Recently, I deluded myself into thinking that I could inhale the delicious pilot episode of Netflix’s House of Cards, based on the 1990 BBC miniseries of the same name, and still make it outside to enjoy the sunshine. I was wrong.
I was still watching episode upon episode long after the sun had set, and began to wonder whether the sun had set for the traditional models of film and television as well.
Let us examine the facts; this is a television production which is not on the tube. Its highest-profile contributors (David Fincher and Kevin Spacey) are both giants of film, but it is unlikely to be exhibited at the cinema. So, what is House of Cards?
It is in no sense traditional, that’s for sure. This is imperishably demonstrated in Netflix’s daring move to drop all episodes at once. Their decision-makers aren’t just interested in getting their toes wet online, they’re addressing how (as well as what) we want to watch.
Though the emasculation of cinema and television is to be lamented, it is important to remember that it has been a long time coming, inflicted by the machine’s own reluctance to catch up with that which it cannot control. House of Cards will be remembered as a staple of the long-awaited evolution in content – a 100% streamed show which takes the best from all three worlds and delivers content which is in line with the habits of their end-customers.
Television is dead – long live House of Cards.