House of Cards, will probably go down in history as being the first show that is not being shown on any television channel.
As of today, all 13 episodes of the first series are available on www.netflix.com. If you have £5.99 and 13 hours at your disposal, you could watch the whole series in one sitting. No adverts, no waiting, just a full season ready to go, is this the future of TV as we know it?
The New York Times recently stated “Television producers have turned bingeing, hoarding and overeating into successful prime-time shows for years, but now they are having to turn their attention to another example of overindulgence — TV watching.”
It seems after a little peer pressure from our friends about the latest must see show, we are all cramming in our TV shows via boxsets and streaming services. After enjoying marathon sessions of Breaking Bad and Mad Men, I don’t think this is a bad thing at all. Are these shows simply modern novels for a visually oriented generation?
It will be interesting to see how Sky, Virgin etc adapt to this kind of medium, because a £5.99 a month NetFlix subscription is now looking much better value than 200 channels of garbage for £40 a month, especially if you prefer quality entertainment over quantity.
It is an interesting experiment and who knows if it will work or not, the strange aspect to all this, is that it does not look or feel like a TV shows, which is probably down to David Fincher which gives this show a dark moody atmosphere that would sit right at home on HBO.
As a fan of the comedy show Miranda, I find it hard to take Kevin Spacey seriously when he breaks the fourth wall by talking to the camera, it’s an interesting technique that works well but I must admit now and again I think of Miranda Hart, Harry Hill or the Gary Shandling show and I can’t help but let out a childish giggle.
If you don’t like political dramas littered with rich dialogue and monologues to the camera, then House of Cards won’t be for you, however if the idea of kicking back with a single-malt scotch whilst watching everything unfold slowly before your eyes without the need for explosions, just top quality acting, then give this a try.
A recent review summed the show up in saying “This is a series for the patient, and the more time you invest in it, the more it will reward you as danger thickens. .”
The beauty of NetFlix is that you can watch the show on your TV, go to bed and watch a little more on your tablet, and then during your commute to work in the morning you can continue where you left off and each time it remembers exactly where you were up to each time, no matter what device you use.
The traditional TV set-up and their strict one box rule, rapidly need to up their game or they could end up going down the same road of High Street stores like HMV and GAME, who were blinded by their own arrogance until it was too late. Whether you like House of Cards or not, is not important but what is certain is that we are now witnessing the future direction of entertainment and how we access it.