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I firmly believe that one of the major aspects of what makes House of
Cards so good is the ability to watch all the episodes back-to-back
with no commercials or programming schedules to get in the way. This
small but hugely significant idea will be an industry game changer and
I am certain that this is just the beginning
To me, the biggest advantage that this idea contributes to House of Cards is that it frees up significant time during episodes because it makes things like flashbacks or repeats of events almost completely redundant. There's simply no need for them because everything is so fresh in your mind, which leaves all that extra time for more story, more action, more conspiracy, more drama, more of the stuff that viewers really want to see. However it must be said that it does take a few episodes to get used to this, and you have to be really switched on and completely focused to ensure you don't miss a beat, because you really will pay a price if you do because what's said is never repeated, only referenced further down the track
As for the show itself, I can't sum it up any better than by saying it's incredibly good to watch. The one aspect of the show I enjoy the most is the monologue, or removal of the fourth wall, between the viewer and Underwood. It's an incredibly effective method of storytelling as well as the expression of emotion or opinion, and Kevin Spacey does a superb job at pulling it off, along with every other aspect of his complex and intriguing character.
The quality of writing, directing, and storytelling is as good as you'll ever see on the best shows in the world right now. Underwood has a massive ship to steer, and it is fascinating watching how he does it, through manipulation, blackmail, greed and determination. Each and every character has a critical role to play - there's no characters you could cast aside as being irrelevant or unnecessary to the story. That is a very difficult feat to achieve, and House of Cards easily passes that test
If you're going to pioneer something, like Netflix have with how viewers can watch House of Cards, you have to do it well. Everything has to be perfect, otherwise it will flop. A top quality show in House of Cards coupled with the worlds best internet streaming service is a very very good place to start. Netflix and the House of Cards team deserve a huge round of applause for daring to go places where no one has gone before. The $100 million gamble has definitely paid off, and I cannot wait for more
Needless to say, House of Cards earns a 10/10 rating, and an absolute must-watch from me
When I thought about Francis Urquhart of the original House of Cards series, I could not help but imagine Kevin Spacey in a way that was similar but a role of his own making. Spacey's role of Francis Underwood, in Netflix's original series, is nothing short of a tour de force. The convenience of being able to watch the whole season right away is also something to mention as a new, fresh and exciting method of television excellence. No longer do we have to wait and be fed slowly the episodes as we wonder what might happen and find ourselves somewhat disappointed -- now we can be swept away. And that's exactly what will happen to you when you sit down to watch this. 13/10.
Fans of David Fincher and Kevin Spacey have been eagerly looking
forward to House of Cards. Not only is this an opportunity to see an
elite Hollywood director and actor take on a new medium, but it
represents Netflix's first attempt at original programming (I guess
Lilyhammer came first, but House of Cards is a much bigger investment
for Netflix). The CEO of Netflix has said that House of Cards is meant
to be a show on the quality level of the top cable stations, such as
HBO, and the final product delivers on this promise.
House of Cards follows several characters involved in the political scene in Washington D.C., including politicians of various rank and influence (Kevin Spacey is a House Majority Whip in the House of Representatives) and an upcoming reporter played brilliantly by Kate Mara, who you may recognize from the first season of American Horror Story. The cast in uniformly excellent and thrives under Fincher's direction. Occasionally, Kevin Spacey's character will talk directly to the camera and offer some narration, which is the only area where the show stumbles, but it isn't too distracting. Speaking of Fincher's direction, it shouldn't come as any surprise to know that House of Cards looks great. The atmosphere is moody and resembles a tone somewhere between The Game and The Social Network. The music is equally good, complementing the mood of the show without becoming overbearing.
Being a political drama, one could be understandably weary of taking the plunge into a 13 episode season if they don't find politics interesting, but that shouldn't be a concern. The writing is sharp, engaging and clear, and the characters are interesting and well developed. The editing helps: it is tight and keeps the plot moving briskly, making the political intrigue both exciting and easy to follow.
Netflix has really created something impressive with House of Cards. When hearing that an online streaming service was creating an original show, some may have been concerned that it would be cheap looking and generally not on par with what AMC, FX, Showtime, and HBO are offering. Well, Netflix got some talented people and gave them the money to make something good, and the product speaks for itself. House of Cards comes highly recommended.
