Nextflix's foray into original programming may have begun with Lilyhammer and really hit a mainstream stride with Arrested Development season 4, but in between those points came the home video service's first score in the critical acclaim category with House of Cards.
From the minds of actor Kevin Spacey, acclaimed director David Fincher (Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) and writer Beau Willimon (Ides of March), to name a few, House of Cards set a new precedent for what non-televised series could do in terms of quality and marketability. It also literally set a new precedent by becoming the first non-televised series to win an Emmy (it won three in total).
Now House of Cards is preparing to premiere its second season on Netflix - and to commemorate the occasion we have a nice little teaser trailer, which fans of the show will surely appreciate. Featuring the "Lady Macbeth" of the political drama series - Robin Wright's Claire Underwood - partaking in her nightly 'reflections over cigarette' ritual, the teaser calmly and understatedly transports us back into the atmosphere and world of Capitol Hill political theater, where there are so many cards still left on the table, following the events of season 1.
When we last left things, Frank Underwood (Spacey) had lied, cheated and murdered his way into a Vice Presidential position; however, his whole (wait for it) house of cards is threatened to be tumbled by some intrepid reporters and vengeful political players - led by Frank's former flame, Zoe (Kate Mara). Mrs. Underwood, meanwhile, had also gotten herself into a tight spot, with former do-gooder non-profit partner Gillian (Sandrine Holt) vowing to bring down the ice queen of House Underwood. And of course, somewhere out there in the shadows, men like Remy (Mahershala Ali) and Doug (Michael Kelly) affect the course of politics through coercion, deception, intimidation and under-the-table deal-making. Washington, as usual.
House of Cards was the first real Nextflix binge-watch fixation I've ever had - but it has certainly not been the last. After just a year of the experiment, I (and many others) are already settled into an HBO-style pattern of viewership House of Cards will get me through winter; Arrested Development through spring, with summer nights spent catching up on Orange is the New Black - with many promising new (or revitalized) series to come. Good time to be a subscriber.
...And to those who thought the Netflix original programming model would result in a graveyard of forgotten shows: Looks like you figured wrong.
House of Cards season 2 will premiere on Netflix on 2-14-14.