That's the time it would take to binge-watch the 13 episodes
of the second season of "House of Cards," the Emmy Award-winning
political thriller from Netflix Inc released on the online
streaming service on Friday.
Chicago-based retail manager Rachael Wrenn said that she and
husband James did not watch the first season right when it came
out, but she found it later on Netflix and turned him onto the
"And he just loves that show now," Wrenn said. "And so when we
found out it was coming out today, he decided these are our
Valentine's plans. And I was definitely on board with it."
Starring Kevin Spacey as the underhanded Congressman Francis
Underwood, "House of Cards" last year put a new twist on the
binge-watching trend in television because Netflix, in its big
push to offer original programming, makes all the season
episodes available at once.
Spacey and Robin Wright, who plays his cool-as-ice wife and
partner in boundless political ambition, gave very little away
about the season in their media presentation. The first episode
included a shocking, sudden twist that sparked gasps from an
audience at a Los Angeles screening Thursday night, a few hours
before the show's release on Netflix.
Within minutes of its release, "House of Cards" ranked among the
most-viewed shows on Netflix around the world, spokesman Joris
Evers said. The company does not release viewership figures for
its shows, much to the dismay of its TV network competitors.
The second season garnered positive reviews early Friday. New
York Times television critic Alessandra Stanley said, "It's hard
not to feel giddy delight at the first sight of those emblematic
clouds rolling across the landscape of the nation's capital and
plunging the city into a Stygian gloom."
Indeed, Washingtonians seem to be among the show's biggest fans,
and the heavy snowfall these days on the East Coast might make
for perfect binge-watching weather in the capital.
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Paul Hamill, a Briton who is chief operating officer at a Washington
think tank, took advantage of working from home amid the snow to
start watching at 10:30 in the morning, but he probably will not
finish the season in one day.
"It's a shame that I have a Valentine's date tonight - otherwise I
would," Hamill said. "The good thing is that my date is watching it
too, so we will have something to talk about."
Hamill, who is also a fan of the British version of
the show of the same name that inspired the Netflix production, said
"House of Cards" and Spacey's menacing character allow people to
re-imagine current-day Washington.
"It also shows what D.C. would be like with clever, connected,
ruthless as well as amoral politicians," said Hamill. "It's what
many would like D.C. to be like, and like to be part of."
In a sign of his cachet in the capital, Spacey will appear on ABC's
Sunday morning political show "This Week."
Taylor Silver, who moved to Washington two years ago, told her
boyfriend they would celebrate Valentine's Day in a way many in the
capital city would consider romantic: picking up takeout from the
restaurant Surfside and then binge-watching the show.
The opening credits get Silver, who works for a technology trade
company and can see her office in the opening images, as excited as
"It's where I live and I love D.C.," she said. "I'm not exactly sure
what working on the Hill would be like. This adds some mystery to
(Additional reporting by Susan Heavey
and Emily Stephenson in Washington; Writing by Mary Milliken;
editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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