Kevin Spacey – remember him? Course you do. Netflix, however, would rather you didn't.

If you decide to watch the latest, and final, season of House of Cards, Netflix hopes your response will be something like: "Well, golly-gosh, wasn't that gripping! Much better than when wassisname was in it.

“Y’know, that Oscar-winning superstar bloke. The one who chewed up scenery like it was Hubba Bubba, and spat out lesser acting talents (ie everybody else) like they were stray watermelon seeds, jammed in his shark-sharp teeth.”

Yup, Kevin Spacey has departed House of Cards.

And, boy, does it show.

Maybe he had to go. There were allegations of sexual impropriety from various sources. No court of law was involved, no guilty verdict. But Twitter Town was mighty twitchy (when is it not?) and Spacey was airbrushed from the showbiz family album.

Such is Hollywood politics.

Politics is also the name of the game in House of Cards. More specifically, the pursuit of Presidential power.

In previous seasons Frank Underwood (Spacey) achieved his White House goal, then lost the top spot due to allegations of corruption.

Season Five’s cliff hanger had Underwood’s wife, Claire, becoming President, and at loggerheads with hubby.

All was set for a thrilling final season, with Frank and Claire battling for control of America, the western world, and perhaps even the entire known universe. (This is State-side TV, remember. No place for Hubris Lite.)

None of the above can happen now, of course. So instead, in the final season Frank’s been murdered, leaving Claire to wage war on lesser mortals, including a corrupt business clan intent on controlling the White House.

Robin Wright, as Claire, is elegant, poised and sports a killer haircut. She’s a decent actress, too, though without the pizzazz needed to romance and entrance viewers through an entire season.

She’s not helped by a script so intent on winning feminist Brownie points it discards Claire’s original personality – a devious, ice-cold baddie – and turns her into a warrior for the sisterhood instead.

After the Spacey allegations, I understand Netflix wanting to replace the stench of seedy bloke with the heady vibe of the uber ‘woke’.

But such desperate tinkering with the mechanics of a popular show reeks of Hollywood hypocrisy.

Pull the other one, La La Land. Better yet, don’t attempt any pulling, whatsoever.

That’s what got you into this mess in the first place.

Talking of messes, Trump’s U.S.A. is now the acme of anarchy. A bellicose bomb about to go off.

Even in its heyday, House of Cards couldn’t touch the plotline of modern-day America.

Lorne Jackson