Just watched the first episode. It is outstanding in every sense of the
word. Fist of all I'd like to say, Kevin Spacey is amazing. He's not
the dull politician we're used to seeing, he's a deeply written
character with nuances to his actions and speaking. You can definitely
see Fincher's style in the first episode, at least. It contains some of
the similar themes he has tackled before in his film and adds to those.
He crafts the story very tightly woven and complex. Kate Mara is also
great, she adds to the list of modern Fincher characters. I love the
points of satire in Spacey's character and some of the symbolism used.
The show is outstanding in every aspect, unlike a lot of other
political dramas on TV, can't wait to watch the next episodes.
Definitely a must watch for any fan of TV or Fincher or anyone interested in this.
I was so looking forward to this, having been a big fan of the original
BBC series, with its masterful central performance by Ian Richardson.
In fact when I logged in to Netflix (like a lot of people, this show is
my sign-up moment), I realised that my expectation level was really
Within the first 30 seconds, Kevin Spacey's character Frank Underwood has killed something- in this case dispatching an unfortunate dog which has been hit by a hit and run driver. And as the political intrigue starts to develop around him, Spacey just fills the screen. By the end of the first episode, it isn't so much that you have forgotten Ian Richardson as Urqhuart, Underwood's British cousin, but realised that Spacey is taking us somewhere different.
With Francis Urqhuart you got the impression he was always a psychopath, waiting for the trigger to start his Macchiavellian and murderous rise. Underwood seems to be just a more clever, more ruthless and less hypocritical politician than those around him. The fundamentals of the show - the scorned and bitter political back room fixer, the Lady Macbeth figure of Francis' wife, the ambitious young woman journalist, but all updated.
Mrs Underwood is no Tory wife, waiting "in the country" while her husband charts his rise to power. She is the one giving him the backbone to do it. And as we see her brutally wielding the axe at the charity in which she works, it becomes clear she is no slouch in the ruthlessness stakes herself.
The character of Zoe Barnes, the young reporter, is in a lot of ways more rounded than Matty Storin in the British version. Here she is ballsy, ambitious and a bit ruthless herself. While she retains the innocence of the character, she gives the impression she thinks she knows what she is doing. Which will make later episodes much more juicy as she realises she is way over her head.
The show is shot beautifully, as you'd expect from the calibre of the team behind it, and the production values are excellent. Supporting roles are great. It looks like a movie or The West Wing before they ran out of money.
But the undisputed joy of this series is Spacey, who is a more world-weary, more cynical Francis, and who is setting about his task of revenge and ambition much like he destroyed the unlucky dog at the start of episode 1: its an unpleasant task but someone has to do it.
Spacey is every bit as good as Ian Richardson in this show and Netflix's big gamble deserves to pay off.
From the start, Kevin Spacey captivates & impresses with his his
portrayal as the Machiavellian chief whip. The dialogue is superb, the
editing tight, & the plot moves at just the right pace.
I'm 7 episodes in at the moment & so far it hasn't missed a beat. I remember the original house of cards on the BBC in the early 90's, & at first hearing there would be a US remake, had some concerns, how would they ever match up to the quality & acting, would they still do the Jacobean theatre style breaking of the 4th wall speaking directly to the audience? I needn't have worried, Kevin Spacey handles the role with aplomb, although Ian Richardson originally had a hint of a twinkle in his eye when about to pull peoples strings, Kevin Spacey is far more emotionless, cold blooded & menacing. Both work equally for the part.
Launching on Netflix was a brave move & I really appreciate being able to binge on episode after episode, of this exciting intelligent new drama.
I love spectacular TV-shows with amazing production values like Game of
Thrones or The Walking Dead, but I have to say: although House of Cards
has little interest in jaw-dropping images or gruesome make-up effects,
it delivers just as many dark thrills to keep you glued to your seat as
the action-heavy flagships of HBO and AMC. It's a testament to the
writers', directors' and actors' talents that a show which mostly
consists of people talking is as much a prime candidate for binge-
watching as the shows I've mentioned before, so for those of you who
haven't started watching it yet, be warned: House of Cards is highly
The show is based on the acclaimed BBC mini-series of the same name from 1990, but while the original show focused on the inner workings of British politics, the remake is entirely US based and concentrates on the rise of power-hungry congressman Francis Underwood who is played by Kevin Spacey. On the surface, the show might appear to be a political drama - which it certainly is - but it's also so much more than that. House of Cards combines a vast number of genres; it's a thriller, a love story, a black comedy and a satire - and a very interesting lesson in US politics, which, given creator Beau Willimon's profound knowledge on the subject (he used to work as a campaign aid for Hillary Clinton, Bill Bradley and Howard Dean), is probably a lot more accurate than what we would like to believe.
