Wednesday, March 27, 2013

House of Cards

I'm about a month late to the party on this one, but there's still time for the rest of us. This fabulous Netflix exclusive TV series starring Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, and Kate Mara, is probably the best thing I've seen outside of pay cable in a while. And that's probably the coolest thing about it - it's not cable at all - it's only available on Netflix. Welcome to the future.

"House of Cards" is based on the book(s) by Michael Dobbs, and the BBC miniseries that followed by Andrew Davies. Originally set in British Parliament, show developer and producer Beau Willimon adapted the concept to Washington DC and the US Capitol for American viewers. Spacey is an ambitious Congressman manipulating his way to the top with almost demonic precision and sly fourth wall breaking asides to the viewers at home. There are Emmy caliber performances by all involved, but I wonder if it will be eligible for the Emmys?

Netflix, observing viewing habits and trying to keep ahead or at least abreast of cutting edge technology, has gone into the entertainment business, creating their own shows. Seeing that many folks will watch an entire series at once, sometimes a season at a time - a practice called 'stripping,' Netflix created shows meant to adapt to that. In that spirit, the entire first season of "House of Cards" was released all at once on February 1st.

The compelling characters, I tense stories, and terrific performances will keep you coming back episode after episode. It also has the likes of David Fincher, James Foley, and Joel Schumacher in the director's chair.  This is a series worthy of HBO, Showtime, or AMC, yeah, it's that good. I highly recommend it. I just don't know what I'll be doing until season two comes out...


  1. I've been meaning to start watching this series. Hopefully, I'll be able to start it this weekend. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. Heironymous5:32 PM

    I watched the first season and agree it is good, not exceptional. I would only recommned it if I knew what type of drama someone liked. House of Cards (US) is not for everyone. I could nitpick some of the plot points and the character inconsistencies, but overall I enjoyed it. It had enough of the right elements to draw you in to its seasonal conclusion.

    I do like that the series was not created to compete with cable but instead gives viewers what they really want, which is, all of a season at once. I like watching the entire season at my pace. I want to view the story arc as it evolves and not have wait another week.

    The old "tune in next time" series model has lost me. It is why I have just waited for a show like Downton Abbey, Doctor Who, etc. to complete their seasonal run. When it has, I then view the entire season at my pace.

    I am currently watching the original House of Cards (UK) series which is also avaialable on Netflix. Maybe you can catch that while you wait for season 2 and we can compare notes at Christmas. ;-)

  3. Stripping definitely catching on, and I bet Netflix is very happy they're cashing in on it.

    I had seen the original BBC mini-series years ago (but not its two sequels), but despite the same name, I didn't catch that it was the same concept until a couple episodes in to this one.

    Great show.