7 Reasons To Love ‘House of Cards’

1. Binge Watching on Netflix

It’d be unfair not to mention the fact that you can drop everything you’re doing for 13 hours and watch the whole season from start to finish, and even re-watch what you missed and take notes (if you are like me!). This is a way to experience a story that was only recently realized by society and finally mastered by Netflix with their first couple of original series, and with the extraordinary writing, casting and direction of House of Cards we finally have the first, brand spanking new form of television for the 21st century.

2. Tea Party Dismissal

It’s not fair to shit on a political party — in most cases. Unfortunately for the Tea Party, there hasn’t been one instance where they’ve deserved respect from the majority of voters in the U.S., and for good reason: they never seem to have a solution that satisfies the majority. If it’s freedom they are after, it’s the needy they neglect. If it’s security they’re after, it’s the constitution they neglect. If it’s more emphasis on Christianity they’re after, it’s pragmatism they neglect. This is what consistently make the party too extremist for a moderate political system. That’s why it’s important that this concept be integrated into such a political show where our main character is the Vice President.

We’re already seeing the inner workings of Congress on a daily basis, and to see how some people within Congress get blinded by their own extremism and miss the opportunity to prevail because they were too involved in themselves is a crucial point to make. What’s more is that this show is not about the political party you are associated with, but about power and control, the foundations of politics. After all, Frank Underwood is a Democrat, but you’d never guess it by the way he acts!

3. Cyber Warfare, Tor and the Deep Web

One of the most important aspects of the age we live in is the technology we use on a day-to-day basis and how inseparable humans and tech have become. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been one TV show or movie that actually addresses this concept in a way that resonates with anyone in an acceptable way for about 30 years. I mean, let’s be honest: War Games was cool because it showed exactly what it’s like to perform those types of tasks on a computer in the 1980s, and Tron was cool because it showed exactly what computer nerds were envisioning while using the computer. Somehow, Hollywood decided movie-goers had lower IQs than What’s worse is that most plots involving computers treat the viewer with such a disregard for our comprehension of the internet that it’s beyond laughable and down-right insulting. After all, we’re not oblivious to the fact that Microsoft Excel has literally zero application to split-second hacking, yet whole plot of the movie Unthinkable culminated in defusing a nuclear bomb by typing gobbldygook into a spreadsheet and subsequently became an internet meme as a testament to how low Hollywood had sunk to appeal to the younger generation; that real hacking is typically command-line-based and that there has never been, nor will there ever be, a pac-man representation of eating memory and data as shamefully displayed in the end of Hackers; and that literally no one will ever hack something in 30 seconds with a gun to their head while getting a blow-job from a stranger like Swordfish wanted us to believe. Instead, What House of Cards has done in Season 2 is bridge the gap between fantasy and reality by introducing the Tor and the Deep Web to the mainstream in a way that Law and Order and other shows had failed. In Episode 3, Washington Herald journalist Lucas Goodwin enters a dark world of trust and deception for the first time and we see how easily he is manipulated through social engineering in order to get to the truth.

4. No Rating Oversight Means Pushing The Envelope of Acceptable Viewing

One of the more interesting facets of a TV series being released by a video rental service like Netflix is the fact that this same service makes a plethora of unrated movies and videos available. While other services specifically set aside adult film categories, Netflix has kept the focus on theatrical releases while maintaining the Non-Rated (NR) movies of its collection in plain view and within their algorithms “suggested” and “based on your interest” categories. This has allowed quite a few independent, foreign and unrated releases exposure to an audience that otherwise would have never given a hoot about. Not only does this vastly change the premium TV landscape, it also negates the whole rating system in general.

For example, in our Season 2 Episode 3 example, the journalist gets attacked by a hacker after entering the world of the deep web, and his computer gets inundated with nudey images before the hacker interferes and offers a chance to chat. While the images go by in a flash, we do see some flat out hardcore porno ranging from fellatio (including numerous images of erect penises) to cunnilingus and gay anal sex. It happens fast, but the fact that it’s on an online rental service that allows you to pause, rewind and repeat is nothing different than accidentally clicking on a spam link with a porno pop-up. The easy argument Netflix can make (which is entirely justified) is that these images are within the confines of artistic merit. However, it most certainly crosses a line rarely crossed before (if ever) and brings us into a much more liberal arena of popular entertainment where the necessary scenes are not cut for the sake of keeping advertisers or politicians happy and are, instead, left in to keep the story whole.

5. Innovative Integration of Text Convos

When I text someone, I don’t sit there and stare at the phone and wait for a response. That’s the beauty of texting, you can text and move on with your life. Since the invention of text messaging there just hasn’t been an appropriate way to show this form of communication on the screen without it coming across as obtrusive, too difficult to read or just hokey — often characters are forced to stare at their phone screen for far too long, we’re forced to watch a screen of a screen, and ultimately the whole concept of texting loses its value entirely.

The way House of Cards manages to pull it off is beyond just getting the message across to the viewer, it’s actually a next-level experience where you actually feel like you are the character receiving a message. It’s a simple design concept that’s never really been tried before, or at least not in such a creative way.

