Ardan Thornhill (Managing Editor)
Oh, how I love to hate and hate to love the formidable and remarkably ambitious Underwoods. What? You expected me to go against the grain and write about a show less popular than the monstrosity that is Netflix original House of Cards? Well, too bad. If you haven’t already been afflicted by this life-sucking virus of a show, I’m uncertain whether or not it would be morally negligent to recommend it to you, but for the sake of this blurb, I will.
House of Cards can be considered the credential Netflix needed to transcend its status as a secondary distributor to a competitor in show business. Based on a 1990s British analog of itself, the post- modern series follows the serpent of a politician Francis (portrayed by Kevin Spacey) and his cunning wife, Claire (portrayed by Robin Wright – otherwise known as ‘Jenny’ in Forrest Gump) as they navigate the arteries of political power and cut right to the heart of Washington. Its intent, as exemplified in the dark-satire of the British series, is to provoke deep suspicions from the American public towards the political machine. Trying to describe the series without spoiling all the fun proves itself quite difficult, as there is much discussion to be had on its intricacies.
Spacey’s character, especially in the first two seasons, steals the interest of the audience with his deliciously amoral, ruthlessly pragmatic and unfettered methods of ascension. There’s something seen. It sounds bizarre, but this was a great shot because it was non-stop action and it flowed very well. “Daredevil” fans ought to remember it well: Matt Murdock, after hearing the Russian mafia abducted a young boy, goes into their hideout and smashes some skulls in order to rescue the kid.
Second, the 13-episode season allows the viewer to really delve into Daredevil’s origin story and understand what all he is capable of doing. Let’s face it: that monstrous atrocity from 2003—the “Daredevil” movie starring Ben Affleck— hardly did the character justice. Yet the Netflix show makes the viewer aware of how tortured Matt Murdock is, especially by how far he must go in order to defend his city and what real
Shakespearian about him – an Iago in his own right with his seductive, sociopathic asides and soliloquys. Wright, as the seemingly perfect accomplice Claire, shines with just as much brilliance and guile as well as uncanny similarities to upcoming presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. Unlike Francis, Claire possesses an air of ambivalence – she is not murderous and appears much more restrained than him. The blind eye she turns towards Frank’s antisocial maneuvers constantly provokes the question of whether or not she has a human-like quality kept underneath the surface, or simply a narcissist without any feeling or empathy towards others.
The series garnered critic acclaim and multiple awards in its inaugural season and continued its ascent in its second, much like Frank and Claire themselves. USA Today critic Robert Bianco concised summed it when he said, “if you think network executives are nervous, imagine the actors who have to go up against that pair in the Emmys.”
If you haven’t already hopped on the House of Cards train, now’s the time to jump right in and join the conversation. I mean, ‘tis the season, right?
Alan Rawls (Executive Editor)
I was tempted to say that “Parks and Recreation” was my top pick for most binge- worthy show on Netflix, but I’m sticking with Marvel’s Netflix series “Daredevil.” Yes, “Arrow” and “Flash” and the other superhero-themed shows are great, but “Daredevil” takes the cake.
First, the cinematography and overall production make this show phenomenal. Watching this show makes me think that ABC Studios and DeKnight Productions spared nothing in the quality of this production. The lighting was always just right, and “Daredevil” features one of the longest continuing shots I’ve ever seen. It sounds bizarre, but this was a great shot because it was non-stop action and it flowed very well. “Daredevil” fans ought to remember it well: Matt Murdock, after hearing the Russian mafia abducted a young boy, goes into their hideout and smashes some skulls in order to rescue the kid.
Second, the 13-episode season allows the viewer to really delve into Daredevil’s origin story and understand what all he is capable of doing. Let’s face it: that monstrous atrocity from 2003—the “Daredevil” movie starring Ben Affleck— hardly did the character justice. Yet the Netflix show makes the viewer aware of how tortured Matt Murdock is, especially by how far he must go in order to defend his city and what real justice looks like.
Third, the makers of “Daredevil” hold nothing back. The silver screen rakes in a lot of money for Marvel Studios, true, but in making big-budget, widely recognized movies, they are limited in what they can do since they have to appeal to younger audiences and parents who don’t want their children seeing much violence. That’s not a problem with a Netflix show. At one point, Kingpin decapitates a guy with a car door. Yes, that’s disgusting and not good, but the fact that they don’t shy away from the nitty gritty side of Marvel is fantastic.
All in all, give a couple of “Daredevil” episodes a try. You’ll be glad you did.
Jesse Hammett (Copy Editor)
Scully and Mulder became cultural icons in the late 90s for good reason. “The X-Files” lasted nine 22-episode seasons and spawned two feature films alongside an incalculable amount of expanded universe content. What makes the series near-perfect is the chemistry between the lead characters and the many, many interpretations of well-known conspiracies.
The agents will make a believer out of you by the second season, and you will be a fanatic by the time you finish “Fight the Future,” the critically acclaimed first feature film. The show’s popularity can be attributed in part to its dark monster- of-the-week format. From its haunting pilot episode to its bittersweet final season, “The X-Files” moves at a gleefully breakneck pace. Fair warning: once you finish this series, nothing will be able to replace it. “SCULLAAAAAYYYY!”