The release of House of Cards was a notable event in the world of TV. For starters, it wasn’t released on TV. Instead, all 13 episodes were released simultaneously on Netflix, heralding their first release and a new potential way to distribute such shows.
By all accounts it was a big hit and has encouraged others to look at this model. However, the obvious thing that should be noted is that this is a project with considerable attention grabbing power. Not only is it the first of its kind, but it stars Kevin Spacey and the first two episodes were directed by David Fincher. Failure was very unlikely.
Also, judging by the first couple of episodes, it is awesome.
Firstly, it looks stunning. The dark colours really emphasise the shady world in which the characters operate and gives it all a shadowy hue. The shadows also help in that regard.
Secondly, the writing it very good. It isn’t great and some moments feel slightly forced in order to speed up the political process into a single episode. Yet these moments are few and far between and otherwise the writing is excellent.
As is the acting, thirdly. As expected, Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood, is immense and his accent and demeanour mean he has just a little of the Hannibal Lector about him. No less intimidating is Robin Wright, playing his wife Claire. Michael Kelly gives a great show of the drug addled Congressman on the edge, Doug Stamper. Though if anyone is to steal the show it is Kate Mara as plucky reporter Zoe Barnes.
Only a couple of episodes into this show and I am already hooked. It’s been a long time since I was so enthused by a non comedy TV show and even longer since it was one about politics.