Holy mackerel, is House of Cards ever great. Overblown, overwrought, soap opera-esque at times, it still manages to offer up enough political dialogue and stunning business attire to keep from insulting its viewers. Kevin Spacey’s Shakespearian asides to the audience—and even the inclusion of Kevin Spacey doling out Shakespearian asides in and of itself—are mostly absurd, but then he drops a perfect eye-roll in your lap and all is forgiven. Shakespearianishly.
Robin Wright, looking unsettlingly like Ur-mommyblogger Heather Armstrong, is sublime as Spacey’s icy cold wife. Kate Mara as a social media-savvy political reporter Zoe Barnes—and even the inclusion of a social media-savvy political reporter in and of itself—is excruciating. Mostly because her presence allowed for terms like "Twitter twat" to be bandied about and DO NOT WANT EL OH EL. Looming over them all is Kevin Spacey at his most Kevin Spaceyest as Congressman Francis Underwood.
And oh my God the echo joke. (Oh my God the echo joke.)
Much has been made of the decision on the part of Netflix to dump all 13 episodes on its audience at once, hoping to capitalize on what’s been dubbed the binge-style viewing habits of subscribers to the streaming video service. Time will bear out the relative strength or weakness of the strategy, but from where I’m sitting it sure does look to be slam dunk. Because holy mackerel, is House of Cards ever great. So great that in spite of having a heap of weekend chores and brunch with friends, I still managed to clear out thirteen hours to blow through the entire series. On Saturday, I stayed up well past my bedtime, so hooked was I, and woke up with a violent House of Cards hangover on Sunday morning. I figured a little hair of the dog was what the situation called for and fired up another episode while I drank my first cup of coffee. On Sunday night, when the closing shot of the final episode startled a loud yelp out of me, I immediately went back to the first episode and began House of Cards Binge Two: The Shuffling.
Now I need you all to go watch the entire thing so we can dissect every detail and so you’ll understand about that echo joke. (That echo joke.)
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