Like the rest of the Netflix-loving world, I recently began my not-slow-at-all decent into House of Cards.
A best friend of mine had been recommending it for a couple of weeks. I finally gave in when he told me that he and his roommate had sat down and watched five episodes nonstop in one night.
Now, as someone who watched seven seasons of Supernatural in a month, five and a half seasons of Parks & Rec in a week, and a whole season of American Horror Story in two days, that’s child’s play to me. It’s kind of adorable.
But, this particular friend is not the type to watch five hours of anything in one night. He’s more of a watch a half hour of something, get antsy, and go climb a tree kind of person. So five episodes in one sitting is kind of a huge deal.
With this in mind I gave in and began watching House of Cards last Saturday afternoon.
And I was finished with it on Tuesday.
Two seasons–26 episodes–in four days.
I would have finished sooner, but distractions like school and work got in the way.
After immersing myself in this show completely, I will now attempt to quell the curiosity potentially posed by the title of this post:
This show is a huge deal.
Here are a few reasons why:
1. It’s quality.
The writing is incredible, the actors are flawless, (I’m looking at you, Robin Wright) and for the most part it’s completely unpredictable. Yes, we all could have guessed Frank would not stay Whip for long and would climb the ladder, but I don’t think many of us would have guessed how he moved to Vice President and, eventually, President.
Also, season 2, episode 1. Just saying.
The show has been won three Emmy Awards for cinematography, directing, and casting, and was nominated for six more.
Robin Wright brought home the first Golden Globe for the show as Best Actress in a TV Drama. Kevin Spacey and Corey Stoll were also nominated for Best Actor and Supporting Actor, respectively. The show itself was also nominated for Best TV Drama.
2. It’s changing the way we watch TV.
This is a show created by Netflix, for Netflix subscribers. They give us entire seasons at once instead of the standard weekly episode. This gives us the opportunity to partake in the act of binge-watching, allowing both normal people, (like my best friend) and TV freaks like myself to join as one and make unhealthy decisions together.
With a show this incredible it simply doesn’t make sense to do anything but hit that miraculous “next episode” button.
3. Can you say incredible characters?
Frank Underwood, obviously, but also what is perhaps one of the greatest female characters on TV today: Claire Underwood.
Like her husband, she’s brilliant, ruthless and endlessly manipulative. But what’s fascinating about her is how she is so unlike Frank; she is caring and she is warm. Also, because she’s played by Robin Wright, she is staggeringly beautiful.
This is a character as deep as the damn Pacific Ocean. She will tell you that she is “willing to let your baby wither and die inside you,” but then gift you with her incredibly successful non-profit that gives clean water to places that otherwise would not have it.
And while most people kind of hesitantly root for Frank, people openly and vehemently root for Claire.
4. The representations of sexuality.
As you may know from my first blog post on this site, I am often frustrated by representations of sexuality in popular culture and on TV, specifically bisexuality.
Oftentimes when there are bisexual characters on TV they are mislabeled, forgotten side characters, or used for plot.
Here’s what’s so great about House of Cards: They don’t give a crap about your sexuality.
The main character, Frank, is what would probably be described as bisexual. In college he had a meaningful relationship with a man, which we find out when they meet again at their alma mater.
Their reunion occurs early in the first season while Frank is having an ongoing affair with Zoe Barnes, played by Kate Mara.
And did I mention that throughout the series it’s obvious that Frank is completely in love with his wife?
And, near the end of the second season they have a threesome with Edward Meechum, the adorable Secret Service agent in charge of Frank’s safety?
In addition to Frank, there’s also Rachel Posner. Rachel is a former prostitute who we know had male clients. We don’t know if there were any woman, but we do know she falls in love with and has a sexual relationship with a woman in the second season.
Is Frank bisexual? Probably.
Is Rachel bisexual? A lesbian? Straight with Lisa as an exception? No idea.
But I love seeing the diversity.
5. This legitimate tweet from the real-life President of the United States:
Need I say more?