House of Cards (Netflix)

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Hokahey
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House of Cards (Netflix)

#1 Post by Hokahey » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:15 pm

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House of Cards is a political drama television series developed by Beau Willimon for the American streaming network Netflix. The series stars Kevin Spacey as Francis "Frank" Underwood, a ruthless politician with his eye on the top job in Washington, D.C. It is an adaptation of the novel by Michael Dobbs and a previous BBC miniseries of the same name. The first season premiered on February 1, 2013.
Fantastic show. My second favorite show now after Boardwalk Empire. I'm up to episode 11 out of 13.

Anyone else watching?

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Re: House of Cards (Netflix)

#2 Post by Jasper » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:56 pm

It's been on the top of my list for next show to watch for a ridiculously long time. I've just had a lot to do lately, and I've been in the process of watching some other stuff, and I can't afford the destructive effects of me cracking out and marathoning this show (a serious risk).

I am really looking forward to it, and I'm going to get to it fairly soon.

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Re: House of Cards (Netflix)

#3 Post by creep » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:17 pm

yeah...it's on my schedule for this weekend.

i really like releasing the whole season at once.

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Re: House of Cards (Netflix)

#4 Post by cursed male » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:31 pm

It should be mentioned that the series was developed and produced by none other than master director David Fincher (Seven, Fight Club, Zodiac, The Social Network). Fincher also directed the first two episodes.


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Re: House of Cards (Netflix)

#5 Post by Hokahey » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:08 am

Jasper wrote: I can't afford the destructive effects of me cracking out and marathoning this show (a serious risk).
Exactly what happened to me. I was hooked.

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Re: House of Cards (Netflix)

#6 Post by SR » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:34 am

Wtf? Netflix is a channel? :confused:

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Re: House of Cards (Netflix)

#7 Post by Pure Method » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:52 am

...ah....the sound of the old guard nostalgically clawing at copies of the TV Guide....

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Re: House of Cards (Netflix)

#8 Post by SR » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:56 am

Pure Method wrote:...ah....the sound of the old guard nostalgically clawing at copies of the TV Guide....
:lol: no stubbornly ignoring it because in my day it was the number one selling 'periodical'. But yeah, yr point isn't misdirected. However I did just get Netflix, and saw this show to view on my computer but want it on the tv. :flip:

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Re: House of Cards (Netflix)

#9 Post by Hokahey » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:45 am

SR wrote:
Pure Method wrote:...ah....the sound of the old guard nostalgically clawing at copies of the TV Guide....
:lol: no stubbornly ignoring it because in my day it was the number one selling 'periodical'. But yeah, yr point isn't misdirected. However I did just get Netflix, and saw this show to view on my computer but want it on the tv. :flip:
You dont have a gaming console that lets you connect your TV to Netflix? They sell a lot of different devices that do. I watch it through my WiiU. It's nice because Nintendo's online service is free, so I just pay for my usual Netflix and get to watch stuff in HD on the big screen.

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Re: House of Cards (Netflix)

#10 Post by chaos » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:56 am

Pure Method wrote:...ah....the sound of the old guard nostalgically clawing at copies of the TV Guide....
:lolol:

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Re: House of Cards (Netflix)

#11 Post by SR » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:43 pm

Um, yeah. My kiddo says we get it through the play station. The last game I played through a tv was Atari pong....2 black dials and a switch. So hoka, I'm fucked until he shows me. Netflix is ready to go.

Um, I think a roll call of ages is in order about now. :hehe:

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Re: House of Cards (Netflix)

#12 Post by Artemis » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:13 pm

Not the most flattering article about the show.
I want to check it out because I like Kevin Spacey.

http://www.nowtoronto.com/daily/story.c ... ent=191100
House Of Crap
Netflix’s original series "gambit" is half-digested, focus-grouped pap
By JOHN SEMLEY

