Is any place in the world a greater den of backroom dealings and skullduggery than the halls of the U.S. Congress? Well, maybe there is: the Conclave of Cardinals, set to meet soon to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI — at least according to a new parody video trailer.
“House of Cardinals,” written and directed by Jon Deutsch and Ross Cohen, imagines what it would be like if a smarmy cardinal named Frank Underwood tried to game the Vatican’s papal conclave — somebody not unlike the manipulative South Carolina congressman played by Kevin Spacey in the new Netflix drama House of Cards.
Cardinal Frank nails Congressman Frank’s signature quirks — such as his southern drawl and his tendency to talk directly to the camera when he’s in a didactic mood. While spunky journalist Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara) texts the congressman for advice and source material in the Netflix show, the cardinal texts Jesus for advice in the YouTube parody. And of course, there’s the obligatory shot at the Church’s sex abuse scandals.
“Take a step back,” father Frank says, as the trailer music swells. “Look at the big picture. That’s how you become Supreme Pontiff.”