One of those rare occasions when an otherwise brilliant TV series is let down by a map
I’m catching up with the first series of House of Cards on Netflix but I was stopped in my tracks in the fourth episode. There I was sitting in my living room, enjoying the political shenanigans when something came on screen that made me shout: “Oh come on! That is just not believable!”
Was it a bad performance, a ridiculous plot twist or the unexpected arrival of a weak new character that irked me so much? No, it was a map.
For someone who works in mapping software (which has many non-profit organizations as clients), viewing the particular scene in question was akin to watching someone suddenly pick up one of those brick-sized cellphones from the 80s.
The scene of the crime
New hire Gillian works for a non-profit and has recently turned down a 6-figure salary with a major internet company. That indicates just how clever and high-powered she is. Yet, she provides insight by physically sticking colored labels on a wall map? (Didn’t she read my earlier blog on how to impress your boss with mapping software?)
As the scene unfolds, it becomes increasingly hard to take seriously. The more I watch it, the more screamingly funny it becomes:
Claire enters Gillian’s office
– Claire (to Remy): She’s doing fantastic work for us, as you can see.
Gillian gestures towards the map on the wall.
– Gillian: (with great pride) Red is completed wells, green is potential wells, yellow approved sites and blue are filtration centers
– Remy: Nice.
Nice! Well, you just go ahead and try filtering that data and then tell us again, Remy, how “nice” it is.
Where labels should really be stuck
House of Cards has a compelling story, intriguing characters and acclaimed directors (like David Fincher and James Foley). I was really enjoying it until I saw the map. Maybe Gillian will get her comeuppance (I have 22 more episodes to catch up on); maybe someone will eventually talk her into trying mapping software; maybe someone will tell her where she should stick her colored labels.