The deck was stacked from the get-go. When all 13 episodes arrived on Netflix in one thunderous splat last Friday, it was a bit of event not-quite-television that looked to eclipse even the Super Bowl.
On the day it landed, Andrew Leonard at Salon analyzed the $100 million Kevin Spacey-starring political drama’s auspicious origins as a complex data set of user viewing habits culled by Netflix’s analysts-as-producers. The picture he developed of House Of Cards is tough to shake: basically, an exactingly focus-grouped drama pre-designed to be enjoyed by Netflix users, reducible to a profitable equation: Kevin Spacey + David Fincher + Intrigue + Frontal Nudity = House Of Cards.
(When I tuned in to view it, Netflix had bothered to pre-rate House Of Cards for me, guessing that I’d give it 3 out of 4 possible stars, maybe because I’ve watched In The Line Of Fire and Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Margin Call. It’s Recommended If You Like… Netflix, basically.)
Of course, as Leonard pointed out, Netflix’s data-farming and the drama series it yielded are only a more perfected form of the demographic pandering that has given viewers “what they want” since forever. But it’s too perfect. And pretty lousy.
If TV is being regarded as the new auteur medium, where show-runners like Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad), Lena Dunham (Girls) and David Simon (The Wire/Treme) can develop a unique sensibility around their shows that resembles the primacy of the director as the draftsperson of a given film’s meaning (this is a crude definition of cinema’s auteur theory, but okay), House Of Cards cedes this sensibility to a big fat Excel spreadsheet. This is the algorithm as auteur.
***
First things first: based on the BBC series of the same name, House Of Cards stars Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood, a calculating Democratic congressman and House majority whip. Passed over as secretary of state in the first episode, he sets about restructuring Washington to suit his own agenda. It co-stars Robin Wright as Spacey’s just as conniving wife, daylighting as an environmental activist. There’s also Kate Mara as an ambitious political reporter of the New Media generation (“You want to blog?! This isn’t TMZ!” her boss snarls at her in the first episode, despite the show ostensibly being set in the year 2013) who gets in bed with Spacey, figuratively and then literally, who trickles confidential documents to her in a nice bit of mutual back-scratching. On paper – or as a dense set of raw data – it seems compelling enough. It isn’t.
House Of Cards is crammed with allegory and visual metaphors that seem plagiarized from a literate 9th-grader’s book report. Spacey’s one weakness is eating sauce-slathered BBQ ribs (he’s a carnivore!); a steamy hotel room affair (almost) unfolds as the Washington Monument looms conspicuously in the background (it’s a dick!); characters trade in stunted clichés (including lots of actual talk about cards, Congress being a House Of Cards and all that), etc, etc. Spacey’s character even addresses the camera, laying out themes and context that better TV would just immerse viewers in. It may be a bid for Shakespearean soliloquizing that speaks to the shows grander dramatic aspirations, but it feels moronically obvious, jerry-rigged for adult viewers who were weaned on the fourth-wall-breaking direct address of Saved By The Bell or Malcolm In The Middle.
There’s also the problem of the program’s centerpiece star. As a supporting performer, Kevin Spacey has maybe two great movies to his name (neither of which he won an Oscar for). Otherwise, his métier in the past decade has been his ability to use his pasty, compromised, bag-of-flour complexion to believably play pasty, compromised, bag-of-flour-types like political insiders (Recount), lobbyists (Casino Jack) and opaque Wall Street traders (Margin Call). Spacey is okay in all these roles, using his physical characterlessness to his advantage.
There is a general taken-for-granted sense that Spacey’s presence in House Of Cards somehow elevates the material. This isn’t Tim Roth slumming in Lie To Me, or some other former Hollywood B-lister sinking to the debased depths of small-screen drama on their agent’s assurances that “TV is the new movies.” Spacey brings with him a veneer of quality and two Academy Awards that he likely hot-glues his CV to and lobs through a casting agent’s window when he’s looking for work. And, really, House Of Cards is all veneer – from the steely hues of David Fincher’s palette, which makes House Of Cards look very much “like a David Fincher movie” even when it doesn’t feel like one, to the more troubling sense that the show is somehow “about something” because its subject is politics.
Its subject is not really politics, though. It’s politicking. Like Homeland – which is a better, or at least more watchable, show because it has the strength of conviction to be galling and sensationally wrong-headed as opposed to just middling, milquetoast and Spaceyesque – House Of Cards is about the purely deceitful machinations of the political sphere. In House Of Cards, characters wheel, deal and fuck each other over in the pursuit of power qua power. Netflix’s banner promotional image of Spacey seated in the Lincoln Memorial, hands bleeding for some reason (stigmata? just a Macbeth blood-on-the-hands thing?) is telling even in its obviousness: it’s less about who’s on the throne than about the seat of power itself.
House Of Cards invites the viewer to revel in the vacuous hustling of Capitol Hill, divorced from any real agendas. At least Homeland, as much as it ultimately waffles on the validity of its politics and on the validity of believing in politics at all (see the terrorist bogeyman Abu Nazir, who was revised in the show’s second season to be motivated by vengeance and not a coherent radical program) jams stuff like aerial drone strikes and the unlawful execution of American citizens in the viewer’s face.
The ethical ambiguities in House Of Cards seem to proceed from its own focus-grouped data-pooling, playing to fans of programs like The Sopranos or Breaking Bad that make a (often fun, sometimes productive) spectacle of muddying the moral waters. But it’s become increasingly easy – and boring – to defer to ambiguity, complexity and those sundry shades of grey instead of casting your lot with an actual value system. This is a show where bipartisan aisle-crossing is “collusion,” where characters will literally ratify their decision-making under the spectre of “politics” (“There’s [sic] forces bigger than either of us at play here,” Spacey tells a squirming underling in the fourth episode). For all its depiction of the apparent complexity of a political hub like Washington, House Of Cards peddles trite insights like “Yes, politicians are cunning,” and “No, politicians are often not motivated by the best interests of the electorate.” It breeds little but blurry apathy.
***
It’s a problem of the delivery system, too. Marcus Wohlsen at Wired called the single-serving series a "marketing gambit," but that would suggest there's something at risk. Netflix’s much-ballyhooed dumping of the show in one 13-episode plop was meant to accommodate the binge-watching that characterizes the way modern viewers have become accustomed to downing television. Netflix not only offers but seems to implicitly advocate this pattern of over-consumption. When it was sending out full TV seasons in mailers, Netflix proved a prime architect of the wolfing-down of TV shows in marathon sittings. And as Mark Lawson at the Guardian pointed out, Netflix is hoping to attract subscribers with its new banner program, many of whom will likely aim to watch the whole thing within the gratis first-month subscription.
While the seven days typically afforded between TV episodes provides sufficient opportunity for reflection on matters of characterization, motivation, plotting and all the other stuff of drama, be it by reading TV blogs or water-cooler chit-chat, the distribution model of House Of Cards seems built to put across only its semblance of quality. Gobbling it down it in its entirety, it’s easy enough to swallow it as good television. The acting is fine, the Fincherian gleam of the cinematography feels worthy, and it capably juggles enough characters and their respective plot lines to feel something other than inert.
Yet like anything that’s designed to be put down so voraciously (a $7 Chinese buffet, one of those oversized steaks you get a free T-shirt for finishing), devouring House Of Cards yields that rumble of remorse after the initial euphoria has retreated. It may well improve if it heads into a second season. But given that future episodes will only be further refined to be recommended directly to viewers who like House Of Cards, season one, it seems more likely that Netflix’s big-budget original series will only get denser, not deeper.
For now, the show feels like it rocketed through Netflix’s production and distribution arteries, picking up flecks and chunks of other, better films and TV series along the way and finally emerging half-digested. Why belabour the analogy any further? House Of Cards is crap.

