos and the quest and thirst for power is very prevalent in Washington,” said Rep. Jeff Duncan, who watched the entire first season.