House of Cards: Season Review + To Binge or Not To Binge

Early into the semester, I anxiously await the email from my TA to assign an option, whether I’d be a binge watcher or a standard weekly watcher. I’m a regular Netflix user and saw the show advertised when i’d watch other movies and shows. It didn’t cross my mind to watch it, I figured it would be another boring attempt at political drama and besides Scandal I didn’t have an interest for it. I was assigned to be a standard watcher, watching and blogging weekly.

This show is great, better than i expected. I love how cynical every character is but tie into one another. King of the cynical characters is of course Frank Underwood.

For me, Frank not only represented a politician trying to advance but he represented a general person. As humans we are always working to progress, if it’s not handed to us. He is an opportunist. He is flawed. He is the conniving character we all love and hate at the same time. He made the weekly viewers come back.

But for me i found it difficult to come back when i planned too. It took a great deal out of me not to take my Sundays and binge watch this show. I actually began to envy binge watchers because i always wanted to know what he had up his sleeves next.

Aston Riccio wrote, “Instead of watching live each week by “appointment” viewers are taking a full day (or weekend or even week) to watch a show’s entire season or series from beginning to end.”

That is what I’ve done with many shows to catch up to current seasons such as Law & Order: SVU, Breaking Bad, the Walking Dead, American Horror Story (then i found out each season is actually a different storyline) and another Netflix Original, Orange is the New Black. It was like television overload, I didn’t even need to watch my tv anymore. After a few episodes i found it difficult to stick to my appointment sets. It would slip my mind often. Even though subconsciously i wanted to watch time didn’t permit.

It was easily accessible, the show was captivating, I rarely found myself getting bored but why couldn’t I remember weekly to tune in?

Like Riccio says in his article, “appointment television is dying.”

But I’ve managed to make it through this roller coaster ride of for a season.

In one of my blogs, I believe I referenced how the lighting used in the show played a big part for me. They were able to capture the mood of each scene and how each character is connected.. When Frank and his wife Claire came together the lighting was darker than usual, sort of like in an old detective’s movie. When Frank and Zoe came together it became an intimate lighting but sort of grungy, like the lighting of an old run down motel.

At first I didn’t understand Claire’s story, as episodes went by I figured out that each character has their own story for a reason. Each story helps the other and ultimately helping the main story, Frank’s journey to power.

What also made this show so great is how we could connect to the characters. These characters are supposed to be fictional, almost an hour of entertainment. But after a few episodes I felt like I knew them intimately. Like, I was everyone’s noses neighbor.

I felt the most connected to Peter and Rachel, his mistress, not saying I’m connected to what they do. But their stories are familiar to any one who lives in the United States.

Rachel prostituted for money, ran away from home, dropped out of school, etc.

I’ve lived in Brooklyn all my life and that is something I’ve been exposed too by media, or by simply walking down the block. Prostitutes in the motels of East New York, and walking the strips of Pennsylvania Avenue, or on dating websites, high powered people such police officers and politicians are soliciting sexual advances from women like Rachel. Usually, the women who are like her come from a broken home.

Peter grew up with a mother who wasn’t really connected to him emotionally, his home was broken in a sense. He found the pleasure s of life through committing adulterous acts and feeding his addiction to booze, coke and marijuana.

When he died, I seriously felt like I lost a friend, I was rooting for him to be successful in this election. But that would’ve been to kind of Frank. That’s why I called him an opportunist. He saw the opportunity to take advantage of the weak. Peter was definitely one of the weakest underdogs of the show.

I didn’t expect any one to put the pieces to the puzzle together so soon. I figured it would’ve been done within next season. When Zoe, Lucas and Janine figured it all out, I was like “Yes! Go Zoe! But no , you just dug three graves. :(”

Season 1 has me hooked. I will watch Season 2! But I will be binge watching of the choose to release all episodes at once like Season 1. I am “Team To Binge” or #TeamBinge. It’s like watching a movie for 2 hours and wishing it was longer. When I binge watch it’s like the longest movie ever and I’m hooked. I get my full dosage and don’t have to wait for next week to come to get another dosage.

I’m one person who enjoys the feeling of knowing what others don’t about a show. I never spoil it, but I kind of like to see the surprised look on their face when something happens. Like when I made my mother start watch House of Cards with me. I’d watch first alone for details and then with her so she would not disturb me as I watched for details.

Over all, the show according to Netflix’s rating got a 5 out of 5 stars from me.


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