Dedicated television viewers know that there will always be shows that everyone wants you to watch, either it’s a cult show, a show that ended way before it’s time, or seems to grab everyone’s attention but yours. However many viewers find themselves stumbling upon these shows either years later or late into a shows run. I’ve compiled a list of ten shows, published once a week, that have become classics or are on their way to doing so and have recently been discovered by this writer.
House of Cards
Created by Beau Willimon
Original Run 2013- present
I’m officially addicted to House of Cards. I put off actually watching the Netflix series for as long as possible. I’d heard it was incredible but had been warned that if you start watching the show you have to set aside a good chunk of time because it is unbelievably consuming, it turned out to be true since I ended up watching the entire series in just three days.
Kevin Spacey plays House Majority Whip Frank Underwood who helps the president get elected and is promptly passed over for Secretary of State. Along with his equally vicious wife, Claire (Robin Wright) decides to exact revenge on all of those who have betrayed him. He begins an affair with a young journalist, Zoe (Kate Mara) and makes it his mission to get a drug addict and alcoholic U.S. Representative Peter Russo (Corey Stoll) elected governor of Pennsylvania. There’s a revolving door of characters and deep, intricate storylines.
As I said I ended up watching all 13 episodes in three days and I sat mesmerized by what might just be the best show not on conventional television. House of Cards Netflix platform might just be one of the things that give the show its unique edge.
Of course, House of Cards also has the added benefit of intensely good writing and actors like Wright, and Mara, whose characters show just how dangerous women behind powerful men can be. Stoll is also a particular standout for his often painful and ultimately tragic role of Russo, a man who just can’t seem to get out of his own way and out from under his brutal addiction. Michael Kelly as Doug Stamper, Frank’s Chief of Staff and confident who often cleans up messes is also a surprising and arresting presence.
It isn’t really a question that the show belongs to Spacey. Often breaking the forth wall, speaking directly to the viewer (drawing you almost uncomfortably into his scheming), Frank seems to be the culmination of years of television antiheroes. He is viciously cold, vindictive, scary smart, and almost evil. Yet Spacey plays him with a glint in his, you don’t always understand Frank’s motivations but you have no trouble following him.
House of Cards recently helped Netflix make Emmy history this week by becoming the first television show not broadcast in a traditional format to be nominated for, amongst other things, best drama series, a title it certainly deserves.