I hope everyone out there is having a wonderful Valentines day - whether you are single, in a new relationship engaged, or happily married - there's nothing wrong with celebrating the love that has been showered upon us over the years. If you find yourself in the midst of a steamy date and need a little music to set the mood for sweet love making, might I suggest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxVNOnPyvIU
This song, plus a couple of scented candles, has a 97% chance of creating the perfect mood for that special someone in your life. The only way you can go wrong is to let that special lady in your life watch the video for too long, because she may just leave you on the spot to go seek out D'Angelo. Also gentleman, do not look into D'Angelo's eyes - or abs for that matter - too long, because you may start doubting your own manhood. I've made this mistake and have had many dark nights of drinking whiskey and doing crunches in the nude, while staring into a full body mirror.
For those of us schlubs out there who are without a date tonight there, may I suggest buying a whole bunch of junk food, grabbing a six pack and firing up Netflix for season two of House of Cards. I watched the first two episodes of the season this morning, before making the hard decision turn the TV off and get some work done before going into total-binge-mode. I can assure you, when I finish writing this post, I am going to become the couchiest potato in all of Carroll County, and blast through as many episodes as I can before I fall asleep, finish the season, or go insane. Here's to hoping it's not the latter. Thank god True Detective doesn't publish under the Netflix model. I don't think I could handle it.
Since Netflix drops all the episodes in a season of its original programing at once, and viewers can watch them at their leisure, it's impossible to know whether or not I am spoiling plot details at any given point. When the first season dropped last year that was much handwringing and gnashing of teeth among TV critics, leading to even the most levelheaded critics giving the series lukewarm reviews, with dubious reasoning in their arguments. Now that we live in a world where a lot of shows are using the Netflix model, critics have made adjustments to the way they review series who dump whole seasons at once, and I think House of Cards will get reviewed more fairly for it.
This is all a long way for me to say that I am probably not going to write a proper review for this season. I do not want to be the person who spoils important plot points, and if I was even spoil the events of the first two episodes it would make a lot of people upset, because this season starts at a full run plot-wise. I will say that the show continues to shine in the areas that it did last season. You will still not find a show that is as impeccably produces as House of Cards, everything from the cinematography (hello there 4K) to the set design, down to the little details like the heads-up-display that pops up when two characters are texting, is on point. Kevin Spacey still seems to be having a lot of fun with his role as the country's most corrupt, murderous politician. His character still breaks the fourth wall, and the script of the first episode saved the - turn to the camera and talk to us directly move - for the perfect moment.
There are a couple of problems I had with the first couple of episodes, but they are by no means deal breaking, or in my case, binge breaking. The first slight gripe I have with the two episodes I watched was that it did not do enough to separate itself form the first season. On one hand it's a testament to the writing and the producers that the show feels so consistent from the end of season one to these first couple of episodes of season two, but it also made the events that have transpired in the new season a little predictable. Again, this is a just small complaint, and I have no doubts that the writers will throw a couple of big curveballs at us by the end of the season, but the show has lost it's new car smell that made it seem so ground breaking last year. I think a lot of that also had to do with the fact that David FIncher directed the first couple of episodes of season one. No offense to Carl Franklin, who I thought did a fine job of directing these first two eps, but David Fincher he is not.
To say anything more in this review would probably lead me down a spoilery path, so I'm going to wrap things up now. If you have Netflix, and are looking for a smart, adult show that is impeccably made, I would highly recommend House of Cards. Those first two, season one episodes are brilliant, shooting the plot into a rockets pace, and it doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon. Netflix has created the perfect show for its binge-watching platform. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a bucket for of Kettle Corn and 12 more hours of top shelf TV to watch.