House of Cards: The British Original That Paved The Way For The Netflix Giant
Before you gorge on season 2, perhaps a light supper with the British original is in order.
Despite Beau Willimon's brilliant work on House of Cards, he didn't create it, rather he borrowed the concept from the British version, wrote a watertight script and put Kevin Spacey right in the middle of things. Now, on the eve of the second season's bow on Netflix, the show is the talk of the town.
Kevin Spacey's House of Cards Season 2 Returns on Valentine's Day.
A Valentines release will either see couples arguing or happily settling down to tuck into Frank Underwood's political scheming. The singletons among us will be delighted.
The British version of the political thriller, created by Michael Dobbs who co-wrote the show with Andrew Davies, was directed by Paul Seed and ran in the winter of 1990. It lasted only 4 episodes and has been praised for its satirical take on politics and tight, fast-moving pace.
It's so, so British. In the clip below, you'll hear some pompous trumpets followed by the poshest accent you've ever heard. "Teddy, didn't realize you'd be here" is. the poshest thing you've ever heard. But somehow that doesn't distract from the suave nature of Francis Urquhart's (the equivalent of Spacey) cold and calculated master plan.
With a brilliant first season under its belt and the grace of the fans and critics alike going in to the second, not to mention an third season already commissioned, House of Cards is in a great place. It's also revolutionised the way in which we consume television.
We're used to waiting for our favourite shops week by week; remember watching all of Breaking Bad's first season before having to wait between episodes? It was gruelling. Poor rich us.
Well Netflix isn't about to start releasing weekly episodes. It chucks them all out at once, letting the viewer decide as to the pace in which they'll consume them. I'm a one-per-night kind of guy myself, but I can imagine a lot of people taking in the whole season before the weekend's out. Just remember the posh British original when it's 6am and Frank's in the back of a car talking about ribs, or something.