As an example, a reporter is having an affair with a politician. When texting each other from their respective settings, the editing never shows the phone screens and instead overlays the camera shots with the text messages as they come through, so we get to experience our character getting on a train or leaving work while carrying on their conversation, rather than the conversation being a boring scene in itself. This is one of the major facets of the production of this show that stands out from other shows based on real-life.

6. The Ned Stark Play

After watching the first season of Game of Thrones, I decided that killing the main character is the best way you could start a story. Nothing says motivation like, “you just destroyed the best thing that ever happened to the world and now I must take you down.” Peter Russo is probably the Ned Stark of House of Cards, and if you don’t agree then I urge you to put aside the obvious differences, like Peter’s alcoholism and Ned Stark’s sword wielding brawn, and take a quick glance at the parallels between the honorable stance carried by the House of Stark and the rallying Russo did with the shipyard workers. Like Stark, Russo fought for the little guy, putting himself at risk on a number of occasions, and eventually died trying.

Just like Game of Thrones, House of Cards now yields to the weight of a murder by one of the most powerful people in the country and that weight burdens every decision he makes. It’s impossible to take murder back, and when Season 2 starts up there’s yet another callous strike against the underdog that now sets a dark precedent in any confrontation moving forward.

7. The Main Character’s Initials are F. U.

As Frank Underwood colors in the penis of a bull on a sketchpad, he breaks the fourth wall by uttering a bit of universal truth to camera: “There are two types of vice presidents: doormats and matadors.”

If it weren’t for Breaking Bad or The Sopranos, we might not be entirely ready for a show’s protagonist to also be who we root for their downfall. The great part about a series that hasn’t yet ended is not knowing if our protagonist/antagonist will fall, begging questions about the moral direction and theatrical direction of the show. Will Frank Underwood prevail, or will his moral turpitude be undermined by the honorable underdog forced to fight within the shadows?

Prince Guest Stars on ‘New Girl’

Famed eccentric musician Prince (the artist formerly known as ‘the artist formerly known as Prince’) will guest star on the hit TV show ‘New Girl’, it was announced the other day.

“Jess (Zooey Deschanel) is ready to paint the town purple when a chance encounter finds her and best friend Cece (Hannah Simone) invited to a once-in-a-lifetime mansion party thrown by music legend Prince, guest-starring as himself,” a description of the episode from Fox reads. “Not wanting to miss out on the fun, Nick (Jake Johnson), Schmidt (Max Greenfield), Winston (Lamorne Morris) and Coach (guest star Damon Wayans, Jr.) are determined to crash the festivities, building toward an unforgettable ending. The episode also will feature special guest cameo appearances. “

Although, according to executive producer Brett Baer, it was Prince who actually contacted the show about making a guest appearance since last year. He contacted the show’s stars and told them he was a big fan and wanted to work with them.

Can you imagine Prince calling you up and asking you if he can be a part of your performance?

Robert Rodriguez Takes From Dusk Till Dawn To TV

Fans of Robert Rodriguez will be happy to know that the famous director will be taking his 1996 cult film to television. Rodriguez has high hopes for his show on his new El Rey tv network saying, “It is seeing something that you’ve never seen before, this Mesoamerican mythology of demon culture and these vampires that are not your traditional vampires.”

Director Robert Rodriguez has adapted his cult 1996 film into From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, premiering this year on Rodriguez’s own El Rey Network. The series expands on the film, adding new characters and plotlines to the story of two bank robbers — and the family they hold hostage — as they try to survive against vampires.
“We see things that led up to events in the film, and much deeper character motivations and storylines to sort of launch into the new story that we’re doing,” Rodriguez told BuzzFeed. “The film was a short story. This is the novel version.”
D.J. Cotrona and Zane Holtz will star as Seth and Richie Gecko, pictured here. The roles were originated by George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino, who also wrote the script, making these big shoes to fill.

Read more via Buzzfeed.

Lena Dunham’s GIRLS Are Just Too Naked For Some People

It may not be difficult to believe that an HBO show contains a lot of nudity, but for reporter Tim Molloy of The Wrap it doesn’t make any sense. At a Television Critics Association panel discussion for the upcoming season of HBO’s hit show GIRLS, Molloy posed the question to the show’s creator Lena Dunham, “I don’t get the purpose of all the nudity on the show. By you particularly. I feel like I’m walking into a trap where you say no one complains about the nudity on ‘Game of Thrones,’ but I get why they’re doing it. They’re doing it to be salacious. To titillate people. And your character is often naked at random times for no reason.” Lena’s response?

“It’s because it’s a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive, I think, and I totally get it. If you are not into me, that’s your problem.”

Executive producer Judd Apatow also added, “Do you have a girlfriend? Does she like you? Let’s see how she likes you when you quote that with your question, and just write the whole question as you stated it,” and, according to Molloy in his article, Apatow also called him sexist and mysogynist after the panel discussion:

Dunham left after the panel. But Apatow stuck around, and we talked about my question, which he said was “offensive on its face.”

“You should read it and discuss it with other people,” he told me. “It is very offensive.”

