Midterm Stress Relief Week: House of Cards

After a long day of running around campus, it’s time to slip into a granny sweater, make some scorching hot tea, and watch some good ol’ House of Cards for Day 3 of Midterm Stress Relief Week.

The show, starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright and directed by David Fincher, premiered on February 1. I started watching it the day after and am only four episodes into the show. So far, it’s pretty damn good. Spacey’s character Frank Underwood is passed over for the position of Secretary of State by the candidates, including President, he helped get elected. He slowly and very surely enacts a plot to dismantle the new Secretary candidate and get his overall revenge. He’s so bad, he’s good. Aside from his lovely wife Claire, we the audience are Frank’s confidante as Spacey breaks the fourth wall to reveal is true nature. Spacey and Wright make a cruelly ambitious and deliciously perfect couple.  As the House Majority Whip and head of an environmental company respectively, both of them are in fine form and I may have a womanly crush on Ms. Wright. (Oh I most definitely have).

House of Cards - Kevin Space, Robin Wright

Move over Obamas. The new power couple of Washington DC.

Equally notable is the fact that Netflix outbid HBO, Showtime, AMC, and other television networks for House of Cards. And all episodes are released on the day of the premiere. Perhaps Netflix – and the world of online streaming – really is the future of video entertainment. Remember when Netflix split their service between DVD rental from instant watch? Remember when people waved their torches and pitch forks as a result of this supposedly unfair and inconvenient separation? While I was a bit bummed that I’d have to choose among one, the other, or paying double the price, I trusted the movie rental king. It was sad seeing rental stores like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video go out of business – I have some good memories of browsing the local video store. But we live in the age of information and we want our information now.

Netflix made a very forward move in transitioning from DVD rentals to online streaming of movies and TV shows. Was buying “House of Cards,” along with promoting it (rather scantily, though) worth it? According to CNBC’s report, the premiere of “House of Cards” did not produce a “spike in views.” I’m no business aficionado and I’m not good at crunching numbers, so I’ll admit that I don’t see the financial payoff for Netflix yet. The way they get more money is by having more people subscribe. In addition to regular subscribers, how many people would have to sign up to Netflix for the company to see a profit from this? Netflix is not some small revolutionary company trying to buck a trend and stick it to the man. Netflix is the man. What I see them doing is spearheading a form of entertainment of the future. And the not-too-distant future, apparently. Maybe this really will pay off for them in the long run.

House of Cards - Kevin Spacey

Cheers to the future, Internet

Watch House of Cards if you like backstabbing political dramas and great acting (Spacey rocks my world). I’ll write a post solely about the show (sans Netflix drama) when I finish the season.

Read more about Netflix’s revolution: