I finished the first two episodes of the new Netflix original series House of Cards, and I have to say I’m quite impressed. The show portrays the inner workings of the Washington political and press scene along with all the dirt and sleaze. This is what makes the show interesting, you’re constantly wondering what scheme is going to play out next and if it’ll work or backfire in the faces of the people behind it. Kevin Spacey’s monologues (I don’t believe I’m using the right word here, but hey it’s 2 in the morning) in which he breaks the fourth wall work great and add a special flavor to the show.
Netflix has made the first episode of House of Cards available for free in hopes that it’ll hook viewers who will then shell out $7.99 to have access to the remaining 12 episodes (which are all available to watch right up front, no waiting!). I’ve been a Netflix subscriber for years, so for me House of Cards is just a nice bonus. I hope it ends up being a success for Netflix and maybe we’ll get a second season and more original content in the future.
Netflix is getting more and more into original programming with the return of Arrested Development and the Lilyhammer series. Today its newest original series, House of Cards, debuted with all 13 episodes of season one available on day one.
House of Cards stars Kevin Spacey and its list of producers include David Fincher (Fight Club, The Social Network), Kevin Spacey and Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) among others.
I haven’t watched it yet, but the show looks quite interesting. I’m definitely looking forward to watching it. Many people are discussing just how they’ll go about watching the series. Would you try to watch the entire season at once, or one episode a week? The nice thing about Netflix’s distribution method is it’s entirely up to you to decide. It’s “on demand” in a sense. This seems like it’d take away from the social aspect of watching a series. For example every Monday you might hear people at work talking about the previous night’s episode of The Walking Dead. With House of Cards some of your friends may watch the entire series by the time you’re only on the second or third episode.
With its original programming, Netflix hopes to change the way television works. Reed Hastings has said:
Imagine if books were always released one chapter per week, and were only briefly available to read at 8pm on Thursday. And then someone flipped a switch, suddenly allowing people to enjoy an entire book, all at their own pace. That is the change we are bringing about. That is the future of television. That is Internet TV. [CNET]
I certainly look forward to the future of Netflix programming, and agree entirely with Hastings’ statement that the viewer should be in charge of how they consume their content. I look forward to checking out House of Cards this weekend, and will be sure to return with my thoughts on the series.