Netflix is a film lovers bestfriend. You get a back catalog of classic, blockbusters, television, and now original content all at your finger tips for a relatively low price. Starting last Friday, February 1, Netflix unleashed and ambitious in-house production House of Cards. With big industry players like Kevin Spacey, Beau Willmon (Ides of March), and David Fincher adding their heft to the project it’s about time to question whether this is the next big thing in film and television.
There are no silly cliffhangers at the end of the mid-season finally to keep you interested during the hiatus because there is no hiatus. All thirteen of the chapters were released at once. And there is no set time. Each chapter has as much time as it needs to tell its story. It’s a big change for what television can be, and it’s a big risk for a fragile company like Netflix to be taking. Cinematically House of Cards looks like a really well produced YouTube or Vimeo video, so it looks a lot like The Social Network, also done by Fincher.
Speaking of to the The Social Network is the comparison and contrasts of that film’s screenwriter Arron Sorkin and his debut television series The West Wing to House of Cards. Both are television shows concerned about Washington DC but with policy making taking a back burner to social structure and everyday life. Both are written by men who got there starts in the industry adapting a political play they wrote for the silver screen. Both have famous and award winning actors in the lead role.
So far I’ve only seen the first few minutes of the first episode, and I must warn you, there is no such thing as the fourth wall in this series. At all.