We spend a lot of time laughing about being the Netflix generation with little to no attention span, but it never proves more accurate than when we absorb media.
I consider myself a media junkie, imbibing music, podcasts and television as it is released, lending entire weekends to an entire television series and relegating sub par series’ to ‘second screen status’- meaning I’ll watch them while I do something else, like work on my laptop or cook dinner. Nothing has ground this behaviour to a sudden halt like House Of Cards did upon it’s arrival almost four years ago. Granted, it’s one in a hurricane of complex and engrossing political/financial thrillers that has been offered up of late, but undoubtedly, it’s one of the best.
When we watch House Of Cards, most of us have no choice to commit to the series in a manner rarely seen tearing through a season of Robot Chicken or Portlandia. It requires not only focus to follow a steadily moving tapestry of plotlines and character developments, but commitment to wrap our brains around the complex machinations of the American political system- which if you’ve so much as glanced at the current climate of discourse surrounding the presidential primaries you’ll notice is really fucking complicated.
And this is why House Of Cards is a must for me. It is not only my detox from the day but also one of the only times I truly engage with one solitary task. During my work day I flick between Chrome tabs, working furiously for nine hours straight on dozens of tasks. During a podcast I’ll jump on an exercise bike and flick between social media apps, occasionally losing my concentration altogether and losing the capacity to do any of my desired tasks particularly successfully. I once stopped cycling altogether when I was particularly intrigued by a friend’s Facebook rant. My brain literally had to task manage that shit and shut some processes down to cope.
But during House Of Cards, I can’t do anything else. And House Of Cards’ season 4 rewards us richly for our commitment. It’s a fucking beautiful thing to watch. It’s silky smooth transitioning from light to dark in every carefully manicured scene, dramatic score, Andersonian commitment to symmetry and dark film noir tendencies make it a stunning viewing experience.
And Robin Wright’s portrayal of Claire Underwood is still the best thing to ever happen to television.
House Of Cards Season Four is now streaming on Netflix Australia.