House of Cards: Is the Political Drama Really Like Real-Life Politics?

If you’re a political junkie and haven’t watched the hit Netflix series, House of Cards, you’re missing out on a lot. This political drama series has been a major success since it first aired in 2013. The show revolves around the story of Francis Underwood, a Democrat lawmaker who rises to the top of the political ladder through manipulation, deception, and even murder.

But the question on many people’s minds has been how realistic the show is. Is it an accurate portrayal of American politics, or is it just a work of fiction with little connection to reality? In this blog post, we will take a closer look at House of Cards and its accuracy in depicting the political scene in Washington.

Some have praised House of Cards for its detailed representation of the ins and outs of politics, while others have criticized it for its lack of accuracy and portrayal of politics as a corrupt game. We will delve into the show, analyzing its accuracy, storyline, and themes, offering both praise and criticism where necessary.

So, if you’re wondering whether House of Cards is based on a true story, whether it’s accurate in its depiction of politics, and what real-life politicians think about it, this is the blog post for you.

Is House of Cards Unrealistic

If you’re a fan of political dramas, then you’ve probably heard of the hit series “House of Cards.” From the get-go, the show caught viewers’ attention, whether with its ruthless characters or complex plotlines. But just how realistic is it?

Sure, the show is entertaining, but some have argued that it’s far from accurate when it comes to portraying the real world of politics. Here are some reasons why:

Over the Top Characterizations

One of the most prominent criticisms of “House of Cards” is the over-the-top characterizations. It’s not uncommon to see characters manipulating the system and resorting to horrific tactics just to get ahead. While it may make for exciting TV, it’s not always so simple in real-life politics.

Simplification of Complex Issues

Politics is never a simple matter, but “House of Cards” tends to simplify key issues and present them in a more digestible way. It’s not always so easy to boil down complex policy and political nuances into simple soundbites or plot points.

One Man’s Quest for Power

The show is centered around one man’s quest for power – Frank Underwood. While it makes for an engaging plot, it’s unrealistic to think that one person would be so instrumental in the workings of government. In real-life politics, decision-making is a group effort, and no one person holds all the power and influence.

Lack of Diversity

One aspect that the show has been criticized for is its lack of diversity. While it is set in Washington D.C., the show features mainly white characters and does not address issues of race, sexism, or other biases.

is house of cards realistic

Overall, “House of Cards” may not be the most realistic portrayal of politics, but it does have its merits in terms of entertainment value. While it’s important to recognize its flaws, it is not necessary to dismiss the show outright. Whether you enjoy it for the sleek cinematography or complex characters, “House of Cards” is not without value – just take it with a grain of salt when it comes to its portrayal of politics.

House of Cards: Like Real Politics

House of Cards has been praised for its gritty and unapologetic portrayal of politics in the United States. However, the burning question remains: is House of Cards like real politics in the US?

Let’s take a closer look at some of the similarities and differences between the two.


  • Power struggles: House of Cards is all about the battle for power, and so is real politics. Politicians are constantly jockeying for position and influence, and backstabbing is not uncommon.

  • Machiavellian tactics: Just like in House of Cards, politicians in real life often use Machiavellian tactics to achieve their goals. This can include lying, manipulating, and even breaking the law.

  • Corruption: Unfortunately, corruption is a prevalent issue in both House of Cards and real politics. Bribery, kickbacks, and other forms of financial malfeasance are not unheard of.


  • The pace: While House of Cards often moves at a breakneck pace, real politics can be slow and plodding. Decisions can take months, if not years, to come to fruition.

  • The stakes: While House of Cards focuses on high-stakes power struggles, most politicians in real life are more concerned with keeping their jobs and appeasing their constituents.

  • The consequences: In House of Cards, characters can get away with murder (literally) without any repercussions. In real life, politicians who break the law often face serious consequences, including jail time and public disgrace.

