We have two TV categories that we talk about here at MWTVG, network TV and cable TV. We have to invent a new one now. Internet TV. Netflix has produced and aired their first original series, House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright.
Netflix caused an uproar back in 2011 when they announced a rate increase by splitting their streaming service from their DVD service. They told us back then that they needed to increase rates to be able to offer better streaming services and to do other things they had planned for the future. If making shows like House of Cards is what they had planned for the future, then I forgive them for the rate increase and am thankful they did it. House of Cards is simply a wonderful show and if you have Netflix, I am recommending that you start watching this show immediately.
House of Cards was adapted from a 1990 BBC series and stars Oscar winner Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. Netflix outbid HBO and AMC for the rights to the show which reportedly cost them $100 million dollars to get. Kevin Spacey is not cheap to work with either and there are reports that each of the 13 episodes in the first season cost Netflix $3 million dollars. This is a very expensive project for Netflix to take on and they have not failed themselves.
House of Cards is a political drama that follows South Carolina Congressman Frank Underwood and the maneuvering and back-stabbing of DC politics. The series opens with Congressman Underwood finding out that he has just been screwed by the President-elect, whom he helped elect, because he won’t be getting the Secretary of State position he had been promised. We watch Frank begin the process of exacting his revenge. We soon find out that Congressman Underwood is not to be trifled with.
Robin Wright (Run Forest, Run) stars as Congressman Underwood’s wife Claire Underwood. She runs her own non-profit water company but she finds that her business is often mixed up with the business of her husband for better or for worse. This is never a problem for Claire. She is her own woman and she can take care of herself. Her character might be one of my favorite parts of this show so far. Robin Wright plays her beautifully. She is the wife of a powerful Congressman and she has resigned herself to take the good with the bad and all the things that come with being the wife of a Congressman because sometimes, it will benefit her (Hillary Clinton anyone?).
Producer and screen writer Beau Willimon (The Ides of March) has done a fantastic job adapting this political drama for an American audience. Politics in this country has become so divisive that any time you talk about any political subject, you are likely to upset 50% of your viewers. They get around this by not focusing on any political issue from both sides of the aisle. What we see on House of Cards is the back-room wheeling and dealing that happens within one party to try to make laws happen. There is no preaching or grandstanding or talking about how any position is right or better than another one. The politics of the show is just the setting. It is not one of the characters and it is certainly not the star. No matter what your politics, lefty, righty, or don’t care, you can watch this show and enjoy it.
Netflix has put all 13 episodes of the first season of House of Cards up all at one time so unlike any of the other networks where you can just watch once a week, you can sit and watch every episode in one long marathon if you want and guess what else? It’s all commercial free.
At this point, I would normally tell you the day and time the show airs that I am talking about. In this case, House of Cards airs on Netflix on any day you want at any time you want for as many episodes as you want. You can’t get it much better than that.