“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.” Those are wise words from Frank Underwood, the fictitious congressman who’s antics blow my mind from week to week; or hour to hour since I’m binge watching. For those of you who haven’t casted your ballot and hopped aboard Air Force Two, I’m talking about the Netflix hit House of Cards.
House of Cards is a political drama based on the work of author Michael Dobbs, and later a 1990s BBC mini-series. Despite its history, I didn’t meet Frank Underwood until a few weeks ago, when I finally gave into peer pressure. The show is being billed as a “Netflix Original”, and honestly… I wasn’t a Netflix fan. With B-movies like Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, I expected an eyesore. But with elaborate sets, costumes, and locations Netflix is giving HBO a run for their money.
This isn’t your grandpa’s C-SPAN. We watch Frank (Kevin Spacey), a majority whip, rise to lofty places. To avoid spoilers, let’s just say the congressman raises his property value, and he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty removing anyone who wants to play landlord. We meet the people he works with, his wife Claire (Robin Wright), and those he uses along the way. We meet Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara), a struggling reporter who will do anything for a story, and Peter Russo (Corey Stoll), a congressman and father of two with a taste for women and crack cocaine.
This is HBO on steroids, with a cleverly crafted, succulent storyline. Netflix removes any need for panning shots of Greenland or other scenic locations, and trades them in for close ups of the nuances that viewers eat up. There is no such thing as too close, as Frank destroys the fourth wall and literally speaks to you, the viewer, to deliver his viral-worthy one-liners. Much like the show, Netflix’s on demand programming is nothing short of revolutionary. I love this show. I love it more than sharks love blood.