So, is House of Cards like real politics? The answer is a resounding “yes and no.” While there are certainly similarities between the two, House of Cards often takes things to the extreme for dramatic effect. Nonetheless, if you want a glimpse into the darker side of politics, House of Cards is a must-see.

How Close is House of Cards to Reality

House of Cards is a political drama series that aired on Netflix from 2013 to 2018. It follows the story of Frank Underwood, a ruthless politician who will stop at nothing to climb the ranks of power in Washington D.C. House of Cards is known for its high stakes, scandals, and plot twists. But how close is House of Cards to reality? Let’s take a closer look.

The Similarities

  • Like in House of Cards, politicians in real life engage in cut-throat political warfare to gain power and influence.
  • Both in the show and in real life, politicians are often involved in multiple scandals and controversies.
  • The show features lobbyists, journalists, and political operatives that help the politicians achieve their goals, which is also common in real-life politics.
  • House of Cards shows the darker side of politics, including corruption, blackmail, and betrayal, which can and do occur in real life.

The Differences

  • While House of Cards depicts widespread corruption in the American political system, in reality, not all politicians and officials engage in unethical behavior.
  • The show portrays a lot of violence, which is not usually prevalent in real life politics.
  • House of Cards often exaggerates the speed and ease with which politicians can achieve their goals, while in real life, the political process tends to move more slowly and deliberately.
  • The show often ties up loose ends in one season, whereas political scandals and controversies in real life can drag on for years.

Key Takeaways

  • While House of Cards may not be a completely accurate portrayal of politics, it does highlight some real issues and problems that exist.
  • The show can be a useful tool for viewers to become more engaged and informed about the American political system.
  • It’s important to not take everything in the show as fact. Like any work of fiction, House of Cards exaggerates certain aspects and simplifies others for the sake of storytelling.

In conclusion, House of Cards provides an entertaining and engaging look into the world of politics. While it may not be a completely accurate depiction of real-life politics, it highlights some real issues and problems that exist in the American political system. By taking some creative liberties, the show manages to make politics even more exciting, dramatic, and intense than it already is.

How Much of House of Cards is Accurate

House of Cards is a popular political drama TV series that deals with the political intrigues and schemes in the United States government. While the show is a work of fiction, it is based on real-world politics, and many viewers wonder how much of the show is accurate. Here are some key takeaways when it comes to the accuracy of House of Cards:

The Power Struggles are Realistic

One of the most significant factors that make House of Cards so captivating is its portrayal of power struggles in politics. The show does an excellent job of depicting how politicians can maneuver their way through relationships and manipulate situations to get what they want. The characters in the show face ethical dilemmas and deeply emotional decisions, and this is an accurate representation of how power works in real-world politics.

The Portrayal of Lobbyists is Accurate

In the show, lobbyists play a significant role in shaping government decisions and outcomes. This portrayal is realistic because lobbyists have a big impact on real-world politics. They represent various interest groups and fight to influence politicians to pass laws that benefit their clients. This includes fundraising, organizing events, and generally using their connections to get what they want.

The Nature of the Political System is Accurate

House of Cards is accurate in its portrayal of how the political system works. The show highlights the importance of fundraising, the role of the media, and the complicated relationships between politicians. The show depicts how essential it is for politicians to maintain a good public image to succeed in politics. While some of the show’s characters may be extreme, many of their actions are well within the realm of possibility in the real world.

The Show Takes Liberties

However, it’s important to note that House of Cards is ultimately a work of fiction. The show takes liberties with the political process to create drama and tension. Many aspects of the show are exaggerated for entertainment purposes. For example, the show’s portrayal of the White House Chief of Staff may be over the top. While this character has a lot of power, they do not have as much as the show suggests.

The Show Provides Insight into Politics

Overall, House of Cards’ accuracy is a mixed bag. While the show takes some liberties with the political process, it does an excellent job of portraying the power struggles, lobbying, and political maneuvering that goes on behind the scenes. The show provides insight into how politics work and is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in understanding politics.

