I finally got around to watching the first two episodes of House of Cards over the weekend, the Netflix original series that premiered last week, and holy moly, this show is so great. (So far, I guess. But I have faith it will continue to be so good.) As a friend of mine pointed out last night, between this and the Netflix reboot of Arrested Development, they are very quickly going to establish themselves as a legit source for cool content. (Fun sentence. Love talking about legit sources for cool content!) Although as another friend pointed out last night (the Grammys are strictly 4 friends) it is a little complicated how they released all of the episodes at the same time because now you can’t really talk about it with anyone since you’re all watching a different episode. The future is hard! But House of Cards. Oh man, right? The major complaint a lot of people seem to have is they don’t like the direct-to-camera address, but while I agree that it is slightly off-putting at first, I will say two things: one, this was in the original BBC series and also is lifted directly from the character of Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello, so at the very least it has a pretty decent pedigree (on this note: there is an interview with David Fincher and Kevin Space on Fresh Air last week where they talk about it that I think makes it feel very well thought out and considered and not just a dumb throwaway mistake that they made). Secondly, as Kevin Spacey’s political machinations get more and more convoluted, I find it to be a pretty useful method of keeping the audience apace with his Rube Goldberg machine of political backstabbing. Maybe I’m just so stupid that I need a character to wink out from the screen and say “Get ready, here comes the congressional egg falling into the president’s frying pan that will pull the anti-Israel string to open the Secretary of State window” but I can’t be the only one. There’s lots of stupid people.
Oh, and here’s another complaint I have heard about this show, and other shows, that I believe we can finally put to bed:
The depiction of the show’s “blogger” is actually pretty much 100% accurate and not even remotely an issue. I’m not going to point any fingers here, but it seems to be a consistent issue whenever someone in a TV show or a movie even casually mentions the Internet that people who spend way too much time on the Internet find fault with these depictions. “Oh I am so sure, as if anyone who had over cough 4,000 followers on Tumblr cough cough would not know what a TIFF file was!” Take a step back, guys. Most depictions of bloggers in movies and TV are basically DOCUMENTARIES about blogging compared to the egregious liberties that are taken with what it is like to actually be a cop, lawyer, doctor, politician, or housewife. The depth to which we as Internet people don’t know how anyone else’s life really works is 10000 times more profound than the depth to which the rest of the world doesn’t understand how blogs work. “So you just sit around in your pajamas all day and steal other people’s work? And someone reads that?!” I MEAN, PRETTY MUCH, GUYS, LET’S BE HONEST! House of Cards in particular gets it so right it’s crazy. Wine out of a coffee mug? Petulance and the persistent feeling that no one cares about what you have to say? Check check and mate.
This is obviously a small point of contention that only resonates with an even smaller segment of the population. (If we were to divvy up the pie you would have to select out people who have actually watched House of Cards, and then from there people who are on the Internet too much, and then from there people who don’t like how House of Cards depicted people who are on the Internet too much. So I’m basically talking to three people and they all follow each other on Twitter.) I’m just saying: it is time for bloggers to relax. (Haha, as if.) When your biggest issue with House of Cards is that Zoe Barnes doesn’t even seem to know how to use Movable Type that well, you are missing the point.
But so House of Cards!