America fell in love with Netflix's House of Cards last year. The cold, Machiavellian and oddly charming Francis "Frank" Underwood weaseled his way into the vice presidency ... and all of our hearts. So it stands to reason that season two of the flagship series will be released on Valentine's Day, for all of our viewing pleasure.
As many people have noted, however, there are no special features on the season 1 DVD — which makes it hard for die-hard fans to learn more about the show. To help, here are 5 hidden Easter Eggs you may have missed in House of Cards.
1. President Garret Walker is based on JFK.
As The Atlantic points out, House of Cards president Garret Walker is eerily similar to President John F. Kennedy. Both Walker and Kennedy were in the process of signing a landmark bill during their time in office (Kennedy was signing the Equal Pay Act, and Walker is signing an education bill during season one). And both vice presidents were slighted by their commander in chief shortly after the signing; on House of Cards, Vice President Jim Matthews is not given one of the pens used at the signing (and is forced to steal one instead), and Lyndon B. Johnson was refused an workspace next to President Kennedy.
The similarities don't end there. Both men have been depicted as opportunistic, inspiring and charismatic figures. Both Walker and Kennedy ran on platforms based on their youth, energetic personalities and likability. And as was the case with the Kennedy administration, President Walker is plagued with heavy domestic issues and faces numerous internal scandals, which threaten to undermine his entire administration.
2. Frank Underwood is a slightly less heartless LBJ.
Of course, behind Kennedy stood the stalwart LBJ, a long-serving senator from the South. Known for his calculating behavior, contempt for the commander in chief and overwhelming desire to be president, he sounds a lot like another southern Democratic senator we know.
It's no secret that Underwood and LBJ share a lot of similar characteristics, but this frame from "Chapter 13" suggests that Underwood is actually a parody of Lyndon Baines Johnson. In this scene, Underwood is detailing his plan for deposing President Walker and ascending to the presidency.
Do you see it? Look again. Sitting on Underwood's desk is a copy of noted LBJ biographer Robert Caro's The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power — a book famous for highlighting the cruel, ambitious side of Johnson. As Caro writes, "Johnson's ambition was uncommon — in the degree to which it was unencumbered by even the slightest excess weight of ideology, of philosophy, of principles, of beliefs." Now that's a man that Francis Underwood could admire.
3. The show goes to impressive lengths to be appear realistic...
House of Cards is a show that likes to keep itself grounded in reality. As such, it allows some of the regular world to enter its political dreamscape.
Enter the Peachoid — the 135 foot colossus of Gaffney, South Carolina. The very same Gaffney that Francis Underwood is from, and which he represents in the U.S. Congress. When Underwood isn't planning the downfall of his political allies, he occasionally has to placate his constituency. Underwood visits the Peachoid during a trip to South Carolina's 5th District in "Chapter 3." Just another attempt by House of Cards to blur the lines between fiction and reality.
4. ...although it isn't entirely accurate.
Instantly recognizable to any viewer of House of Cards is the apartment of intrepid Washington Herald/Slugline reporter Zoe Barnes. What the average viewer may not know, however, is that this seedy Washington D.C. apartment is not actually in D.C.
That's right — most of House of Cards is actually filmed in Baltimore, Maryland to avoid higher costs on the show. Locations such as Gaffney, Frank's House, Congress and the aforementioned Barnes residence are all filmed in Baltimore. The only things filmed in D.C. are the monuments.
5. 'House of Cards' has plenty of fans in Washington.
House of Cards has been entertaining everyone from Hawaii to the Oval Office. Even President Barack Obama is a huge fan of the show. He is quoted as saying that Underwood is "getting a lot of stuff done" and "I wish things were that ruthlessly efficient."
And Obama isn't the only politician in D.C. that enjoys House of Cards. Kevin McCarthy (R), the Republican Party's majority whip, allowed Spacey to sit in on a closed-door Republican conference meeting so that Spacey could get the role just right.
But not every politician is so enamored with Francis Underwood. Former Representative Barney Frank said of the show, "The character is wholly amoral. He has no political principles, either substantive or procedural. There is no issue about which he cares; no tactic he will not employ, no matter how unfair it is to others; and he is thoroughly dishonest. I have never met anyone in a position of power in Congress who resembles that caricature."
While Frank may not like the show, both republicans and democrats have banded together in a non-partisan way to say that Francis Underwood is awesome. We think so too.
If you still haven't seen the promotional trailer for season two, check it out here.