Hit Netflix drama House of Cards will premiere its long awaited season 2 today on Valentine’s Day. The word premiere, however, does not seem fitting as Netflix will be releasing all fourteen episodes of the season all at once. The show received positive response when they also released season one in its entirety on Netflix last February.
House of Cards, a remake of the 1990 British show House of Cards, is about a cutthroat congressman portrayed by Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey, who is willing to do anything to climb up the political pyramid in Washington DC. When asked about the popularity of the show, Spacey explained, “It has been an interesting thing for the public to watch a Congress that actually gets things done.” The exclusively online show won three Emmys at the 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards for Cinematography, Directing, and Casting, and won one Golden Globe for Robin Wright’s Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series. This was the first year that any online-only television program had been nominated for these awards. Robin Wright explained in an interview with CBS, “It is revolutionary when you think of this medium, and how everything is headed in that direction.”
After receiving widespread success with House of Cards, Netflix has also released four new shows, Derek, Orange is the New Black, Elk Grove, and their continuation of Fox’s cancelled mini-series Arrested Development. In the past year Netflix has also expanded ways for viewers to access their videos – Google’s new Chromecast and Roku’s Roku Streaming Player both allow access to Netflix when connected to TVs. In a recent study done by NPD Group, a market research company, the number of people subscribing to online video-on-demand companies like Netflix and Hulu Plus are now almost equal to the number of people who are subscribed to premium TV channels like Starz, HBO. Netflix has been searching for ways to increase their customer-base. Last October, Netflix’s CCO Ted Sarando’s announced that Netflix could potentially be capable of releasing movies the same day they came out in theaters. “Why not premiere movies on Netflix, the same day they’re opening in theaters,” Sarrando explained in his speech with Film Independent. Netflix, along with other online video streaming services, have been able to successfully compete with premium cable providers.
With today’s long awaited release of House of Cards season 2 , Netflix has also continued to release all episodes of their shows at once, rather than the traditional method of having viewers wait each week for a new episode. Kevin Spacey explained in his speech at the Edinburgh International Television Festival that Netflix’s success in engaging and catering for the viewer should serve as a model for television companies around the world. “It’s just story, and the audience has spoken – they want stories. They are dying for them. They are rooting for us to give them the right thing…And all we have to do is give it to them.”
The trailer for the second season of House of Cards was released this past January on YouTube in the state-of-the-art 2160p 4k High Definition, another one of Netflix’s many attempts at getting viewers excited for the release of the second season. It also is not a coincidence that Netflix’s release of House of Cards falls on Valentine’s Day. The past week the House of Cards Facebook page has been releasing Valentine’s Day themed pictures and poems in an attempt to get viewers ready for their binge marathon. House of Cards has already been renewed by Netflix for a third season. The overall success of the exclusively online show’s first season may bring other shows that are released seasons at a time. The long awaited release of the second season of House of Cards today may leave viewers wanting more.
By Tyler Shibata