House of Cards turns 10, success and decline of the first Netflix series

House of Cards turns 10, success and decline of the first Netflix series

House of Cards turns 10

House of Cards debuted on February 1, 2013 on Netflix: if we exclude Lilyhammer, a Danish series acquired by the streaming platform the year before, this can be considered to all intents and purposes the first original series specially commissioned by the Los Gatos service for its catalog. And it was undoubtedly a title that forever changed the panorama not only of seriality but also of entertainment in general. Based on the novel of the same name by Michael Dobbs and adapted from the 1990 British series, House of Card s was created by Beau Willimon to tell the most intricate and ruthless behind-the-scenes of political life in the White House .

Much of the success of a series like this lies in its protagonist, Frank Underwood, amoral politician, with great intuition and ready to do anything to climb power. Playing him in his desire to become the most powerful politician in the United States (and not necessarily the president, at least at the beginning) is Kevin Spacey , one of the first great Hollywood actors to take the plunge and give his face to TV series . The magnetic and ambiguous charm that Spacey manages to give to his character, played with glacial charisma and sly irony, often directed directly at the public, breaking through the fourth wall with more than eloquent looks and jokes, joins the impeccable chemistry developed with Robin Wright, idol actress of the Eighties who is back in vogue here demonstrating all her icy and versatile talent in the role of Claire Underwood, Frank's impeccable and equally ambitious wife. Intrigue, betrayal, manipulation, ruthless lobbying and even crimes and murders have kept viewers glued to the screen for years.

House of Cards also changed perceptions of what was streamed: with its thirteen Emmy nominations and eight Golden Globe nominations (Wright went on to win Best Actress in a Drama in 2014 and Spacey for Best Actor in 2015), was the first title to attract the attention of critics and traditional award juries, starting to steal attention from that prestige television until then represented mainly by cable networks such as Hbo and Showtime. Many of the actors in the large cast ( Mahershala Ali, Rachel Brosnahan, Corey Stoll, Kate Mara ) have seen their careers take off right after their roles here, often even minor but with great intensity. Followed by other Netflix successes such as Orange is the New Black, Daredevil and Unbreakble Kimmy Schmidt , this series also introduced the public to the practice of binge watching , above all thanks to the constant twists and turns that invited a continuous and frantic viewing of all the episodes .

The hype around the series would probably have continued to its natural conclusion if in 2017, following the wave of #MeToo scandals, allegations against Kevin Spacey had not also surfaced: several young men denounced that the plaintiff had molested them when they were at a very young age. Some of these proceedings have been filed, while others - especially in the United Kingdom - are still in the process, the fact is that Netflix and the production house of the series decided to end their relationship with Spacey and continue by shifting the focus to Claire by Robin Wright. Frank Underwood hastily archived, however, the series inevitably showed its cracks and the sixth season also proved to be the last, with the final episodes released in November 2018. Such a witty and revolutionary story would probably have deserved a more worthy and organic conclusion, but as Washington's secret machinations demonstrate, even the greatest successes can turn into the most spectacular defeats in an instant.

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