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Re: House of Cards (Netflix)

#13 Post by Jasper » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:20 pm

I don't know JOHN SEMLEY, or for whom he writes, but he needs a fucking editor. If JOHN SEMLEY thinks I'm going to read that interminable tirade just to know that he doesn't like something, he's fucking nuts.

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Re: House of Cards (Netflix)

#14 Post by Hokahey » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:18 am

Jasper wrote:I don't know JOHN SEMLEY, or for whom he writes, but he needs a fucking editor. If JOHN SEMLEY thinks I'm going to read that interminable tirade just to know that he doesn't like something, he's fucking nuts.
I was thinking the exact same thing. :lol:

I can only asusme he knows he'll be the lone dissenter and really wants to say as much as he can while people are paying attention to him.

The show isn't absolute perfection, but it is absolutely compelling. I would challenge anyone to watch 3 episodes and not watch all 13.

The acting is top notch and the attention to detail (much like Boardwalk) is extraordinary.

There are so many metaphors, clues and excellent use of forshadowing that I might just watch all 13 epsiodes again to make sure I caught everything.

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Re: House of Cards (Netflix)

#15 Post by Artemis » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:07 am

I haven't seen the show yet and can't comment at this time.

I just posted that asrticle because it was completely the opposite of other reviews and comments I have read.

The part where he is talking about Kevin Spacey being so bland is way off the mark. I think he is one of the best actors in Hollywood. he's an excellent stage actor too.

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Re: House of Cards (Netflix)

#16 Post by creep » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:20 pm

i watched the first episode. i'm all in for the series. it's pretty good. the talking to the camera part bugs me though.

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Re: House of Cards (Netflix)

#17 Post by creep » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:52 pm

episode two lost me a little bit. it's so over the top and a little unrealistic. it reminds me of the newsroom.

