What House of Cards means for the Future of Television
I’m a little late to the discussion, but I wanted to make sure I gave this topic the thought it deserved. Two weeks back, I - like many others - shotgunned House of Cards over the course of a couple days. I’d come down with some sort of ebola-esque virus, rendering me unable to do much outside of consuming massive quantities of over-the-counter medication and equally massive quantities of Netflix. Thus, in a perfect storm of “why the fuck not” I decided to devote what little energy I had to seeing whether House of Cards was really all Netflix professed it to be.
Here’s the short answer: Yes, House of Cards may well be the most important and influential piece of content this year - but for many reasons that I hadn’t predicted. While it’s very existence was enough to make it interesting from a business perspective, there were certain aspects of its execution that really pushed it beyond curiosity and into importance. No, I’m not talking about the oft-cited breaking of the fourth wall (which you either buy into early or spent the remaining 12 hours or so hating everything about) but rather, certain other aspects of the final product turned out to be significant game-changers for both the creative and business models of television as a whole - and the implications are staggering.
Let’s break it down: