I just finished watching episode one of Netflix’s brand new original series, House of Cards, which stars Kevin Spacey. The show, which is available exclusively to all Netflix subscribers starting today is actually very good, at least so far. I’ve only seen one episode, but I wasn’t left disappointed and plan to watch the other episodes at some point in the near future. Now, we’re not a TV show (or in this case, web show) critic website, so I won’t spend time reviewing the show, I just wanted to make it known that I thought it was good.
Nonetheless, I do want to talk about why I think Netflix’s venture into original programming is excellent and that I hope they continue to create more of it. For starters, I thought the production value of the show was superb, which is great — it was just like watching a regular TV show, except with no commercials and that’s always nice. The fact that there are no commercials is really amazing, I pay $8 per month for Netflix, why should I have to view a commercial? I shouldn’t, and I didn’t.
But when it comes to the future of TV, one thing I really appreciate is that Netflix made all of the episodes available for the entire “season” at once. It may not seem like a big deal, but making all of the episodes of the show available at once is really awesome. By doing that, I can now watch them on my own time, as fast or as slow as I want. Which is great because when I get really into a show all I want to do is watch is back to back to back. I hate having to wait a week or two for a new episode.
With the future of TV, I don’t want commercials and I want the ability to watch every episode when I want and how I want. That’s exactly what Netflix is providing with House of Cards. I can watch it on my computer, smartphone, tablet, or TV and that’s great. I really hope Netflix will do more original programming in the future and it appears that the company is looking to do just that. While we do not know how many people have tuned into House of Cards yet, perhaps if it’s successful maybe other media companies will realize the value in creating content in this new way, being that people are willing to pay for “premium content” that is ad-free and available when and how they want.
Here’s an interesting thing to think about as well: I wonder how much the entire series cost to produce vs how many money Netflix has to pay to license all the content it offers to its subscribers? I’d bet it’s less, which makes it seem like a good addition to the growing Netflix catalog of content.
At the very least, if you have Netflix account I recommend checking out the show.