This month "House of Cards" appeared, produced and exclusively streamed on the Internet by Netflix (imdb). The Online lender of DVDs and supplier of movie downloads invested $ 100 Million in this project and gained David Fincher ("Social Network", "Seven", "Fight Club") to produce the 2 seasons with 13 episodes each (gq.com). Fincher also directed the first 2 episodes.
According to Wikipedia the director was not just attracted by the ample budget, but also by the "long form", meaning that the TV series would give the possibility to develop a complex characterization which the usual 2 hours movie does not (wikipedia). Netflix further gained the 2-times Oscar winner Kevin Spacey ("Usual Suspects", "American Beauty") as leading character and co-producer.
"House of Card" shows what the combination of smart money, experience and talent is capable of doing these days. Although the series has the same title as a British TV series from the 90s, "House of Cards" is a modern "West Wing", but with much more pep than that somewhat dull American political show.
Sex in the Capital City
The story focuses on fictional congressman Underwood, who is labelled as "House Majority Whip". Underwood is a modern Machiavelli. The sly and tricky ways Underwood uses to manipulate and to push his interests is highly entertaining and much more believable than the West Wing characters, who always seemed "to walk over the water". The Netflix show is spiced with frequent sex scenes and sprinkles of nudity which make the series more real and enjoyable, another difference from the rather uptight "West Wing".
Kevin Spacey is the ideal Underwood. It is fun to watch how the 2-time Oscar winner transfers the political scene of Washington DC into his own puppetry.
Robin Wright, as Underwood`s wife, is as well, a great gain for the series and for the audience. The exquisite actress blends a sharp intellectual quality with erotics.
Kate Mara, as an ambitious journalist, also delivers a mixture of smartness & sex appeal and is an integral part of the show.
The rest of the cast also meets the high Hollywood acting standards and is worth their money, especially Corey Stoll. His character as a political tool for Underwood while struggling with his past as alcoholic and drug addiction makes the show more authentic.
I am looking forward to the further evolution of the new media which should lead to more high quality entertainment to come.