House of Cards – Season One: the high quality of this TV series (technically, it’s something else, a web-series perhaps, but let’s call it that for simplicity sake) starts with the great cast and solid writing.
The main strength of the writing comes from the structure and the sordid but not particularly far-fetched story. The choice of having the main character break the fourth wall is somewhat daring but very successful: the main character, and therefore the whole story, would not be as engaging without it. (It’s interesting that while in literature it’s quite common to have a first-person narrator address the reader, this device is not seen very often in movies; another reminder that the languages are different and that “the book is better” doesn’t really make all that much sense.)
Even thought there are 7 or 8 different directors (but just one DP was used for 12 of the 13 episodes) being used throughout the 13 episodes, there is a tonal and visual consistency that sell the whose season as a unit. The camera work deserves mention: elegant, stylish but not showy.
(Even thought the main objective of this space is to talk about films, every once in a while something outside of that particular world can come up that deserves mention. That House of Cards is so very close to actually belonging is beyond the point.)