House of Cards

I've been a Netflix subscriber for years. Yes, I had my issues with the whole Quickster debacle, and I changed my subscription as a reuslt, but I keep a couple movies coming to the house and the streaming service. Their streaming tech is second to none. It sends an HD image to my house and very, very rarely runs into any kind of buffering issue in the process.

The wife and I watched Lilyhammer (Netflix's first foray into making their own series) and were generally unimpressed. So, I wasn't exactly waiting on the edge of my seat for the next Netflix-sourced "series". And what is the deal with a series? It made sense to have an actual series when it was on TV, supported by commercials, but this is essentially a long movie and subsequent series will be sequels. It just seems like Netflix is catering to the old way of doing things rather than doing things for the new media.

So, like the previous series, Netflix is throwing a bunch of money at it to get this thing to work. This time, unlike the last, it was worth it. Kevin Spacey is fantastic. He's supported by a strong cast, great direction, good cinematography, and excellent writing. We've been cranking through this - one episode after the other - and it has kept us interested in the storyline through the whole process.

Netflix is so entirely behind the series that they made it available to non-Netflix subscribers. They even had Microsoft relax their stranglehold on access through the Xbox 360; you don't need a Gold account to get this particular episode through the system.

So far (we're four episodes in) it was totally worth it. If they can continue to produce this level of quality for more than one show, they can become what HBO was when I was a kid - the place to go to for content. For $8/month, you might be able to get access to the best new series while HBO charges out the wazoo and won't allow streaming content without a cable subscription accompanying it.

The most unrealistic thing about this show is the idea that the media would be this clear-headed, thought-provoking, and diligent.



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