While House of Cards is a fictional TV series, it provides a unique and accurate insight into the political process. The show’s depiction of power struggles, lobbying, and political maneuvering is often very realistic and provides a great deal of insight into how politics works. However, the show does take liberties for entertainment purposes, so it is important to bear that in mind when watching it. Ultimately, House of Cards is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in understanding politics and the complexities of the political process.

Is House of Cards Based on a True Story

Many fans of the hit political drama series House of Cards have been wondering if the show is based on a true story. With its intricate plotlines, thrilling suspense, and compelling characters, it’s easy to see why viewers might think that the show is inspired by real-life events. However, is this really the case? Let’s find out.

Understanding House of Cards

First, let’s take a closer look at House of Cards and what it’s about. The show revolves around the life of Frank Underwood, a ruthless and cunning politician who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. From bribery to blackmail to murder, Frank uses every dirty trick in the book to climb the political ladder and become the most powerful man in the country.

Throughout the show’s six-season run, we see Frank and his wife Claire engage in numerous power struggles with other politicians, journalists, and even foreign leaders. The show’s writing is fast-paced and filled with twists and turns, leaving viewers on the edge of their seats with each episode.

A Work of Fiction

Although House of Cards is often praised for its realism and attention to detail, the show is actually a work of fiction. There is no Frank Underwood in real life, and the events depicted on the show are not based on real-life politicians or scandals.

That being said, the show’s writers did draw inspiration from real-life politics and some key political figures. For example, the show’s depiction of a corrupt Washington D.C. is based on the real-life perceptions of the city’s political elite. Additionally, some characters on the show are loosely based on real-life politicians, such as Raymond Tusk, who is modeled after billionaire businessman Warren Buffett.

Taking Creative Liberties

While House of Cards may not be based on a true story, it does take creative liberties with certain aspects of politics and the political process. For example, the show exaggerates the amount of power that the Vice President holds and portrays political campaigns as being more cutthroat and vicious than they actually are.

By taking these liberties, House of Cards is able to create a heightened sense of drama and suspense that keeps audiences hooked. However, it’s important to remember that the show is not a completely accurate representation of real-life politics.

Key Takeaways

  • House of Cards is a work of fiction and is not based on a true story.
  • Although the show is not based on real events, it does draw inspiration from real-life politics and political figures.
  • House of Cards takes creative liberties with certain aspects of politics to create heightened drama and suspense.
  • Viewers should not take the show’s portrayal of politics as being completely accurate.

Overall, House of Cards is a thrilling and engaging political drama that has captivated audiences around the world. While it may not be based on a true story, the show’s creative use of real-life events and figures makes it feel like a realistic portrayal of politics in Washington D.C.

House of Cards is Based on Which President

If you’re a House of Cards fan, you might be wondering which U.S. president inspired the show’s main character, Frank Underwood. House of Cards, as you probably know, is a political drama that explores the ruthlessness and corruption that go on in American politics. While the show is fiction, it was actually based on a British TV series of the same name.

The British Inspiration Behind the Show

In the original British House of Cards series, which aired in the 1990s, the main character was named Francis Urquhart. Like Frank Underwood, Urquhart was a conniving politician who was willing to do whatever it takes to climb the political ladder. The British House of Cards was adapted from a book by Michael Dobbs, who was a former advisor to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

The American Adaptation

When the American adaptation of House of Cards was developed, showrunner Beau Willimon drew inspiration from the British series. However, he also drew from other sources, including his own experiences working on political campaigns.

While the show doesn’t specifically name any real-life presidents as inspirations for Frank Underwood, it’s clear that the character is meant to embody some of the worst traits of American politicians. Underwood is a master of manipulation who is willing to use whatever means necessary to get what he wants.

