by Christina Jones
The entire first season of Netflix’s new political drama, House of Cards, was released on Feb. 1. House of Cards is an adaptation of the BBC mini-series of the same name, originating from a novel written by Michael Dobbs. Producer Beau Willimon has already signed on with Netflix for a 13-episode second season, as it is the most watched show on Netflix.
House of Cards follows U.S Representative Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) in Washington, D.C. as Underwood helps his colleague Garrett Walker (Michael Gill) win the Presidency under the assumption that he would be appointed to Secretary of State.
Instead, Walker nominates Senator Michael Kern. Furious, Underwood and his wife Claire (Robin Wright) plot to get revenge on those who played a role in his betrayal.
Spacey’s performance as Underwood is drastically different from his mid-life crisis role in American Beauty. Underwood is portrayed early on in the series as ruthless; he is introduced to the audience suffocating a dog left to die on the side of the road. When the dog dies, he states, “There, no more pain.” This first scene foreshadows his methods of attack among his colleagues in Washington, D.C. as he attempts to seek revenge.
The show’s release was extremely unorthodox in that it granted viewers access to all episodes at once, instead of staggering them. This was met with a range of responses, one issue being that viewers had to tread carefully in what episodes to discuss with others, not wanting to spoil key information.
The political emphasis and fast-paced plot may not appeal to all audiences; however, the setting of notoriously corrupt Washington provides enough drama to keep viewers engaged, even if they may not be interested in politics.