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Re: House of Cards (Netflix)

#18 Post by Hokahey » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:30 am

creep wrote:episode two lost me a little bit. it's so over the top and a little unrealistic. it reminds me of the newsroom.
Hang in there. Trust me.

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Re: House of Cards (Netflix)

#19 Post by creep » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:38 pm

ok i marathoned through all 13 episodes. really good series. i think it's a pretty accurate portrayal of just how fucked up our political system is. the best character/actor in the series is/was russo. it's all set up for a second season. i hope there is one.

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Re: House of Cards (Netflix)

#20 Post by chaos » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:17 pm

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/t ... n_nussbaum

ON TELEVISIONSHARK WEEK “House of Cards,” “Scandal,” and the political game.
BY EMILY NUSSBAUM
FEBRUARY 25, 2013

“House of Cards” is an original release from Netflix, a DVD-distribution and streaming company that has decided, after several years of selling tickets to the circus, to jump into the ring. Adapted from a British political thriller, and produced by David Fincher, the series stars Kevin Spacey as a mercenary Democratic House Majority Whip and Robin Wright as his wife. This prestigious résumé has turned “House of Cards” into big news—not least because Netflix has cleverly released all thirteen episodes at once. As a model of TV production, it’s an exciting experiment, with the potential to liberate showrunners from the agony of weekly ratings. It suggests fresh possibilities for the medium, feeding an audience that has already been trained to binge on quality TV in DVD form.

As a television show, however, “House of Cards” is not so revolutionary. This isn’t to say it’s bad, or not worth watching, or unmemorable. (Certain lines, such as “Twitter twat, WTF?,” might become catchphrases—for all its elegant contours, the show is marbled with camp.) Over a recent weekend, “House of Cards” acted something like a Scotch bender, with definite highs and lows. I found the first two episodes handsome but sleazy, like a C.E.O. in a hotel bar. Yet by Episode 5 I was hypnotized by the show’s ensemble of two-faced sociopaths. Episode 8 was a thoughtful side trip into sympathy for Spacey’s devilish main character, but by then I was exhausted, and only my compulsive streak kept me going until the finale—at which point I was critically destabilized and looking forward to Season 2.

Sensually, visually, “House of Cards” is a pleasure. Its acrid view of political ambition is nothing new (that perspective is all over TV these days, on shows like HBO’s “Veep” and Starz’s “Boss”), but the series has some sharp twists, with an emphasis on corporate graft and media grandstanding. There’s also one truly poignant plot about a working-class congressman hooked on drugs. Yet, in the days after I watched the show, its bewitching spell grew fainter—and if “House of Cards” had been delivered weekly I might have given up earlier. Much of the problem is Spacey himself, as Francis (Frank) Underwood, a wheeler-dealer who is denied the job of Secretary of State, and then conspires, with his steely wife, to go even higher. Spacey’s basilisk gaze seems ideal for the role, but he’s miscast by being too well cast—there’s no tension in seeing a shark play a shark. It’s a lot easier to buy his opposite number, the investigative blogger Zoe Barnes (the awesomely hoydenish Kate Mara), who strikes up an affair with Underwood in return for access. Her hair slicked down like a seal, her eyes dead, and her T-shirt sexily V-necked, Barnes is like some millennial demon from the digital unconscious, catnip for condescending older men. You could criticize the show’s portrayal of female reporters as venal sluts in black eyeliner, but it’s hard to object too much, since Mara’s performance, which has a freaky, repressive verve, is the liveliest thing in the show. Robin Wright is regal as Claire, Underwood’s charity-running wife, and Sakina Jaffrey makes a quiet impact as the President’s chief of staff, a restrained professional who in this lurid context feels downright exotic.

Fincher’s Washington is full of eerie imagery, such as a homeless man folding a twenty-dollar bill into an origami swan, and it’s magnificently lit (although I don’t understand why a sought-after journalist like Zoe lives in a flophouse full of spiders). But eventually the show’s theatrical panache, along with Spacey’s Shakespearean asides to the camera, starts to feel as gimmicky as a fashion-magazine shoot, with melancholic shots of Claire jogging in a graveyard. The show may be made of elegant material, but it’s not built to last—it’s a meditation on amorality that tells us mostly what we already know.

And, honestly, the more I watched, the more my mind kept wandering to Shonda Rhimes’s “Scandal”—an ABC series that’s soapy rather than noirish but much more fun . . . .

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