Key Takeaways

  • House of Cards is based on a British TV series of the same name
  • The main character of the British series was named Francis Urquhart
  • House of Cards was adapted for American audiences by showrunner Beau Willimon
  • Frank Underwood embodies some of the worst traits of American politicians
  • The show doesn’t explicitly name any real-life presidents as inspirations for the character

What Does ‘House of Cards’ Mean in Politics

If you’re a political enthusiast, you must have come across the phrase “house of cards” several times in many political dramas, including some of the best TV shows and movies. But, what does it mean? How does it relate to actual politics? Here is your ultimate guide:

is house of cards realistic

Understanding the Metaphor

The term “house of cards” comes from a card game many of us played as kids. It involves stacking playing cards to build a structure like a house. The aim is to keep adding cards without collapsing the house. However, just like in politics, the house of cards can be toppled with the slightest error.

In politics, the phrase means the system is unstable, and the slightest mistake, misjudgment, or miscalculation can bring it tumbling down. Here are some of the common scenarios that can lead to the collapse of the house of cards in politics:

  • A scandal involving someone close to the leader can jeopardize the leader’s credibility and reputation.
  • Political opponents can team up to bring down their rival using underhanded tactics.
  • Incorrect policies can lead to an economic downturn that can erode public support.

House of Cards in the Real World

While it may seem like a phrase that only applies to fictional plots, the house of cards in politics is a real phenomenon that manifests in many countries worldwide. Here are some examples:

  • In 2008, the global financial crisis caused a severe economic recession, which saw a massive collapse of governments and politicians worldwide. A simple mistake in mortgage bundling in the United States was the beginning of the end for several economies.
  • In the UK, the Brexit vote in 2016 led to the resignation of then-Prime Minister David Cameron, who staked his political career on the outcome of the vote. He lost, and the result was catastrophic for his career.
  • In the US, the recent 2020 elections almost saw the collapse of a housing empire of cards, with President Trump contesting the results and refusing to concede, thereby risking a constitutional crisis.

Key Takeaways

  • The phrase “house of cards” comes from a card game for children but has evolved to describe an unstable political system.
  • The house of cards in politics can collapse due to scandals, underhanded deals, and poor policies.
  • Real-world examples of the house of cards phenomenon include the 2008 global financial crisis, the 2016 Brexit vote, and the recent US elections.


Understanding the house of cards is critical in comprehending the intricacies of politics. By learning about this phenomenon, we can better judge leaders’ actions and understand the impact of public policies.

Politicians and Their Opinions on “House of Cards”

“House of Cards” is a popular political drama series that explores themes of power, manipulation, and deceit. The show portrays the inner workings of Congress and the White House and provides a glimpse into the world of politics. But how do real-life politicians feel about the show? Here are some insights into what politicians think of “House of Cards.”

1. Some politicians love the show.

  • Former US President Barack Obama is a big fan of “House of Cards.” In 2013, he tweeted, “Tomorrow: @HouseofCards. No spoilers, please.”
  • US Senator Claire McCaskill has praised the show for its accuracy. She says, “There are moments of the show where you think, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s exactly how it works.’”

2. Others think it’s unrealistic.

  • US Senator John McCain admits that he watched “House of Cards” but thinks that the show is “completely unrealistic.”
  • Former US Senator Bob Corker says that the show is “pure fiction” and that real politics is not as dramatic as what’s portrayed in the show.

3. “House of Cards” has influenced some politicians’ careers.

  • Doug Jones, a former US Senator from Alabama, says that the show inspired him to pursue a career in politics.
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has admitted that he uses tactics from “House of Cards” in his job. He says, “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cited Frank Underwood.”

4. Some politicians are critical of the show’s portrayal of politics.

  • US Senator Marco Rubio has called “House of Cards” “the most accurate portrayal of Washington’s dysfunction” but has criticized the show’s portrayal of politicians as corrupt and immoral.
  • US Senator Ted Cruz has called the show “a complete misrepresentation of how Washington operates.”

