House of Cards: The Aftermath

It took just a few short weeks for Netflix to turn into a major player in the original TV series market.

This is all thanks to their series “House of Cards”, based on an earlier British show. I have already written one post about the program, published while I wasn’t even halfway through the first season’s 13 episodes. Without spoiling anything for those who haven’t seen it (and you should), I can tell you that “House of Cards” will be a huge factor at this year’s Emmys. Bet on it.

Kevin Spacey should and probably will be the equivalent of Daniel Day-Lewis for television this year, in the sense that he’s a definite frontrunner to win Best Actor. Expect co-stars Robin Wright, Kate Mara, and Corey Stull to also receive awards attention. And, of course, the directors, writers, and series itself should pick up nominations and possible wins.

Netflix is not required to release their viewership numbers in the way that networks and cable channels do. The company has said that “House of Cards” was a rousing success.

I believe it. Simply on anecdotal evidence, it seems like everyone where I work has watched (granted, I work in a political environment). It’s not just them, however. Many other friends have asked me about the series and revealed they’ve seen all 13 episodes. The common verdict? “Loved it.”

So did I. From its terrific performances, first-rate direction (that includes episodes from the brilliant David Fincher), sharp writing, and that great theme song that I couldn’t get out of my head, “House of Cards” delivers on all levels. I am so ready for Season Two.

Here’s another reason I trust Netflix’s assertions that the show was a hit: they’re greenlighting and producing more TV series.

On April 19th comes the horror/thriller series “Hemlock Grove” starring Goldeneye and X-Men actress Famke Janssen. It’s from executive producer Eli Roth (a Tarantino protege who directed the Hostel flicks). I can tell you I will certainly be watching episode 1 with the hope of binge-watching the series (like with “Cards”). The fact that Netflix hit it out of the park the first time around certainly contributes to my curiosity.

In May comes another Netflix series event: the return of “Arrested Development”, the critically-acclaimed FOX series that developed a deserved cult audience following its cancellation. Original stars Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, and others are back for the one-off season. The return of the show was at first being developed as a feature film until Netflix came calling.

In 2014, we’ll see at least two new dramatic series. Narcos focuses on the life of notorious drug dealer Pablo Escobar and Sense8 is a sci-fi series from the Wachowskis, directors of The Matrix trilogy and Cloud Atlas.

As mentioned, it took 13 episodes of “House of Cards” to change the reputation of Netflix in a more positive way. This isn’t just where you can find some cheesy horror flick from the 1980s you’ve never heard of… it’s a place where you can find top-quality original programming.

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