Are you a T.V. junkie? Do you tune in at the same time each week to make sure you don’t miss a minute of your favorite series? Or do you watch a series all at once and hope that you can find the next season leaked online because you just can’t get enough of it? Well if any of these descriptions fit you then you just might be addicted to one of the newest political series, Scandal or House of Cards.
Scandal is about a woman named Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington, who is a “fixer” for those of high status in Washington D.C. Pope and her team of gladiators at Olivia Pope and Associates (OPA) strive to do whatever necessary to get their elite clients’ lives back on track. Although Olivia can handle everyone else’s problems, she herself has a troubled life due to the fact she is having an affair with the married President of the United States, occasionally sleeps with the president’s ex-best friend, and doesn’t know whether she can trust her mom or her dad. Although Scandal and House of Cards have different plots, the series share some similarities.
House of Cards is similar to Scandal in that they both are set in Washington; depict love affairs, murder, violence, and deception in order to get political advancements. But, House of Cards’ main character, Frank Underwood, (played by Kevin Spacey) differs from Olivia Pope in that his goal is to gain as much power as possible without taking a second look at the body bags he leaves behind. In the show, Underwood is a democrat from South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District and is also the House majority whip that gets passed over for Secretary of State. As a result, Underwood plots his revenge against those who betrayed him and after taking all essential measures, is eventually sworn in as the President of the United States.
While Scandal and House of Cards both cater to different audiences, viewers of the shows have cast their opinions on both series. According to The Grio, Scandal doesn’t touch House of Cards for several reasons. These reasons include the fact that Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood is a better star character than Olivia Pope, Frank and Claire Underwood are the perfect couple in that they work well together, the politics of House of Cards is more similar to how Congress actually works, and the overall writing is better. But OK! Magazine said otherwise.
OK! says that Scandal is the better series because of the hotter sex scenes, the more interesting plots and plot twists, the better dialogue, and the diversity of the show due to the fact that Olivia Pope is a black female “fixer” and Cyrus Beene, is the gay White House Chief of Staff, just to name a few. InTheCapital also offered its opinions on the stronger qualities of each show.
Although I could go on all day to tell you the similarities and differences of each show and what viewers love and hate about both series, what probably will tell you the most is exactly how many people watch each show. According to Television Blend, 670,000 people binge watched season 2 of House of Cards in its entirety the first weekend it aired on Netflix. But Indiewire says Scandal debuted with 10.5 million viewers and 712,877 tweets for its season 3 premiere.
While these are the official numbers of the viewers of each show, the amount of viewers of both Scandal and House of Cards could differ come the next seasons as Harrison Wright (played by Columbus Short) won’t be returning to Season 4 of Scandal and 10 days before the second season of House of Cards was released, Netflix announced that the show was renewed for a third season.
Whether you’re a fan Frank Underwood’s lack of morals or a gladiator at heart, be sure to let those who haven’t seen House of Cards or Scandal decide for themselves, whose team they should root for.