Netflix's House of Cards was not the first original series from the juggernaut streaming service - that would be the Stevie Van Zandt-starring Lilyhammer - but the caustic, unflinching political drama starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright has helped establish Netflix as an outlet for quality, binge-worthy programming.
After the news that Girl with the Dragon Tattoo director David Fincher - who directed the first two episodes of season one, thereby setting the tone and look for each subsequent director - would not be returning to helm any of the new episodes, our first look at the show's second season was a moody teaser of Claire Underwood (Wright) quietly smoking at the window - a nightly ritual of she and her husband, Rep. Frank Underwood (Spacey).
Now, Netflix brings us a full-length trailer and an official synopsis for the next season, with all the episodes available for streaming on February 14th, 2014. Watch the trailer above.
Here is the season two synopsis:
Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) has masterfully maneuvered his way into the Vice Presidency, but his ascension faces threats on all fronts...
Investigative reporter Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara) is inching closer to the truth about Frank and Peter Russo (Corey Stoll) and will stop at nothing to break the story.
And Frank's wife Claire (Robin Wright), the newly appointed Second Lady, must deal with the bright glare of the spotlight and how the intense scrutiny eats away at their once private existence.
Season two, exclusively on Netflix in all territories on February 14, 2014.
Let the butchery begin...
To briefly recap season one of House of Cards: after newly elected President Walker (Michael Gill) reneges on a promise to make him Secretary of State, Frank Underwood, his wife Claire and trusted aide Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly) wage a personal war of revenge against the rest of the world - and heaven help anyone who stands in their way. Frank manipulates the weak-willed, drug addicted Rep. Peter Russo (scene-stealing Corey Stoll) into running for Governor of Pennsylvania (the sitting Vice-President's old job), and then watches him self-destruct. The VP then agrees to run for his previous position, clearing the way for Frank to take over as Vice-President.
Season two evidently opens with Frank as the country's second-in-command, but intrepid reporter Zoe Barnes - whom Frank had an affair with and leaked sensitive information in order to further his own ends - is edging closer to the truth about Russo and Underwood, with the help of Zoe's lover Lucas (Sebastian Arcelus) and colleague Janine Skorsky (Constance Zimmer).
From the looks of the new trailer, Frank's road to power is as bumpy as ever - and potentially paved with the bodies of his enemies. He looks to have been appointed Vice-President, with his eye on the White House down the line... but he's still beset on all sides. Beside the reporters, Claire is being sued by do-gooder Gillian Cole (Sandra Good), an employee she fired after Gillian balked at Claire's cooperation with the slimy corporate entity Sancorp, represented by smooth lobbyist Remy Danton (Mahershala Ali), and it appears that Frank's ambitions are being thwarted even further by billionaire Raymond Tusk (Gerald McRaney), who has the president's ear.
House of Cards is a show of startlingly maturity and quality, weaving a dark tale of modern political back-stabbing, and along with season 4 of Arrested Development and Orange is the New Black, has cemented Netflix's position as a prominent network in its own right, evidenced by the four Golden Globe nominations for House of Cards - the most for any single show this year. Netflix is making big moves by partnering with Marvel for four shows and a mini-series, but is clearly invested in what can be considered to be its real original flagship series.
House of Cards Season 2 will be available to stream on Netflix on February 14, 2014.