It's also worth mentioning that House of Cards was heavily inspired by certain works of William Shakespeare. The character of Francis Underwood is a combination of Richard III and Macbeth, and in true Shakespeare manner, he often addresses the audience directly to inform us of his evil schemes. As in the bard's two famous plays, the villain is also the protagonist and - to a certain degree - the person you root for. And what makes him so much fun and so compelling to watch here, is - of course - Kevin Spacey's performance. Spacey's portrayal of a charming but deadly predator is simply perfect; despite the character's obvious willingness to go to extreme lengths to get what he wants, Spacey always keeps him believable and avoids the temptation of making him appear like a caricature or as over-the-top as Richard III in the play. He really seems to relish the opportunity to give us yet another example of his versatility, and while all the cast are excellent (especially Robin Wright gives an amazing performance as Underwood's equally ambitious wife and partner in crime), this is without a doubt his show - and it's very hard to imagine anyone else playing Underwood.
To sum up my overall impressions: Under the guidance of David Fincher (who serves as an executive producer on the show and also directed the first couple of episodes), Beau Willimon has developed one of the smartest and most entertaining TV-shows - with one of the most impressive casts - contemporary television has to offer. Highly recommended. 9 stars out of 10.
Favorite films: http://www.IMDb.com/list/mkjOKvqlSBs/
Lesser-Known Masterpieces: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070242495/
Favorite TV-Shows reviewed: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls075552387/
Favorite Low-Budget and B-Movies: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054808375/
As I was describing the show to a friend, I couldn't help but use the
adjective "delicious." The characters are so strong, manipulative, and
persuasive. Viewers come to "House of Cards" for political thrills, for
back-door deals, and for machinations, and the series feeds your
Spacey's performance is, of course, phenomenal. I was particularly impressed by Wright, I found her character the most intriguing of the series.
The series is filmed beautifully, each scene screams production value, and this is perfect.
The series has some occasional and blatant product placement that definitely ruined the tone; however, if these infrequent advertisements enabled the creation of the series: advertise away.
After watching the first episode I had to continue watching all the episodes. It's edgy, sexy and with a bit of dark humor. Francis Underwood is the first democrat I would ever vote for. The characters are well developed and extremely well casted. Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey are phenomenal and the supporting cast keeps the show moving smoothly and with no drop in continuity. With only a minor amount of policy discussed, it is easy to follow for the non political enthusiasts. Congrats Netflix and I hope there's more like this to come.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When I heard Netflix was doing a show directed by David Fincher, my
personal favorite director, I was excited. The story sounded a little
broad, but still I was pumped. I'm here to say it's as good as I
This is a great show. Watched the whole season in one day, which is how I believe TV should be viewed. I've noticed TV has been getting better and has surpassed movies for sheer entertainment. The best TV shows, Game Of Thrones, Breaking Bad, BoardWalk Empire, have Movie qualities and tell amazing stories. Welp, we have another winner. The acting is on point, especially Kevin Spacey. He's almost type cast and there's no real stretching he's played this character like 5 times, there's even a Horrible Bosses reference if you can believe it, but he's great. The supporting actors are also good. A lot of times what can ruin a good show is too many sub plots, but it's all very focused and deliberate. Also, this is an adaption of a BBC Series and it has some hints of it, with Spacey breaking the fourth wall and text messages appearing in real time. Gives it a specific vibe very smart.
This is clearly Fincher's answer to Boardwalk Empire. Scorsese is the guy for Period Piece Gangster films and Fincher's direction feels so comfortable here. Even the aesthetic is clearly Fincher's work recalling Zodiac, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Social Network. Beautifully shot and great pacing. For the average viewer who likes sophisticated TV Shows this is for them. For any Fincher Fanboys this is a must see and it's only 7.99 on Netflix.
***** SPOILERS & UPDATE**** After sitting on it and thinking about the show it still holds up, my only warning is that the start and end of the season are great and in the middle there's is a two episode transitional period which changes the pacing, but it quickly picks up and delivers and seeing as you could just watch them all in one day, it's hardly worth mentioning.
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