head
head head head
Home Contact RSS Feed
News   •   Features   •   Reviews   •   Podcasts   •   Contests   •   Contact Us   •   About Us
Streaming Review: ‘House Of Cards’ Season 1
Culturesmash   |  

House of CardsHouse of Cards
Created by David Fincher
Starring Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright
Available exclusively on Netflix

Netflix shook the world of traditional TV up with their original programming announcements in a similar way to the way iTunes first shook up the music industry with its new paradigm for enjoying our favorite tunes. Of several projects announced by the streaming movie/TV rental company, the most high profile was House of Cards, a series headlined by Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright and produced/directed by David Fincher.

The series is based on a novel and a British miniseries of the same name. Season one of the show launched on Netflix last week, giving us our first real look (other than Lillyhammer, which was a much smaller project) at the new way we can expect to consume long form scripted media.

Kevin Spacey plays Francis the Majority Whip in the United States government. In the first episode it’s revealed that he was central to getting the new Democratic President elected. He had made a deal with the new President that which fell apart right after the election. Being double crossed set Francis on a new path: he would destroy those that crossed him and claw his way to the top no matter what the cost. Francis is most definitely morally bankrupt but you can’t help but root for the guy and his wife isn’t much better, played by Robin Wright. The two of them have a relationship of love, but based on their matching goals of seeking power. She runs a nonprofit which does good work but she’s willing to do whatever is necessary to reach her own goals. It’s interesting to see how the company and the government parallel each other. They do good things but it feels like the good they do is simply a repercussion of those behind the scenes fighting for what they want personally.

You might expect the series to be some sort of social commentary on our modern times and the recent state of the government and world view. While there are those elements they take a backseat to an almost Shakespearean approach to epic stories and extreme character archetypes. Spacey often breaks the fourth wall and talks directly to us into the camera. At first this is off putting but as you settle into the formula you really get a sense of what he’s thinking, which helps since he’s such a strong gambler we might not know what his true goals are if he didn’t sometimes hint to us what he’s up too. These moments are some of the most Shakespearean of the season which is a compliment, which is a big deal from someone who doesn’t love Shakespeare. There are a few instances where it gets a little too extreme, one in a church in particular comes to mind, but overall the breaking of the fourth wall gives this series a truly modern cutting edge feel which is pretty great considering the very existence of the series is as I previously mentioned part of a whole new paradigm.

The series falls somewhere between a chess game and a giant puzzle. The only way to win is to be able to look several moves ahead and to know what pieces go where. Francis is a master at the game and watching him play it is sometimes humorous, often dramatic and melodramatic, and even suspenseful. Kevin Spacey carries this show on his shoulders and he does it effortlessly. He plays a brilliant old school southern politician who’s often a lot smarter than his peers give him credit for. Thankfully he skips the ludicrous Gone with the Wind Accent for something a lot more subtle too. Robin wright gives a subtle and nuanced performance often showing more heart than Spacey’s character until it becomes inconvenient to her end game.

What’s really surprising in these 13 episodes is that there’s very little filler. In most shows at about the halfway mark each season there’s some inconsequential story arc that just pads out the season leading to a cliffhanger season finale but not here. There is a story that seemed like it was going to be a little more filler involving a prostitute that actually ends up being much more integral to the bigger story than you might expect. The entire first 13 episodes are quite riveting with only a few minor divergences to far into melodrama. If this is an example of what we can expect from Netflix for original programming HBO needs to be quaking in their boots.

