There I was, sitting on my couch in Astoria, on hour 2.5 of this year’s mediocre Golden Globes broadcast, minding my own business, sippin’ on a frosty glass of Coke Zero and munching on a luscious Honeycrisp apple, when they finally, mercifully began to present the award for “Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama.”
Like a true garbage human who does not vote in the presidential election, and then complains endlessly about who wins, I am notorious for having very strong opinions when it comes to award show winners, even if I have not watched all of the nominated performances in question. However, this was my category. This was my time to shine. I had seen ALL of the nominated performances.
Kevin Spacey had just snagged the “Best Actor” statue, and I knew, I just knew, that this year, the Underwoods would sweep the Globes. They would take their awards, mingle with the peasants at the afterparty for only as long as necessary to save face, and then take their golden trophies to a corner table at Freddy’s BBQ, where they would eat a full rack of ribs like the cunning carnivores they are.
But Robin Wright did not win. This did not compute. I have no idea how any performance this past year could have even come close to the fully-realized, ice-cold, steel-hard perfection that is Robin Wright’s portrayal of Claire Underwood. Wright’s scarily amazing embodiment of the character aside, Claire is one of my, if not my favorite television characters of all time, and it’s a title that’s rightfully earned. With Season 3 premiering THIS WEEKEND, let’s discuss.
Spoiler alert, I guess, except if you haven’t watched “House of Cards” already then I don’t even know what you’re doing with your life.
1. Claire Underwood is the definition of ambition, and she does not care if you like it.
Claire is not a woman that will let anything get in the way of her goals. Cold? Sure. Calculating? 100%. Ruthless? Most of the time. However, you’re not going to make it to the White House by being a delicate flower. Claire clutches to her power by any means necessary, and while I certainly don’t support the majority of her actions, her sheer conviction in achieving her goals is wildly admirable, undoubtedly brave, and absolutely terrifying.
2. Claire supports her husband Frank, but never at the detriment of her own goals.
Remember when Frank shoehorned Claire into relinquishing millions of dollars of support from SanCorp for her clean water charity? That was the worst, especially when he did not make good on his promise to get her the money from other sources. Claire was not here for that. She swiftly made it clear that her goals were no less important than Frank’s blue sky White House plans. When Frank tried to whip votes to pass an environmental bill instrumental to his congressional success, Claire double-crossed him to ensure that the bill failed. Need some water for that burn, Frank?
3. Dat. Wardrobe. Doe.
Those expertly tailored pants. Those crisp Oxford shirts. THAT STRAPLESS SILVER DRESS FROM THE CWI FUNDRAISER that Zoe Barnes dared to try on. Even Claire’s running clothes are more chic than literally anything I own or ever will own. Everything she does is meticulously planned, so it’s no surprise that her wardrobe is sheer perfection. She is the anti-basic in a world full of Zoes.
4. Claire will not abide thirst.
Zoe “Thirsty Bird” Barnes tried to step to Claire, and it was actually kind of cute how she thought for one second that Claire did not have her number. Zoe and Francis’ affair was gross for a number of reasons, but the fact that Zoe somehow thought that it was going on behind Claire’s back was more insane to me than Peter Russo’s criminal record.
5. Underneath her hard exterior, she does have a heart.
My favorite Claire moments are the ones where you realize that beneath all the Lady Macbeth/Machiavellian scheming, she is still human. What makes Claire a great character is that even though she is absolutely horrible, you still root for her, in a way. The scenes between Claire and Adam Galloway stand out most to me – when she exudes a certain vulnerability that you’d never see with Francis. Or, the heart-wrenching scene where she encounters the man who assaulted her at a military awards ceremony and breaks down in the bathroom. And, say what you will about Claire (and Frank for that matter), but it’s clear that they are capable of human emotion – above all else, they really deeply love each other, more than sharks love blood.
6. She understands the importance of physical fitness.
Claire never misses a morning run. And, she encourages Francis to step up his fitness game as well by purchasing him an erg so he can row for his own cardiovascular health. Active body, active mind, and an active mind is necessary when you’re planning to take down all of your enemies.
With Francis and Claire now running the free world as POTUS and FLOTUS, I cannot wait to see what happens in Season Three. Let the butchery begin.