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by Vault Careers | March 18, 2014


Let me warn you: if you haven't watched the first two seasons of the highly entertaining, highly addictive, highly thrilling Netflix-produced "House of Cards" but plan to, there are going to be some massive PLOT SPOILERS in the words to follow. 

Okay, now that that's out of the way, here are five jobs on "HoC" that, in my estimation, the show's creator, producers, directors, writers, actors, and the rest of its crew make look extremely exciting but probably aren’t as thrilling as they are in so-called real life. 

1. Secret Service Agent
Although there was that well-publicized incident a couple years back where some Men in Black starred in a scandal involving a lot of Cuba Libres and prostitutes, I doubt that many secret service men get to do too much kinky stuff on the job like Nathan Darrow’s "HoC" character Edward Meechum, who, after several shots of bourbon late in season two, gets his hands on, simultaneously, two very high-ranking politicians. Also, I doubt many secret service men drink many beers with their bosses in their bosses’ backyards or are promoted quite as quickly as Meechum. 

2. Oil and Gas Lobbyist/Law Firm Partner
I don’t know too many oil and gas lobbyists, but I've met several law firm partners and I can assure you that none are as smooth as Mahershala Ali's Remy Denton. I'm also pretty sure that none travel the world as widely as Denton, or as often, or get to rub wristwatches with as many powerful, interesting people. Though, they just might be as slick and coldhearted and backstabbing. In any case, Denton is, for my money, just as cool as Omar Little (of "The Wire") and DCI John Luther (of "Luther"). To boot, Denton makes a TON more money than those fictional dudes, and his job certainly appears to be a tad less dangerous. 

3. Press Secretary
There's no doubt that to be the press secretary of the Vice President of the United States or, for that matter, the POTUS you have to have some serious brain matter as well as know the American and foreign press like the back of your blue-blooded hand. But I don't know that there has ever been a cat as cool and calm to stand behind a podium with the Presidential seal as Derek Cecil's Seth Grayson. Cecil makes Grayson's job look not only important, cool, and exciting, but also not all that taxing and tiring. And something tells me that real-life Presidential Press Secretary Jay Carney's job is anything but relaxing (especially these days when his boss's approval rating is nothing to write home about). 

4. Political Blogger
Okay, it might not be all that cool to get lobbed in front of an underground train going 70 miles an hour, but Kate Mara's Zoe Barnes, prior to her demise, looked like she had the coolest, most exciting position west of the Oval Office. Barnes was better informed than the President of the United States (though not the VP), and she seemed to be living a life more action-packed and thrilling than James Bond and Jason Bourne, combined. And my bet is if you tracked down a couple of real life POLITICO writers, you would find folks just as intelligent and sly as Barnes, but I doubt you would find folks who would be able to share on-the-job stories as sexy as hers. 

5. Actor Playing Evil Vice President of the United States Who Will Stop at Nothing Including Murder and Extortion Among Other Felonious Acts on His Way to Becoming POTUS
Watching Kevin Spacey play "HoC"'s central character, Frank Underwood, I can't help but thinking, 'Spacey has got to be having the time of his fracking life inhabiting arguably the coldest and most calculating political character ever to appear on the small screen.' At the same time, I also can't help but thinking, ‘Spacey has to be feeling enormous pressure since he is carrying the weight of hundreds if not more than a thousand other people on his shoulders, other people such as actors and producers and grips and gaffers, other people whose livelihoods, if only for the duration of the Netflix series, rely on how deeply Spacey's Underwood can draw viewers into his backhanded, sinister, D.C. dealings, not to mention make them want him to win.' In other words, Spacey has his work cut out for him, and he's had to get inside just about every emotion known to man in the past two seasons. Which is no easy task, even for an actor as seasoned and decorated as Spacey. So, while cool, exciting, and extremely well paying, Spacey's job playing Francis John Underwood, who, at the close of season two of "HoC," has become Leader of the Free World, is perhaps not much less taxing than that of the real life Leader of the Free World. 

Follow me @VaultFinance.

Read More:
Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright land big raises on 'House of Cards' (NYP)
House of Cards’ Mahershala Ali on Remy and Jackie, and Working on Mockingjay (NYMag)
The Werewolf of Wall Street (Vault)


Filed Under: Workplace Issues