As I’ve patiently awaited House of Cards, it has easily become the show I’ve most looked forward to returning in 2014. The dark side of The West Wing, a D.C.-based political thriller more akin to a Shakespearean reflection on power and fallen humanity than it is Scandal or The West Wing, although it shares slices of elements from both of those as well.
I’ve written on The Wise Guise and in Fare Forward Magazine about marriage’s impact on TV watching. What you watch, when you watch it, and how fast you watch it. All of these change. And life is just busier. So as many friends binge-watched House of Cards within the first week of Netflix’s release of all 13 episodes at once, it waited patiently for me in my Instant Queue. Finally, Palmer and I had the time and the shared desire to start it. It took us just under two weeks to complete the first season.
So much has been written about House of Cards already. I agree with pretty much everything Andy Greenwald at Grantland writes about both the show’s content and the phenomenon of releasing the entire season at once. I share his distaste for Photographer Adam and how the untraditional and popular distribution model changes the way we can enjoy the slow development of great, long-form TV as a community over a period of weeks. But regardless, I haven’t been able to wait until the new season drops… and now it has! As I’m torn this weekend on whether to spread out my viewing of Season 2 or just binge all the way through, I thought it’d be good to reflect on Ten Lessons Learned from Season 1. For a full review of Season 1’s strengths and weaknesses, try Josh Smith’s review. And, as Josh says, “All in all, House of Cards is a pretty fascinating study in total depravity.” So what were the ten lessons learned in this study?