On the Couch: When powder’s not in the ‘Cards’ | AspenTimes.com

On the Couch: When powder’s not in the ‘Cards’

A few weeks back, when Aspen got its first big snow dump and string of legit powder days since Christmas week, I wasn’t among the grinning faces lining up at Gondola Plaza at 8 a.m. or gathering intel at Highlands about when the bowl would open. I was on my couch (not The Couch on Ajax, but an actual piece of indoor furniture).

In a cruel twist of fate, I woke up that Sunday morning with a nasty bug and I spent the next two days not racing from Face to Six to Dumps, not weaving through the Last Dollar trees, but emptying the scant contents of my stomach repeatedly into buckets and paper bags. The couch I was confined to in my Centennial apartment faces a window that looks out on Aspen Mountain, so as the lifts started spinning, I could see all of you carving down the 1A side — I swore I could hear your jolly pow-day hoots and hollers.

I felt like Bart in the “Simpsons” episode where he breaks his leg showboating in the pool and spends his summer vacation in a cast, looking out on the world spitefully from a telescope.

Eventually, I closed the shades and embarked on binge watching the entire new season of “House of Cards” on Netflix. Binge viewing is a pleasure for inside people — the kind of thing you’d just never do in Aspen were you not forced to lay immobile for an extended period. No matter the time of year, there’s simply no reason to stay inside for that long in the mountains. Who can watch 13 hours of TV when there is snow to be skied or trails to be hiked and biked out there?

By the time I was nearing the end of the binge, I was grateful that I normally have better things to do. People in cities and suburbs all over the U.S. had planned their weekends around marathon “House of Cards” viewings — I sort of pitied them more than I pitied myself for missing a few good ski days.

As for the new episodes, I won’t spoil anything for you, and maybe this is the projectile vomit talking, but I thought they fell short of the first two seasons. Kevin Spacey is still great as the scheming Frank Underwood — who is now president of the United States — and Robin Wright is fantastic as his cunning and icy First Lady. But the pleasure of “House of Cards,” up to now, has been watching their Machiavellian climb up the ladder to the White House. Now that they’re on top, it’s dull by comparison to watch them fight with Congress about legislation and — inevitably — turn on one another. The intrepid, morally dubious journalists that populated the first two seasons are gone, too, which was a let-down for this journalist.

There is a delicious Vladimir Putin character and a delightful Pussy Riot cameo in the new season. But I would have rather been shredding pow.

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