marahouseofcards.jpegWhile everyone else was watching the Super Bowl last night, I was finishing up the first season of House of Cards, the Netflix production that was released in its entirety on Friday... when I started watching it. Entering the real world after a weekend of binge-watching the series is a little jarring, like when you get immersed in a book and then are forced back to "reality" after you turn the last page. After a weekend of being a fly on the wall inside the seedy and shadowy world of Washington, D.C. it's hard to shake the suspicion that everyone is manipulating someone. So, should you press play and not look back for 13 hours? I would highly recommend it, and here are some spoiler-free reasons why:

  • Do it because the show is really good. Though not everyone I talked to agrees with me on this, David Fincher and Beau Willimon have created an original series with strong dialogue and engrossing storylines. At the very least, you'll want to come back for more. We'll wait for our sister site DCist to weigh in on whether this world is anywhere close to being real, but it was certainly an endlessly amusing and beautifully shot journey into a dark and corrupt side of life.
  • Do it because the cast is perfect. Kevin Spacey is a phenomenal actor, and you get lots of screen time with his character, Congressman Francis Underwood, the House Majority Whip who is pulling on every string he can grasp in Washington. Alongside him are Robin Wright (the hero's similarly scheming wife), Kate Mara (the cub reporter who'll do anything for a story), Sakina Jaffrey (the President's Chief of Staff), Corey Stoll (the troubled Congressional pawn), Michael Kelly (Underwood's right hand man) and many more that will not let you down. Seriously, there's not one character or storyline I was bored with here.
  • Do it for cocktail party fodder. For instance, when having some drinks with friends this weekend I brought up questionable things like: "It's probably okay to have an affair after 50," and "It's probably okay to manipulate people for the greater good." If you get something more than a long, questioning stare in return, then it was worth it.
  • Do it to be a part of TV HISTORY (if that's your thing). The show is Netflix's first dip into the original programming pool, and CEO Reed Hastings says, "We're on the cusp of something that will change television forever. Our view is that over the next couple of years as Internet TV really grows, people will look back and say that this was the turning point."

Here's a small taste of the show, which many are saying could put Netflix on the same original series pedestal that HBO perches atop.