'House of Cards'
This Netflix original series illustrates what many Americans have suspected all along: Politicians will stop at nothing in their drive to the top. Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey heads the stellar cast as Frank Underwood, the senator majority whip with a goal. His closest collaborator is his wife, the Lady Macbeth-like Claire, played by Robin Wright ("The Princess Bride"). Viewers are simultaneously impressed and aghast as Frank and Claire make and break alliances to maintain their forward momentum.
Like any good story about government, "House of Cards" showcases vice and intrigue. Characters exchange sex for power, use alcohol to self-medicate and take drugs to deal with the craziness. Underwood is Machiavellian in his political dealings. Change social security to make it more manageable? That may seem like a benefit to society, but Underwood's in it for the power that comes with pushing through entitlement reform. The series, based on a British show of the same name, keeps viewers guessing what dirty deal Underwood will take on next — and how he'll get away with it.