Posts Tagged “House of Cards”

Netflix tops 40 million subscribers. A good step? Of course. A game-changing leap? Hardly.

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

Here's a paragraph: "Worldwide, Netflix subscriptions have soared to more than 40 million, this year surpassing the U.S. subscriber base of Home Box Office (HBO) for the first time. At peak evening viewing hours, Netflix accounts for a staggering two-thirds of North American Internet traffic." That came, of course, from The Toronto Sun, which posted said paragraph at about 11 this morning. The headline? "Why Netflix is the new black." Cheeky. A lot has been made of the news last week ... read more

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It’s year three for the Three Things About Emmy.

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

For the third year in a row, it's time to pull out three bullet points from the Emmy telecast. Yes, despite not offering up any predictions, we still need to have some form of consistency, right? Right. Besides: How many times can you read about "House of Cards" being nominated before you say, "OK. I get it. 'House of Cards' was nominated," and click somewhere else? Oh, wait. You already clicked? Shoot. Anyway, behold three takeaways from the biggest night in television and what they mean ... read more

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The Emmys are Sunday. No, we aren’t making predictions.

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

For the last two years, I've taken to the World Wide Internet to aimlessly float Emmy predictions out into the wind. The should win/will win argument is time-tested and fun, and last year, the fabulous Michael Hunley (from the Pop Goes The Culture blog) and I made the exercise a bit more interesting, adding a friendly wager into who could predict the most winners. Naturally, he lost, forcing him to retire from the Emmy-predicting world for the time being if only because the defeat forced him ... read more

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It’s Derek Day, friends.

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

Ricky Gervais and his gal, Jane Fallon. (Photo courtesy The Associated Press)“Netflix has 30 million subscribers now. They are one little company in L.A. and they are as big as the BBC." So said the brilliant Ricky Gervais to The Mirror's Mark Jefferies in January. This was before his latest series, "Derek," debuted across the big piece of water currently separating continents. He said it because people became upset at his program, claiming that it was exploitative to those who have special ... read more

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Netflix. House Of Cards. The Emmys.

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

“It’s as much a win for Internet television as it is for the content creators.”

Those were the words uttered by Ted Sarandos, the Chief Content Officer of Netflix, after this year's Emmy nominations were announced Thursday morning.

OK. Hold on. Wait a minute. Before we move on, I must ask you to forget. To forget the bullet-point heavy rundown of what the nominations mean that this blog has provided in the past. To forget the analysis that we typically offer around this time of year regarding what we should expect when the trophy show takes center stage. To forget, in essence, what popular culture has asked us to know for years and years and years when it comes to television consumerism. And, of course, for the love of God, to forget precisely how unfunny and snarky a single blogger can be (that's me!).

Forget it all. Why? Because all that stuff is yesterday's news at this point. Because this isn't any normal awards show season. Because this year's ceremony is going to feature something it has never, ever featured before. Because, after about 30 months and more than 200 posts about what was slowly but steadily happening to the television industry, it finally feels like a shift within the fabric of the mainstream is right before our eyes.

Because yes, web-based original programming has officially been called up to play in the majors.

"House of Cards," the Kevin Spacey-starring reboot of a 1990s British series that has become, for all intents and purposes, the poster-child for the advent of quality Web TV, sent waves through the tele-verse when it landed nine -- nine! -- nominations for this year's prime-time Emmy Awards ceremony. Oh, but that's not all. The much ballyhooed fourth season of "Arrested Development," another Netflix venture, managed to land three nods, the most notable of which going to the show's de-facto lead, Jason Bateman. And Hemlock Grove, the only Netflix series I haven't bought into (and yes, it's probably going to stay like that) was also recognized with a couple nominations as well.

As the news began to trickle out into the Twitterverse yesterday, I couldn't help but be filled with an inexplicable amount of joy. Not only does it justify the existence of this blog (which was something, of course, that Ms. Emmy definitely had in her mind as she made these decisions), but it also will single-handedly go down as the Moment Things Began To Change. Groundbreaking is the cliche, but it's also the correct word.

Netflix's refusal to release any tangible numbers on the successes of the shows has kept a lot of its encouragers in the dark, and, frankly, a lot of its skeptics front and center. Big Red turned around Thursday morning, grabbed its crotch, made an inappropriate gesture, and without mincing words, told those detractors to shut up, not without the use of an expletive. It's sooooo easy to criticize in today's fickle and disinterested version of popular culture (and trust me, the zeitgeist seemed to take an inordinate amount of glee in thrusting said criticism toward both "Cards" and "Development"). Therefore, it's got to feel sooooo good to have something positive now present itself to an approach to TV that has been questioned and scoffed at almost relentlessly for days, weeks, months and years.

