This is probably how I’m going to spend my weekend, even though I’ll also be headed to the Santa Barbara International Film Fest.  The newly minted series is available, all episodes, on Netflix starting today.  I will be writing up my thoughts on the wonderfully wicked series a bit later.  EW’s Ken Tucker:

House of Cards finds Kevin Spacey being waspish, supercilious, and meanly clever — in other words, just the way we like him, and the way he’s been most effective in movies such asSwimming with Sharks, L.A. Confidential, The Usual Suspects, and (in a glorious early-career TV role) as Mel Profitt in Wiseguy. In House of Cards, he’s House Majority Whip Frank Underwood, passed over for Secretary of State and out for payback.

Working with director David Fincher, Spacey pulls off — triumphs at — the series’ riskiest stylistic tic: At regular points in the action, Spacey’s Frank pauses to turn to the camera and address us directly. He may be offering sly commentary on what we are about to or have just seen; he may provide a tart judgment on the state of politics. The gesture could have been hopelessly showy or rapidly tiresome; instead, it seems to energize scenes that are already pretty damn zippy.


Fincher’s stamp is all over this production, the way (as he did in feature films such as Zodiac, Fight Club, and Seven) his camera conveys a sense of firm gravity even as it glides smoothly across a scene, an all-seeing, all-knowing instrument of knowledge and drama.

USA Today:

They already face an overcrowded field of competitors for the scripted-programming audience, with new entrants seeming to arrive on a daily basis. And now comes a well-funded challenge from Netflix, jumping into the fray with House of Cards — and landing right near the top.

LA Times:

Indeed, if the rest of the series is as good as the two episodes released early for review (the fact that Netflix made only the episodes directed by Fincher available is slightly worrisome), “House of Cards” will in all probability become the first nontelevised television show to receive an Emmy nomination, or four.

With a sweet ‘n’ deadly Southern accent he may have been saving for Just Such an Occasion, Spacey plays Francis (Frank) Underwood, a longtime congressman and the current House majority whip who, having just helped put the new president-elect in office, is celebrating his certain nomination for secretary of State.

We meet Frank moments before the victory gala, when a neighbor’s dog is hit by a car. Dispatching his bodyguard to fetch the owners, Frank hurries over to the suffering animal. Addressing the camera with aggressive charm that will become his hallmark, he explains that only a few people in this world are truly willing to do what needs to be done.

Then he kills the dog.


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  • Anthony

    And I thought my ass couldn’t get any flatter..

  • Anthony



  • Evelyn Garver

    I can’t wait to see this. It was, of course, a British mini-series originally, and that was terrific.

  • drake

    i’m not seeing raves. 70 on mc- and this is with the easier to please tv critics.

  • i’m not seeing raves. 70 on mc-

    Pro Tip: To find the raves on Metacritic, look for the scores 90 and above. There are 6 of them.

    2 corrections, drake:
    The Metacritic average is 76 now.
    TV critics are not easy to please.

  • Benjie

    There is so much to love here. So much great Fincher comprehensiveness, an astounding performance by Corey Stoll, and all these textured moments between women of different generations and different presentational styles. Spacey and Wright kill it, too.

  • Aragorn

    I just watched the first episode and i am hooked up…both Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are great. Kevin was amazing even during first minute of the opening scene…says a lot about his character.

    I wonder if this show will be eligible for any awards. Since it is web only probably out for Emmys. Otherwise i can see multiple nomnations and even win for Kevin and Robin.

    Again this is only based on first episode. But a well made/acted first episode can signal a good series

  • Yogsss

    @Aragorn: it is eligible for the Emmys. I’m on my phone now but I’m sure I have a link on my desktop computer where it says it is.

    I saw the 1rst episode and loved it.

  • The Dude

    “I love that woman more than a shark loves blood”.

    And I’m hooked. It’s no Mad Men or The Wire, but the first two chapters are excellent. And Kevin Spacey has not been this fun since the 90’s.

  • James

    Really enjoyed the first season.

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