Sunday, February 03, 2013

Netflix's House of Cards disappointments (me)

Last night I streamed two episodes of Netflix’s miniseries "House of Cards."

House of Cards was produced by Netflix for distribution on the Internet, not via the traditional cable TV services. I am not a big TV watcher and am certainly not a drama critic, but I hoped it would be a terrific program, helping Netflix disrupt the status quo -- like comedian Louis CK's production of his own comedy show or Bill O'Reilly and John Stewart's comic debate.

I was disappointed. The protaganist, is Frank Underwood, a Machiavellian leader of the House of Representatives, who is out for revenge against the President who passed him over for Secretary of State.

I didn't get hooked because Frank Underwood is no Tony Soprano. Frank is one dimensional -- all selfish and plotting -- there is nothing to like about him. Tony is an evil murderer, but he is also loyal to his gang, loves and worries about his family and is a likable teddy bear of a guy.

The entire Netflix cast is one-dimensional -- the Lucretia Borgia wife, the hip reporter who blogs and knows that print is dead, etc.

There were a couple of innovations. I liked the way they showed people sending text messages on screen, and they released all of the episodes at the same time so people can watch them marathon-style if they do get hooked.

I hope I'm in the minority and most people love House of Cards, because I want Netflix to succeed and give us more high production value entertainment online.