'House of Cards' a hit in China

Feb. 19, 2014 at 2:44 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- "House of Cards" is a hit in China, but a Washington political analyst said he'd rather the Chinese watch C-Span "to really understand U.S. politics."

The Netflix series -- starring Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood, a high-ranking and vindictive member of the U.S. House of Representatives -- is especially popular among top officials of China's Communist Party, the Washington Post said Wednesday.

Michael Auslin, an Asia expert at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, suggested Chinese viewers are attracted to the online series because it depicts U.S. politics in a way that reinforces China's official line, the newspaper reported..

"For Chinese, America is the big bugaboo in the world, so it makes sense that there's interest in the intrigue and the power behind Washington," he said. "That said, it's probably not a great thing if this is the only side they're seeing ... . To truly understand U.S. politics, I would prefer they watch C-SPAN, but that's probably not realistic."

Stateside, a Long Island, N.Y., newspaper took issue with some dialogue in the fourth episode of the show's second season, which began streaming Friday.

During a scene in which Underwood is wrangling votes for a bill, a lobbyist suggests offering a member of Congress a winery museum for his district.

"We are making great wines on Long Island these days," the member says.

"That's awesome," says Underwood, D-Calif. -- home of the world renowned Napa Valley wine region. "It tastes like piss compared to what we have in Napa. The sort of piss that belongs in Paul's wastewater plant."

"Ouch! Not cool, 'House of Cards,'" said the Suffolk (N.Y.) Times Wednesday in reaction to Underwood's contempt for Long Island wines.

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