Sunday, Honeybun and I took it easy. We slept late. I cooked breakfast at eleven. And most of our day consisted of nothing but a marathon of the last four episodes of "House of Cards". The series stars Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright and Kate Mara. Executive produced by David Fincher, it's based on a British miniseries and novels. It's gotten critical acclaim from pretty much every corner, and with such pedigree, why wouldn't it?The only surprising thing about the series is its distribution. It's the first Netflix produced original series. No HBO, no network, no cable, not even any DVDs or Blu Ray's as far as Netflix has detailed so far. Just 13 great hours of television that's available anywhere you have web access or the Netflix app.
And what a series it is. It's not cheap, and it doesn't seem to have any of the tell-tale "web video" signs or signals. This is real TV. Every bit as well-produced as the latest series from HBO or Showtime. This is pay-cable quality programming. And it seems to be the future.
Netflix' stated goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become Netflix (and an HBO only subscription is coming, sooner or later). This first big step in my mind is a great success.
I'll try to stay spoiler free, but I want to mention a few things I love about the series.
1. The theme song - cold, imposing, atmospheric. Just like the D.C. that the show presents.
2. Kevin Spacey - terrible accent and all (it does thankfully recede as the series continues) this is one of Spacey's best performances.
3. Robin Wright - One part Carmella Soprano, one part Lady Macbeth and two parts smokin' hotty, Robin Wright might be the first person to win an Emmy for something not on television (are these shows eligible for award season?)
4. Instant Gratification - You have an afternoon to
waste fill and want to watch more? No problem. Try that with the latest season of "Game of Thrones" or "Mad Men". It took Honeybun and I about a month to get through the series, but we could have watched all 13 episodes of Season 1 (Season 2 is in production now) all in one sitting. That's a real game changer and should shift the other networks' habits even sooner than other aspects of this deal.
Overall, the first season was great. Solid acting from top to bottom, engaging story lines, beautiful set design and cinematography and as much entertainment as quickly as you want to take it in. What more could you ask for?
Ok, maybe a premiere date for Season 2?