Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tune In or Tune Out: House of Cards (Netflix)

House of Cards (Netflix)
Created by: Beau Willimon (Ides of March)
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, and Kate Mara

Do you have Netflix? If the answer is no, I am going to advise that within the next couple of months that you should invest in the watch instant feature.  Not only has Netflix been doing a good job getting more movies, and television series, but now they have their own television series, and its good!

House of Cards centers around the inner workings of politics in Washington DC and the election of a new President.  While the show focuses on many different political players in DC the show focuses House Majority Whip Francis Underwood played brilliantly by Kevin Spacey.  The shows other main player is a young upstart reporter Zoe barnes played incredible vitality by Kate Mara.  While Spacey is a house hold name as a two time Oscar winner Mara is a bit more unknown but her performance in the first American Horror Story series was brilliant.  Francis's wife Claire Underwood played by Robin Wright is another focal point of the show, and while her story was a bit dull the character is not, and Wright has this dark energy which she exudes in a commanding supporting role.

Together these power players along with the rest of the cast work together to create a show which centers on the intrigue within DC.  Francis was groomed to be the President elects Secretary of State but was passed over by the administration.  Francis teams up with Zoe, his wife, staffers, and other politicians to manipulate a situation that will enact a form of revenge that is almost Shakespearean.

Series creator Beau Willimon who wrote the electrifying film Ides of March teams up with genius director David Fincher for the first episode of this new series.  Willimon's script is excellent; he knows how to create connecting points, which will help develop characters while moving the show in an interesting direction. Fincher's direction is incredible, the man can almost do no wrong.  In this series he works well with the actors to create the edge of seat intensity. One of my favorite aspect of the script, and direction is the Spacey breaks the fourth wall talking to viewer.  Characters rarely break the fourth because it feels contrived or forced but within the context of this show, there is something devilishly fun about being led down the path with Francis.

For their first major television series Netflix has gambled a lot on this series, and it's paid off.  While the show may not be for everyone, mainly if you are not intrigued by politics, but the characters are fantastic, the writing is sharp, and the direction flawless.  Even only after one episode I am intrigued and will going back to finish all thirteen, which are available.  This is a brilliant show, and strategy.  I applaud the tenacity of Netflix, and the people involved with this show.

Verdict: Tune In!!

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