Previous Article
Next Article
«
»
Around the Web
Geeks of Doom on Instagram Follow Geeks of Doom on Tumblr
Geeks of Doom on YouTube Geeks of Doom on Pinterest
Geeks of Doom Email Digest Geeks of Doom RSS Feed
Google
Amazon.com
Check out all of our current contests listings
Check out all of our current contests listings
space
space
The Drill Down Podcast TARDISblend Podcast Skull-Face Island Movie Podcast
BlendoveR
Get Geeks of Doom Gear on CafePress
BlendoveR   ·   Cinema Blend   ·   Collider   ·   Film School Rejects   ·   First Showing   ·   io9   ·   Latino Review   ·   Screen Rant   ·   Slashfilm   ·   The Mary Sue
2520 Clothing Company
Animated  ·  Apps  ·  Art  ·  Best-Sellers  ·  Bits of Doom  ·  Blog  ·  Blu-ray  ·  Book of Geek  ·  Books  ·  Cartoons  ·  Celebrity  ·  Charity  ·  Collectibles  ·  Comics  ·  Computers  ·  Contests  ·  Conventions  ·  Deals  ·  DIY  ·  Documentary  ·  Doom Deliveries  ·  DVDs  ·  Electronics  ·  Environment  ·  Fanatic  ·  Features  ·  Gadgets  ·  Games  ·  Gear  ·  Geek Finds  ·  Geek Girls  ·  Gift Guide  ·  Holidays  ·  Humor  ·  Interviews  ·  Movies  ·  Music  ·  News  ·  News Bytes  ·  Obit  ·  Photos  ·  Podcasts  ·  Politics  ·  Poll  ·  Press Releases  ·  Recaps  ·  Reviews  ·  Rumors  ·  Science  ·  Software  ·  Sports  ·  Technology  ·  Television  ·  Theater  ·  Theme Parks  ·  Trailers  ·  Travel  ·  Video Games  ·  Videos  ·  Web Games  ·  Week of Geek  ·  Zombie Round-Up
space
January 2014  ·   December 2013  ·   November 2013  ·   October 2013  ·   September 2013  ·   August 2013  ·   July 2013  ·   June 2013  ·   May 2013  ·   April 2013  ·   March 2013  ·   February 2013  ·   January 2013  ·   December 2012  ·   November 2012  ·   October 2012  ·   September 2012  ·   August 2012  ·   July 2012  ·   June 2012  ·   May 2012  ·   April 2012  ·   March 2012  ·   February 2012  ·   January 2012  ·   December 2011  ·   November 2011  ·   October 2011  ·   September 2011  ·   August 2011  ·   July 2011  ·   June 2011  ·   May 2011  ·   April 2011  ·   March 2011  ·   February 2011  ·   January 2011  ·   December 2010  ·   November 2010  ·   Octber 2010  ·   September 2010  ·   August 2010  ·   July 2010  ·   June 2010  ·   May 2010  ·   April 2010  ·   March 2010  ·   February 2010  ·   January 2010  ·   December 2009  ·   November 2009  ·   Octber 2009  ·   September 2009  ·   August 2009  ·   July 2009  ·   June 2009  ·   May 2009  ·   April 2009  ·   March 2009  ·   February 2009  ·   January 2009  ·   December 2008  ·   November 2008  ·   Octber 2008  ·   September 2008  ·   August 2008  ·   July 2008  ·   June 2008  ·   May 2008  ·   April 2008  ·   March 2008  ·   February 2008  ·   January 2008  ·   December 2007  ·   November 2007  ·   Octber 2007  ·   September 2007  ·   August 2007  ·   July 2007  ·   June 2007  ·   May 2007  ·   April 2007  ·   March 2007  ·   February 2007  ·   January 2007  ·   December 2006  ·   November 2006  ·   Octber 2006  ·   September 2006  ·   August 2006  ·   July 2006  ·   June 2006  ·   May 2006  ·   April 2006  ·   March 2006
space
Creative Commons License
This website is licensed under
a Creative Commons License.
space
Geeks of Doom is proudly powered by WordPress.

Students of the Unusual™ comic cover used with permission of 3BoysProductions
The Mercuri Bros.™ comic cover used with permission of Prodigal Son Press

Geeks of Doom is designed and maintained by our geeky webmaster
All original content copyright ©2005-2014 Geeks of Doom
All external content copyright of its respective owner, except where noted

Privacy Policy | Contact
space
space