Weekend Binge: House of Cards Season Two

St. Scholastica's Student Newspaper
The Cable
By: Jimmy Lovrien - Student Journalist -
Photo credit to mediabistro.com

Photo credit to mediabistro.com

"The road to power is paved with hypocrisy, and casualties," said Frank Underwood, House of Cards' political villain, intelligently played by Kevin Spacey.

Upset over the failure to obtain the position of Secretary of State, Underwood has launched an assault on the president's office. Once the majority whip in the U.S. House of Representatives, Underwood begins season two by swearing in as Vice President, drawing ever closer to the seat of the most powerful man in the world.

"Power is a lot like real estate. It's all about location, location, location. The closer you are to the source, the higher your property value" he would say. Underwood's southern charm, manipulative tactics, and murderous plots allow him to quickly rise within the realm of U.S. politics, but not without leaving a trail of evidence tracked by a team of young journalists.

Unlike past political dramas (namely, Aaron Sorkin's The West Wing), House of Cards chooses not to glorify politics as the plot contains ample amounts of crime and corruption.

The series features suspense expected from one of the many CBS crime dramas-minus the predictable weekly cookie-cutter approach.
Although it may be reminiscent of Frankie Muniz in Malcolm in the Middle or Matthew Broderick in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," Spacey's character tends to break the fourth wall-meaning he speaks directly to the audience. In fact, this is because Frank Underwood is based off Shakespeare's Richard III, a role Spacey played on stage in 2011 and 2012.

But the shows most ground-breaking attribute might be the medium it relies on: Netflix. Although House of Cards is not the first Netflix Original Series, it was the most successful upon its February 2013 release, paving the way for Orange is the New Black and season four of Arrested Development.

This shift strongly reflects how viewers now watch shows. Streaming services including Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO and Amazon Prime allow for easier and more flexible viewing, often at a fraction of the cost of traditional cable or satellite.

Season two, which simultaneously released all of its episodes on February 14th, proved to be an instant hit, gaining traction and attention via social media.

House of Cards is renewed for a third season, announced Netflix earlier this month; expected release date is February 2015.