If a TV show has ever been a worldwide phenomenon, House of Cards is it. Not only has the show captured the attention of American viewers from teenagers to octogenarians with its particular brand of political drama, it's also attracted international viewers. Though Netflix is not currently available in Russia, some Russians do watch a pirated version of the show. Of course, the obvious questions asks itself — does Russian President Vladimir Putin watch House of Cards ? Of course, the Kremlin denies Putin has ever even heard of the show, but that only makes us question it more.
According to The Moscow Times, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the Russian News Service:
We [at the Kremlin] have not watched it… and we have not heard that [Putin's] image was used.
It seems questionable that the Kremlin would never have seen the show, and especially that they would never have heard that there was a character reflective of Putin. In 2014, the Russian government denied Netflix their request to film scenes in the UN Security Council chamber in Russia, so they must know the show exists. Why doesn't Putin partake? After all, it's one of President Obama's favorite shows, so there's something in it for real-life presidents to appreciate. He said on Ellen :
I have to tell you, life in Washington is a little more boring than displayed on the screen. ... Most of my day is sitting in a room listening to a bunch of folks in grey suits talking about a whole bunch of stuff that wouldn't make very good television.
Perhaps Putin does watch House of Cards. If so, what does he think about the show? Or he doesn't count himself among the show's millions of international fans. What would his opinions be if he did watch, then? Here are our predictions.
The KGB Uniform
Putin would probably enjoy his counterpart's depiction as a war hero who can pull off a cool KGB army uniform, even past his prime fighting years. Who wouldn't thrive off of such a flattering comparison and a great D-ring belt?
The Russian President couldn't deny this resemblance to real life, even if he were to acknowledge that the show exists and he had seen so much as one frame.
I can't imagine Putin would be happy to see any of House of Cards' depiction of Russian jails. There are several issues here: First of all, the security staff admits to bugging their prisoner's cell, which they're unlikely to admit real life. Then they actually remove the bugs at the request of the First Lady, which I'm sure would not fly if Putin were in charge rather than Petrov.
And what would really make Putin jump out of his seat is the special treatment Claire Underwood receives as a guest at the prison — all the security guards leave her alone with Michael for a whole day and night, except for when they are bringing their guests warm meals rolled in on a table complete with a pristine white tablecloth.
This whole plot struck me as shockingly unrealistic. I don't think Putin would like either of the depictions of his men: as barbaric and brutal, or as pushovers who roll over at the American government's every whim. Obama might enjoy it more, though.
Images: Netflix (3), Getty (1)