“House Of Cards” Without Spacey: B+

That’s the grade given the Netflix series (returning Nov. 2) by EW, which says: ‘If ever a show were equipped to deal with the intrusion of life’s ugly realities, it’s House of Cards. Since its premiere in 2013, Netflix’s political thriller (based on a UK series) has used the routine machinations of the real American government as a springboard for its operatic tale of a ruthless couple life-ruining their way to the highest office in the land. So when its star, Kevin Spacey, was unceremoniously removed the series last November after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced, showrunners Frank Pugliese and Melissa James Gibson were prepared to make a “significant pivot” away from Spacey’s Frank Underwood, and toward his formidable wife Claire (Robin Wright), a woman for whom “me too” is more a demand than a statement of solidarity.’

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