House of Cards

(from yesterday’s astrology podcast)
New Addiction:
I’m still leery of Netflix, the company dings me for the fee each month. I was about to cancel it, but I kept hearing annoying noises about Kevin Spacey’s “House of Cards.”

Guilty pleasure? It’s like a really good TV series, but better, see, it’s all available.

I suppose, in a marathon-like viewing, I could watch all the episodes.

There’s an extra barb in the show’s scripting, one step above just crisp. Tightly plotted, and I haven’t bothered to meditate on the show’s antecedents.

The politics, with the asides, it’s not a unique, but it does bend some of the traditional narrative techniques.

Then, too, as a Netflix-only show, it’s a “web-exclusive.”


But Kevin Spacey’s soft, Southern lilt? Perfect intonation. Just the right balance of malevolence and self-absorbed behavior, the perfect Washington player.

So far, there’s been at least one high-quality nugget of a quote in each episode.

Makes me want to find a girlfriend I can share a cigarette with.

Kevin Spacey’s asides are really fun. It’s a tricky action, but, at least for me, it works.

So is it TV? Movies? Web serial?

Poking around on the inter-webs, I discovered that his prior gig was Richard III. What better way to prepare to play high-powered Washington politician?

While I have an app for it, I picked up an Apple TV box, and I’m using that for streaming Netflix.


It wasn’t until the tenth episode that I figured out the difference. There are no commercial breaks. I can hit “pause,” but that’s not the same. The timing and pacing is such that it’s possible to watch, all the way through, no break. The episodes are about 50 minutes long, with a short trailer and credits at each end.

On regular TV, a half-hour sitcom is 23 minutes, so, at best, an hour-long show is 45 minutes?

It’s the pacing that’s different. No commercial break were written into it. None of that, “And now a word from our sponsor!”

twitter.com/kramerw

About the author: Born and raised in East Texas, Kramer Wetzel, settled in a South Austin trailer park before trailer parks were cool. He now lives in San Antonio, Texas.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Sarah Smith Mar 27, 2013 @ 10:20

    I’ve noticed that when a show is produced to be watched all the way through without commercial breaks, it flows much more naturally than when a break forces the action to pick up again.

    Richard III as a precursor to Washington pol? Yeah, make a tutorial.

  • Kramer Wetzel Mar 27, 2013 @ 15:55

    It’s very well done theater, whatever it is. Big fun, in an train-wreck, tragic way. High drama.

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