When Complex asked me to binge-watch (what I underestimated to be) all 10 hours of House of Cards Season 3, I said I would only do it if they procured Corey Stoll to rub his bald, beautiful dome all over my body. But apparently there’s some kind of legal issue with that, so I just did it for normal money. And yes, I basically lost my mind.
Trigger warning: Spoilers. And Four Loko.
10:00 a.m.: Good morning! Frank is peeing on his dad’s grave and I haven’t had coffee yet. We are then treated to at least 30 minutes of Diving Bell and the Butterfly: Doug Stamper remix.
10:40 a.m.: Frank is yelling at his cabinet. How many of you have felt personally victimized by Frank Underwood?
“I don’t want a version; I want a vision,” snarls Frank. I think that was Ayn Rand’s tramp stamp.
10:51 a.m.: When is it not urgent when someone calls the president late at night? I wonder.
My boyfriend, who is staying at my place for moral support during this assignment, offers: “Mr. President, the Secretary of Defense is on the line. He says ‘sup.’”
11:17 a.m.: The Rachel Posner-doppelganger hooker eyeballs Doug’s obvious injuries, and asks, “How did this happen?” No good hooker would ever ask that.
“I would make such a good hooker,” I say.
“You would,” my boyfriend says encouragingly.
11:32 am.: Claire and Frank are at a low point, making glorified telemarketing calls. Claire just walked in on Frank crying and has removed her track suit bottoms out of frame to Mount Him in the Name of the Underwood Agenda as "Ride of the goddamn Valkyries" plays in the background. The whole scene is so unappealing it makes that part in Season 1 where Claire jerks off their old dying chauffeur look like Y Tu Mamá También.
“Hey do you want some toast?” asks boyfriend numbly, standing up. We’ll never have sex again probably.
11:58 a.m.: The toast is burnt because I am entitled to nothing.
12:50 p.m.: It seems out of character that Frank would really try to woo Petrov by gifting him a piece of surfboard-shaped wood with abstract carvings on one side and Beatles lyrics on the other, but what the fuck do I know? I haven’t put on pants yet.
12:56 p.m.: Claire is in a silver wrapped evening gown, sweeping down the stairs with Frank to attend a gala for Petrov. My boyfriend is popping a pimple I have on my face.
Best line of the season so far goes to Claire for: “I think I need to do some damage control with Kathy—I’m trying to be deferential, but it’s coming off as patronizing.”
1:13 p.m.: Pussy Riot is here! It seems like a bad idea. Oh look it is!
1:20 p.m.: This is happening.
1:34 p.m.: ALSO THIS.
2:00 p.m.: Stamper is terrifying, so… that’s cool.
2:25 p.m.: Heather Dunbar to Frank: “Is this how you live with yourself? Irrationalizing the obscene into the palatable?”
Heather, girl, that is exactly how I am justifying sitting on my couch and watching television for 10 hours. You are kind of humorless and are the heiress to like the Dunbar Urinal Cake fortune or something but let’s get a Magnolia cupcake sometime.
2:30 p.m.: I pause the episode to do a hair mask and make sure my corporeal self is not atrophying like “Sloth” in Se7en. (Also Fincher.) (Although HoC is like, Fincher’s Young and The Restless.)
2:35 pm.: Frank breaks Jesus; makes a pun.
2:37 p.m.: Boyfriend fanboys over Frank playing an indie game he reviewed once.
“It’s not a console game,” Frank snaps at Remy and Sean.
“You should write that down,” he says. “It’s a very gamer-snob thing to say.”
2:41 p.m.: A formerly high-ranking military official responsible for the lives of thousands DOES NOT PEE RIGHT AFTER SEX TO AVOID A UTI?! Jackie!??! Any woman in the writers’ room should have caught that one.
3:20 p.m.: We meet tormented, grizzled Male Writer, who barely tolerates the masses’ adoration for his novel, Scorpio.
“I loved your book!” gushes a woman at his book signing. He signs her copy: “Janeane—I can tell by your vagina that you don’t make it a point to read Infinite Jest on the Metro. <3, Tom.”
3:30 p.m.: I envy anybody who decides to tune in at this exact moment, context-free, while Frank tells Male Writer: “You’re a princess. Your name is Ida.”
(Here is Frank hiring Avril Lavigne: “He was a boy. And she was a girl. You made it very obvious.”)
Tl;dr: The President of the United States hired a guy to write a novel-length tome of political propaganda who has zero background in politics because he liked his video game review.
3:50 p.m.: I send Boyfriend to store for provisions. “There is no Brianna’s salad dressing.”
“FIND IT,” I yell, and hang up on him.
I turn and speak knowingly to the wall: “When a cat’s yowlin’ for a glass of milk, one must kill the cat and drink the milk, as the spoils of victory.”
I smirk at nobody. My accent is horrible.
4:00 p.m.: Boyfriend returns with provisions, and says, “I got you a Four Loko.”
“Remind me what that is?”
4:25 p.m: Boyfriend and I both keep accidentally calling Michael Corrigan “Kevin Corrigan.”
4:27 p.m.: Frank tells Petrov: “Let’s not let Michael Corrigan dictate the course of nations.”
Let’s not let Kevin Corrigan dictate the course of nations.
Let’s not let Kevin Corrigan dictate the course of nations.
Actually I’m kind of okay with letting Kevin Corrigan dictate the course of nations??
