My family began subscribing to the streaming service Netflix a few years ago. It's fairly inexpensive, less than $10 per month, and features an incredibly wide variety of network television shows and movies. We stream the service through our Wii gaming console.
Last year Netflix offered 13 episodes of it's very first original series, House of Cards. The show stars Kevin Spacey as Congressman Frank Underwood, a South Carolina Democrat who is deeply embroiled in a plot to further his political ambitions. The show is based on the BBC programme of the same name.
I knew nothing about House of Cards until hearing some friends raving about it. One planted himself down on the sofa and watched all 13 episodes in a row.
I thought that seemed completely ridiculous... until I watched the show. I couldn't take my eyes off it.
I've always been a big fan of Kevin Spacey, but he really shines in House of Cards. Spacey is brilliant as the conniving congressman Underwood. He speaks with a friendly soft southern drawl and is able to switch from charming to evil as easily as you would flip a light switch.
Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) - Photo courtesy 'House of Cards' Facebook
Underwood's plot to achieve power is slowly revealed over the course of the first season. It's like looking at a bunch of puzzle pieces that make no sense... until they slowly come together and form the big picture. And when you finally realize the lengths of Underwood's scheme and ruthlessness...the sheer audacity and brilliance of it almost takes your breath away.
House of Cards is filled with intrigue, mystery, murder, schemes and brilliant performances. Perhaps that's why it was the first non-network television show to ever receive an Emmy.
The trailer for Season 2 has just been released. Thirteen new episodes become available on February 14, which is likely to ruin more than a few Valentine's Day plans.
If you've not seen the first season of House of Cards, believe me, its worth the cost of purchasing Netflix. The show is television drama at its very finest.
Greg Belfrage is heard mornings 6am-9am on KELO Newstalk 1320 AM / 107.9 FM. Greg can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter.