House of Cards: A Stacked Deck

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Congratulations, Netflix.  You hit the mark.

For years I was skeptical of you; you offered a great service, just one I was never jumping to use.  The streaming can be shoddy, you don’t offer the latest or even the greatest in movie/TV releases, and I didn’t feel like I could utilize you to the fullest.  Then you took on one of the most ambitious projects I’ve seen you do: you produced a television series.  A great, amazing, compelling series.

I had put off watching House of Cards when it first premiered for the streaming website.  Instead of releasing one episode per week, Netflix released all thirteen episodes of the political thriller (based off a British miniseries of the same name) at once.  I knew as soon as I watched the first episode I wouldn’t be able to stop.  I wasn’t wrong.  I finished the entire first season within forty-eight hours, without even blinking an eye.

The Kevin Spacey led program follows U.S. Representative and House Majority Whip, Frank Underwood (Spacey), as he manipulates and schemes his way through D.C. politics.  After being ousted for the position of Secretary of State by the President, Frank makes it his mission to take on the government and assert his power in any way (and I do mean ANY way) necessary.

Spacey’s hardcore, intriguing portrayal of Frank is unstoppable.  Frank’s equally manipulative wife, Claire (Robin Wright), is a force.  The duo make you terrified to even step foot into the world of politics.  With equally amazing performances by (just to name a talented few) characters: Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara), a journalist eager to make her way to the top, thirsty for any juicy scoop; Peter Russo (Corey Stoll), a U.S. Representative from Philly hanging on by a thread in the cat and mouse political game while battling a drug and alcohol addiction; and Christina Gallagher (Kristen Connolly), Peter’s girlfriend/secretary, desperately trying to help Peter to succeed in Washington, the show takes off running from the start and leaves your jaw getting closer to the floor episode after episode.  By the end your left questioning your own morals all the while clawing for more episodes.

Netflix, you won me over.  In a world where we sit on the edge of our seats waiting week to week for new episodes of our favorite shows to air, House of Cards stands out brightly.  Instead of anxiously awaiting a new installment, viewers and can watch from beginning to end, no impatience necessary.  Cards holds its own from start to finish, keeping the viewer glued to their screen.

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