????: Four Loko is half empty. Monks create intricate sand drawing.
“Oh, that’s not hard,” says my boyfriend.
Flergle O’Clock: This is what I just wrote.
6:10 p.m.: We take short break to go get some wine. On the way over I glance at my reflection in a store window. I look like somebody who has been watching House of Cards for nine hours. We actually end up getting blueberry moonshine.
“Frank would approve,” says Boyfriend in liquor store, within earshot of regular people who are doing regular Friday night activities.
Cashier, who undoubtedly deals with full-fledged alcoholics on a daily basis, looks legitimately concerned for us.
I ask him just for the hell of it, “Do you have any Old Darby?”
He’s like, “Old what?”
Back on the street we Google it and discover it’s not real.
Then we turn around and find the liquor store has disappeared. IT WAS NEVER THERE AT ALL. (It was still there.)
6:25 p.m.: “Oh, okay, yeah, I see how that’s hard,” boyfriend acquiesces re: monks’ sand drawing.
6:30 p.m.: It’s PITCH BLACK out now. (Here, not in the show.)
There’s a hurricane. (In the show, not here.)
6:40 p.m.??: Male Novelist/Roger from RENT/Guy In Your MFA and Sassy Lady Reporter are having sex now. They are also writing contrasting things about Frank Underwood, excerpts of which are being read in alternating voice-over, so their writing is also having sex, in a way??
6:45 p.m.: DIY coffee hair mask with leftover grounds from this caffeine extravaganza (the Internet said it would give my hair a “high gloss”). No shower caps; use plastic bag instead.
Obviously Kate Baldwin has ended up on “Amusement park fatalities (America)” at 2 a.m. before. I feel you.
7:15 a.m.: Rachel is dead, or the identity of a girl she stole is a dead girl? Unclear. Bad plot line to attempt to untangle when drunk and have plastic bag on head to keep coffee-hair from dripping on couch.
A rogue planet comes hurtling towards the Earth. Boyfriend and I shoot Old Darby into each others’ mouths with syringes just before all humankind is wiped out.
7:30 p.m.: We Seamless a pizza.
8?: Boring international stuff happens. I can’t believe the season is going to end in this episode. How is that possible?
OH, IT’S NOT. I thought there were 10 episodes; there are actually three more though. Hahahaha.
8:01 p.m.: Cashew is back!!!!
8:02 p.m.: I’m going to die here.
8:20 p.m.: We eat pizza.
8:30 p.m.: Boyfriend and I vainly attempt to find a mouse I just saw run across my floor.
8:39 p.m.: Wash coffee out of hair.
8:45 p.m.: The Democratic primary debate is the first legitimately interesting thing that has happened in awhile.
Some ugly feminist commentary re: Heather Dunbar and Jackie.
“What are your thoughts on this?” asks boyfriend.
“I don’t want to talk about feminism right now,” I say. “Does my hair look like it has a higher gloss?”
“Yes,” my boyfriend lies. My hair looks the same but smells like stale Dunkin.
Episode 12: Attack of the Clones
9:22 p.m: Instead of executing the assignment like he was told to, Guy In Your MFA wrote 20 pages of a V.C. Andrews novel about Claire and Frank, and thinks that’s totally fine. Frank points out it took him way too long, and it was supposed to be done by now.
Guy In Your MFA retorts, “Would you rather have it done quickly, or well?” (Uh, both, but you did neither? Do you understand what “writing for hire” means?”)
“YOU CAN’T CRUSH THIS BOOK,” he then yells at the actual President of the United States. I am gonna go ahead and posit that on a show that features a smorgasboard of entitled white male characters, this guy is the king. Go put it on Wattpad.
9:40 p.m.: Wait, this actually might take the title of best line of the season.
Suzy makes me proud to be an American.
9:42 p.m.: We order Insomnia cookies.
9:50 p.m.: Guy In Your MFA is trying to convince Kate Baldwin to write about his novel. When Professional Mean Lady tells Talented Supergenius Man she pretty much can’t do that for about 500 reasons, he is naturally quite butthurt.
“I can’t believe I almost felt something for you,” he says as he storms out. HAHAHA. I hate him.
11:00 p.m.: Home stretch!! Claire tries to get Frank to have rough sex while looking at her, and he won’t. Meanwhile, Doug is tracking down Rachel Posner in Santa Fe, wearing an outfit he bought at the serial killer store.
11:17 p.m.: Cookies arrive. Boyfriend and I briefly fight about which of us has to put on pants to get the door. I win (if “winning” means “hiding behind the door in my underwear”).
11:20 p.m.: Rachel is trying to convince Doug not to kill her by assuring him that she is about to assume a new identity, “Cassie Lockhart.”
“Cassie’s just a normal girl. Cassie likes going to the movies. Doesn’t matter what movie. She likes to smell the popcorn.”
Cassie Lockhart is a basic.
11:34 p.m.: Doug decides to let her go.
11:35 p.m.: OH WAIT NOPE.
Boyfriend respectfully observes: “Rachel deserved a U-turn, not a three-point.”
11:40 p.m.: Frank won the election but Claire is leaving him, so he didn’t really win, get it?
The good news, however, is that Cashew’s eternal soul has been saved by the Christian faith, but the Church is chill enough that if Cashew decides to have a same-sex partner it’s no big deal.
Anna Breslaw is a freelance writer who has to be surgically un-fused from her sofa now. You can follow her here.