Skip to main content

The Daily Beast: "House of Cards: Inside Netflix's First Show"

Netflix is jumping into the original programming arena with a remake of the BBC miniseries ‘House of Cards,’ all 13 episodes of which will be available for streaming on Friday. I talk to David Fincher, Beau Willimon, and Kate Mara about the adaptation, Frank and Zoe’s twisted dynamic, television antiheroes, and more.

Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "House of Cards: Inside Netflix's First Show," in which I sit down with David Fincher, Beau Willimon, and Kate Mara (as well as Andrew Davies) to discuss Netflix's upcoming (and paradigm-shifting) original series, House of Cards, which launches Friday with all 13 episodes available same day on the streaming service.

The quest for power knows no nationality or political allegiance.

In House of Cards, the BBC’s seminal 1990 miniseries, based on the novel by Michael Dobbs, Ian Richardson’s Francis Urquhart is the Machiavellian chief whip of the Conservative Party in the days following Margaret Thatcher’s fall from grace. After being passed over yet again, the deceptively placid Urquhart schemes, manipulates, and plots his way over the bodies of his colleagues and former friends in a bid for that most elusive of goals: true power.

On Friday, Netflix will unveil its American remake of House of Cards, written by Beau Willimon (Farragut North) and directed by David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). In a paradigm-shifting move, the streaming video giant Netflix will be releasing all 13 episodes of the show’s first season on the same day, a move that could sound a death knell for the traditional scheduling models of network television. Gone are time slots, episode run times, and any sense that the viewing experience is being dictated by anyone other than the consumer, who can choose to watch as few or as many episodes of House of Cards as he wishes.

“It’s fully in the audience’s hands to decide what their own experience is,” Willimon told The Daily Beast earlier this month. “The same way that you read a novel. You can read Anna Karenina in two days, or you can read it over a year. And I think that’s better because it personalizes the experience.”

Francis Urquhart, one can’t help but think, would surely appreciate this power grab.

In Willimon and Fincher’s version of House of Cards, Urquhart is reincarnated as Francis “Frank” Underhill (Kevin Spacey), a Democratic chief whip from South Carolina whose shark-like intelligence—and ruthless amorality—is depicted as a natural side effect of the American Dream. Here, the story is transplanted from Westminster to Washington, where the plot revolves around the dynamic between Underhill and the ambitious reporter Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara). Like Frank, Zoe is overlooked and undervalued, dismissed as a blogger and a “Twitter twat” at one point. Trading secrets and access, the two form a mutually beneficial alliance that could ultimately topple an entire presidential administration.

“She is not as dangerous as Frank is, but I would definitely say she’s unpredictable,” said Mara. “To him, she is dangerous. They’re dangerous to each other.”

Continue reading at The Daily Beast...

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What's Done is Done: The Eternal Struggle Between Good and Evil on the Season Finale of "Lost"

Every story begins with thread. It's up to the storyteller to determine just how much they need to parcel out, what pattern they're making, and when to cut it short and tie it off. With last night's penultimate season finale of Lost ("The Incident, Parts One and Two"), written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, we began to see the pattern that Lindelof and Cuse have been designing towards the last five seasons of this serpentine series. And it was only fitting that the two-hour finale, which pushes us on the road to the final season of Lost , should begin with thread, a loom, and a tapestry. Would Jack follow through on his plan to detonate the island and therefore reset their lives aboard Oceanic Flight 815 ? Why did Locke want to kill Jacob? What caused The Incident? What was in the box and just what lies in the shadow of the statue? We got the answers to these in a two-hour season finale that didn't quite pack the same emotional wallop of previous seas

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

Me Want Food: Jenna Gets Famously Fat on "30 Rock"

I don't know about you, but I've already ordered my "Me Want Food" t-shirt from the NBC store. Last night's episode of 30 Rock ("Jack Gets in the Game") was, in my opinion, one of the strongest of the series and has officially pushed the zany comedy into the realm of Arrested Development : deftly plotted and intricately layered, with so many jokes piled atop of jokes that it requires several viewings in order to catch them all. While at its heart, 30 Rock is a workplace comedy, it's left that narrow pigeonhole behind to become a witty example of how intelligent and taut humor can work (and flourish) on television... and exist in harmony with hilarious throwaways like the Thriller -inspired Werewolf Bar Mitzvah music video that would have done the AD crew proud. I want Will Arnett to appear on this series whenever possible. His gay exec Devin is hilarious, manipulative, and has an inexplicable weakness for Kenneth the Page, but he claims to have