And while "House Of Cards" and Netflix were the ones making the bigger headlines throughout each of the last 24 hours, there was a slightly ignored development that could prove to mean just as much to the medium moving forward: This blog's favorite 15-minute, Web-based show about famous people driving around and gulping up outrageous amounts of caffeine, Jerry Seinfeld's "Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee," is up for an award in the short-format nonfiction category.

Boom, as we like to say, goes the dynamite.

We can wax poetic all we want on how monumental the news is, but in its simplest form, the whole thing goes like this: 2013 will forever be remembered as The Year Internet Television Broke Through, what with this acclaim, the growing success of the addicting "Orange Is The New Black" (yeah, expect a love letter to that thing in the coming weeks), and, of course, the rise and expansion of Aereo, the antennae-based Web TV startup that just won't quit. Until Thursday, you could have made a solid argument for how far away the niche is from becoming the norm. After Thursday, however, it's going to be just a little bit harder to ignore the sea change that is upon us. It's one thing to develop a business model and then throw it into the masses for consumption. It's another to be recognized by the business model's top-level peers for its impressive amount of fundamental competency.

It's become increasingly hip to ditch traditional cable television packages in recent years, sure, but now the whole cord-cutting thing is working its way into becoming genuinely desirable from a practical level. How did the demand for HBO become so intense? Somebody gave birth to Tony Soprano. It would be both unfair and impossible to lay the same type of expectation at the feet of Francis Underwood, sure, but every network needs an "Oz" before it can land a "Sopranos," remember. Foundation is key to building anything sustainable.

And from "House Of Cards" to "Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee," it's now clearer than ever that the base of this movement is as sturdy as anything the world of television has ever seen. All thanks to Netflix. All thanks to a house build with far more than a mere deck of cards.

I finished watching the first season of House of Cards. News flash: There’s a lot to say.

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

Welp. It took a little less than a month, but last night, I watched the 13th and final chapter of the first season of Netflix's "House Of Cards." It's in the books. No more Francis and Claire Underwood. No more sex, drugs, corruption and manipulation. No more odd, spotty Southern accent from Kevin Spacey. No more detestable finger-biting from Kate Mara. No more Peter Russo. No more Michael Kelly. And save for any reruns of "Entourage," no more Constance Zimmer. As I said a few weeks ago, the ... read more

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Netflix Pix – March 2013

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

March, oh March. You are supposed to bring us warmth, sun and longer days (though if all weather reports are to be believed, that part of the deal won't come until later in the month ... after this area gets knocked out with snow this week). You have St. Patrick's Day. You have March Madness. And most importantly (this year), you have the South By Southwest music, film, tech and everything-else conference in Austin, Tx. As for what March may offer this year, we have five suggestions for you, the ... read more

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Ratings, ratings, ratings.

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

What's a television show if it has no ratings? A canceled television show, I tell you — that's what it is. Now, what's a television show that has no ratings, yet is reportedly watched by a ton of people? An Internet sensation, I tell you — that's what it is. Behold a major step in the sea change that is sweeping the world of television consumption: Nielsen, the gold standard for all things ratings, is about to include numbers from televisions that use an Internet connection as its source ... read more

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Netflix needed its Sopranos …

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

After all the hoopla surrounding the unveiling of the American adaptation of "House Of Cards" on Netflix. After all the months upon months upon months of walk-up stories featuring interviews with actors and producers and directors and CEOs. After seeing those posters of Kevin Spacey looking angry while sitting on a big monument of a chair. After writers and critics dawned the era of a new day in television consumption the minute all these episodes were unleashed on the world. After all of these things ... read more

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Is the TV world finally ready to live in a House of Cards? Netflix hopes so.

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

Oh, June 2011. How you were sizzling with the beginnings of my first summer south of the Mason-Dixon line. You offered up my sixth month at this newspaper. A Pizza Blitz outlet still existed at Westview. I was hundreds of pounds lighter. Craig Ferguson was still doing his thing. Rick Perry mattered. And it wasn't negative-83 degrees outside. Again. It wasn't negative-83 degrees outside. Oh ... and I wrote this after reading that Robin Wright was in talks to sign up for some brand new web ... read more

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