To say that House of Cards has simply been a success would probably be an understatement. Entertainment media critics have nominated the series and its actors for 29 awards, six of which it has won and four of which (the 2014 Satellite Awards) are still pending. Both Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey, the principal actors, were nominated for a Golden Globe for best actor and actress — Wright took home a trophy and Spacey lost out to Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad.
Critical reception aside, the show has been manna from heaven for Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), the video streaming service that is the exclusive host of the series. House of Cards was Netflix’s first foray into original content. The company outbid major networks such as HBO, Showtime, and AMC for the rights to the show, putting its faith behind a pile of user data that suggested the combination of executive producer David Fincher and Spacey would yield a killer show. Add a novel way to digest the content — each season is released in its entirety all at once online — and Netflix had itself a recipe for success.
The second season of the show will be released on Friday, ostensibly setting the agenda for Valentine’s Day plans across the country. Helping the wave of anticipation is a snowstorm in the Northeast that could keep people housebound on Friday. And for fans, the next best thing to the release of the second season is confirmation that filming for season three will begin soon.
Season one of House of Cards ended with Frank Underwood, the show’s principal character, accepting the nomination for vice president of the United States. Capturing the dark and often twisted nature of the show, Underwood welcomes viewers back to the show at the end of the second-season trailer by establishing the one rule: hunt or be hunted. Based on the trailer, it looks like Underwood will be just as depraved and corrupt as he was in the first, stopping at nothing in his bid for the presidency.
Although the character is disturbing, Spacey (the actor) is proud of him in an artistic sense. “I “think that we can even look back at real political history, at figures who were at the time, and after they were in office, deemed as ruthless sons of bitches,” Spacey told CBS News in an interview. “Very tough, unreasonable, uncompromising, who had very effective political careers.” Spacey referenced President Lyndon B. Johnson as someone that a show like House of Cards could help bring some perspective to.
“While [LBJ] took, rightfully so, a tremendous amount of heat for his policies in Vietnam, at the same time this is the same president who passed three civil rights bills in a very short presidency, not easy to do,” Spacey said to CBS.