“Is it sexist?” I asked. “Because I would ask the same question –”

“It’s sexist and offensive, it’s misogynistic,” he said.

“I’m not saying it’s bad that she’s nude,” I said.

Molloy claims his girlfriend was “cool with it”, but the question seemed to insult the panel. The LA Times’ Yvonne Villarreal was also there and reports that Dunham drew parallels of her character on GIRLS to Walter White and Tony Soprano implying that her character is hard to like but still people want to watch. Dunham said,

“I think that, for us, the idea that we were trying to say “F you” to our critics would imply that we didn’t believe or understand, and the fact is, like I always tell people, yes, it’s uncomfortable when sort of negative attention is named at you, but I also felt like that’s such an important conversation that if we are going to be the instigator of that, I’m not going to be frustrated about it, because that’s a conversation that needs to happen in the world. We need to talk about diversifying the world of television, and we are trying to continue to do it in ways that are genuine, natural, intelligent.. I’ve learned so much in the past few years about, sort of, intersectionality, the way that feminism has underserved women of color. I really try to educate myself in those areas…. We never want to start a story line that we are going to kind of let flitter off. So, now, we are finding ways to introduce people who are more lasting because we are ready to kind of open up the worlds of these girls.”

But the best part was when Judd Apatow gave a more important answer during the panel discussion when he explained that nudity serves a purpose outside of the general sexual or artistic idea and more of a social or perhaps even philosophical question of why we feel the need to cover up, drawing from people’s insecurities and the need to relate.

“Because it’s real, it touches on people’s insecurities,” he said. “Sometimes it’s hard to watch because everybody relates to it in some way. Like when that guy goes in the mirror and looks at himself naked, he feels bad and he relates. He’s like, ‘Why is anyone naked?’ ”

GIRLS may not be poised as the most important work of our time, but it does push the envelope of the acceptance and exploration of a young woman’s life in New York from a unique perspective. The show has been called “boring” and “stale” by a number of critics, and perhaps it’s because it’s a little too real at times.

Q & A: Are You A Breaking Bad Expert?

“Breaking Bad”, one of the hottest TV shows, is now in its season finale on AMC. Fans from all around the world are all concerned about how is it going to make a satisfy ending?

If you claimed that you are a Breaking Bad expert, here are some pop quiz for you to find out how well do you know about the story of Heisenberg!

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Q: True or False: RJ Mitte, aka Walter White, Jr. has Cerebral Palsy in real life?

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A: True! RJ Mitte has a mild form of Cerebral Palsy. In the show he made his symptom more severe than real life by talking slowly and walking with crutches.

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Q: Who has Heisenberg NOT killed?

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A: It’s Tuco! Although Walter wants to kill him but fail a lot of times. The one who pull the trigger is Walter’s brother-in-low, the DEA agent, Hank Schrader.

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Q: True or False: The show was always meant to take place in New Mexico?

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A: False! The show was meant to take place in Riverside, CA. But AMC suggested New Mexico for the tax breaks.

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Q: Which character was NOT meant to live pass Season One?

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A: Surprisingly the answer is Jessie! He was meant to die in Season One. But the creator changed his mind after re-watching Aaron Paul’s performance.

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Q: Which character is rumored to get a spin-off?

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A: “Better call Soul!” Vincent Gilligan, the creator and the producer of Breaking Bad said “Peter Gould and I are hard at work trying to figure out what a Soul Goodman spin-off would look like…We can’t promise it will happen. But we love the idea very much. ”

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In April 2013, it was revealed that AMC and Sony were interested in a spin-off series that would focus on Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), with Gilligan and series writer Peter Gould developing the project.

Which color does Marie wear a lot in the show?

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Can’t wait to see the season finale on September 29, Sunday!

Bruno Mars Confirmed As Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Act!

Even though football season has just kicked off, Bruno Mars can be expected as the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime act! USATODAY reports,

Super Bowl XLVIII — set for Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. — already has garnered lots of attention because it will be played in an open-air stadium in an area that is susceptible to cold weather and snowstorms.

It’s also being held just miles away from New York City, which is the headquarters to many media, advertising and branding behemoths. Those firms are brimming with anticipation about the potential marketing tie-ins with the game.

While the “Treasure” singer has tough acts to follow like Beyonce, Destiny’s Child reuniting, and Madonna, people have high hopes for the talented 27 year old’s performance. Super Bowl halftime sponsors, Pepsi, confirmed the performance and tweeted “Excited to have you in ‪#PepsiSBHalftime‬ Mr. ‪@BrunoMars‬. We KNOW you’re ‪#FanEnough‬! The countdown to Feb 2 is on.” The unique and groovy singer seemed just as excited, when minutes before he posted to his twitter page “WE’RE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL!!!!!!! ‪#PepsiSBHalftime‬” With hits like “Treasure”, “When I was your man”, and “Locked out of heaven”, all in which have hit the top ten on the BillBoard Charts, I think its safe to say Mr. Mars has earn the covenant spot as Super Bowl Halftime act. Let’s not forget it’s only an event thats watched by nearly hundreds of MILLIONS of people, let’s keep our fingers crossed Bruno will deliver!