Political Dramas and dramas of politics in time of crisis: House of Cards and its surroundings

  • Cristina Demaria Università di Bologna
Keywords: political dramas, House of Cards, imaginary, quest, conspiracy


How do the imaginary and the narrative frames underlying TV political dramas influence the audience’s perception of politics, of the political field, and of the quest for power and its management? What do they tell us of the ways in which a narrative of, and on, politics involve – as spy and crime stories have done since the end of the 19th century – a meditation on the consistency and on the very endurance of “reality”, on the reality of reality? After an introduction devoted to clarifying the possible intertwining between the concepts of imaginary, TV Series and the representation of the political field, the essay focuses on the analysis of House of Cards (Netflix, 2013-) in comparison to other previous political dramas, such as The West Wing (NBC, 1999-2006). Through the lenses of four of the main narrative frames that characterize narratives of politics (the quest, the soap, the beaurocracy and the conspiracy), the attempt is to demonstrate how this show presents a view of politics and the quest for power that undermines not only any positive imaginary about the state and who governs it, but also any faith in the reality of reality.


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Author Biography

Cristina Demaria, Università di Bologna

Cristina Demaria is associate professor of Semiotics at the Department of Philosophy and Communication Studies of the University of Bologna, where she teaches Semiotics of conflict and Semiotics of Media, and where she coordinates the Master in Semiotics.


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How to Cite
Demaria, C. (2015). <i>Political Dramas</i> and dramas of politics in time of crisis: <i>House of Cards</i&gt; and its surroundings. Between, 5(10). https://doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/1967