Prelude: If you have yet to watch the House of Cards series, shame on you. But I’ll save that whole rant for another day. For those who have, we are baring witness to a revolution right before our very eyes. Not for the ever-shifting political landscape of the show, or the do-what-it-takes-to-get-the-job-done attitude of the shows main protagonists, Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. But rather their relationship. Their marriage. And how this could be a blueprint for how relationships in the future are crafted…
I’m sure most of you have seen the show Scandal (I’ll reserve my opinion on it). And the topic of conversation for the first couple of seasons was the relationship between the President and Olivia Pope. Social media took it and ran with it. How it was a reflection of true love (never mind the President was married). Or how it showed that nothing should get in the way if you want it or the whole Gladiator mentality. Or all the repetitive Joe Budden/Tahiry memes on true love (an oxymoron if anyone paid attention to their relationship over the years) or the Rihanna/Chris Brown Memes on love (again, another massive oxymoron) or the Jay Z/Beyoncé memes (that whole message will be covered on another day as well). But the most solid couple in all of TV and entertainment goes completely ignored. Frank and Claire Underwood. No couple, even in real life has complemented each other’s strengths and weaknesses like this one. No couple has more of a clear understanding of what the relationship is than this one. And that’s what’s makes this beautiful. 2 strong personalities, willing to sacrifice at the right moment for one another, willing to indulge in the pleasantries of life (See season 2 with the secret service agent), and willing to fall on the sword for the other in order to build the other. If that’s not what a stable relationship is about, I don’t know what is. In an age where loyalty is a punchline, stability is about as rare as an 80 degree day in New York in January and complacency is at an all time high in relationships, if there was any relationship in fiction or non-fiction to model after, Frank and Claire Underwoods is it. No one outside of the relationship can crush what they have built, no matter how hard they try. From the artist who was seeing Claire, to the Zoe Barnes situation with Frank. When challenged as a cohesive unit, the Underwoods are omnipotent in eliminating any challenge to the castle. There is no one who can topple that dynasty from the outside in. Isn’t that what a good relationship should be built on? 2 people who build a legacy, while destroying anything that attempts to topple it and growing together as a unit? A relationship that is kept refreshing while also kept under control? Where communication, no matter how trivial the situation, is always a premium?
I realize why this relationship doesn’t get the glory it deserves: People love the underdog. As long as the underdog isn’t coming for the them. People secretly root on the side chick in these love stories. It’s why Olivia is cheered and the Presidents wife (who is doing what a wife should do.Protecting her castle) is Hated. It’s why people watch that love and hip hop nonsense, and real housewives, even though most of them aren’t house wives, or even wives for that matter. Why people never glorify the solid relationships but tune into the news making ones. If I had to find the closest thing to the Frank and Claire Underwood marriage in real life, it’s Will and Jada. Both are omnipotent in establishing the dynasty and destroying those who oppose it. While not with the venom that the Underwoods possess, they are arguably Hollywoods most cohesive relationship. Everyone loves to see the challenger make a run for the Title unless they are one of the contenders.
There are other examples of cohesive relationships but they don’t have the unity of the Underwoods. Stephanie McMahon and Triple H are another but it’s clear Hunter wears the pants there. Barack and Michelle Obama, though it’s clear Michelle runs that one. These are solid units but there is a leader and a follower. The Underwoods manage to balance these roles gracefully with each deferring to the others strengths. That’s what the new era relationships should be built on. Two solid hands, instead of one dominant and one recessive. The days of the leader and the follower have passed. The stereotype that someone must lead and someone must follow have passed. Because what happens when the follower has to lead? When someone who has never led, has to make the tough decision? The unknown occurs. And in this thing called life, lack of knowledge is equal to being blind in a room full of animals. Better to have four sets of eyes than 2. Be strong as one unit than mediocre as 2 individuals. The Underwoods exemplify that perfectly……… Until next time… Signing off.