In conclusion, “House of Cards” has received both praise and criticism from politicians. Some love the show for its accuracy, while others find it completely unrealistic. Regardless of their opinions, it’s clear that the show has had an impact on many politicians and is a cultural touchstone for those interested in politics.

What Do Politicians Think About “House of Cards”

With its ruthless portrayal of politics and power, “House of Cards” has captured the attention of viewers worldwide. But what do politicians think about this popular Netflix series? Here are some insights:

1. Some Politicians Embrace the Show

  • Former U.S. President Barack Obama publicly praised “House of Cards” as a great show.
  • British politician Boris Johnson admitted to being a fan of the series, even though he found it unrealistic.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has been known to recommend the show to his aides and even appeared to reference it in a speech.

2. Many Politicians Find it Unrealistic

  • Real-life politicians often dismiss “House of Cards” as being too far-fetched and sensationalized.
  • Some critics argue that the show may give viewers a distorted view of politics, portraying it as being more corrupt and manipulative than it really is.

3. Others Find It A Little Too Close To Home

  • Some politicians find “House of Cards” hitting a little too close to home.
  • US Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell once famously said that he stopped watching the show after finding it too accurate in its portrayal of Washington politics.

4. It Has Been Criticized for Lack of Diversity

  • Some politicians have criticized “House of Cards” for its lack of diversity.
  • British MP Dawn Butler once called the show out for having no Black or Asian characters in any significant roles.

5. The Show Has Sparked Political Debates

  • The show has sparked debates on political topics such as power, corruption, and ethics.
  • Some political analysts have even used the show as a launching point for further discussion on these issues.

In summary, “House of Cards” has elicited varied reactions from politicians. Some embrace it as a great show, while others find it unrealistic or too close to home. Regardless of these opinions, it has sparked important debates on topics relevant to politics today.

House of Cards: Is it Based on Real Life or Fiction

If you’re a fan of political dramas, then you’ve probably binge-watched House of Cards on Netflix. The show features the ruthless political strategist, Frank Underwood, and his equally ambitious wife, Claire Underwood, as they scheme and manipulate their way to the top of the political ladder.

But while the show is undoubtedly gripping, many viewers wonder whether the events depicted on the show are based on real-life political events or whether they are entirely fictional. In this section, we’ll explore the question of whether House of Cards is realistic fiction or nonfiction.

House of Cards: Realistic Fiction or Nonfiction

House of Cards is a work of fiction, which means that while it provides a glimpse into the world of politics and power, it doesn’t have to adhere to real-life events or factual accuracy. However, the show’s creators have stated that they drew inspiration from real-life politics, particularly from scandals that have rocked governments around the world.

Here are some key takeaways to consider when evaluating the realism of House of Cards:

  • While the show’s creators have drawn inspiration from real-life events, they have also taken significant liberties with the story. For example, Frank Underwood’s rise to power as the President of the United States is highly improbable and unlikely to occur in real life.
  • The show is more realistic in its portrayal of the back-room dealing and cutthroat tactics that are often involved in political campaigns. However, the extent to which these tactics are used is likely exaggerated for dramatic effect.
  • Many of the characters and events depicted on the show bear a striking resemblance to real-life politicians and scandals. For example, some viewers have likened Frank Underwood’s ruthless tactics to those of former US President Richard Nixon. However, it’s worth noting that these resemblances are not direct or intentional.

In short, while House of Cards is not a work of nonfiction, it is grounded in reality and provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of politics and power.

House of Cards has captured the imaginations of viewers around the world, thanks in no small part to its gripping storylines, complex characters, and engrossing plot twists. While the show is not based on real-life events, it draws inspiration from the world of politics and power and resonates with viewers who are fascinated by the inner workings of governments around the world.

Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the show or someone who’s just getting started, understanding the distinction between House of Cards as a work of fiction will enhance your viewing experience and deepen your appreciation for the show’s creators and the world they’ve brought to life.

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