As you’re surely aware by now, Netflix dropped Season 2 of House of Cards in the middle of the night last night. The reviews have ranged from “really good” to “something less than really good” to “sheeeeeesh that was dark.” So there’s that. But I come not with a review or any actual analysis. Not yet, at least. Instead, I come with a question.
So are you guys binge-watching Season 2 of House of Cards this weekend or what?
I ask, primarily, because it will help us try to gauge how we want to cover the show in the coming weeks. Netflix’s strategy of dumping all the episodes at once kinda changes the way we — and here I mean both “we, a website that focuses on pop culture” and “we, society” — discuss television. Binge-watching has been around for a few years now, but until recently it was mostly used to get caught up on a popular show before the newest season started, or to blast through an older series you missed the first time around. It was a blank-filler-inner, to the extent that is a phrase people use. Which it is not. Although you are free to start now. My gift to you.
But now people can use binge-watching to kind of race ahead of each other. And this kind of blows up the next-day recap format that has become commonplace online over the past few years. In the grand scheme of things, this is a problem on par with, like, “I want the peanut butter but it’s waaaayyyy over there,” but it is an issue in our little world. Do we rush through it ourselves and recap the whole shebang next week, knowing that a bunch of you aren’t crazy people with OCD and enough free time to wipe out 13 episodes on Valentine’s Day weekend? Or do we space things out and discuss one episode a week like it’s a standard television show, even though that means we’ll be talking about the season finale in mid-June, four months and 60 degrees worth of temperature change after some of you finished it?
We’ve all — you included — had a few go-rounds with this already between Arrested Development, Orange is the New Black, and the first season of House of Cards, so hopefully those experiences have started to give us an idea of how to handle the situation going forward. Maybe. I don’t know. Friggin’ Netflix. I’m still not convinced this isn’t Stage 1 of a sociological experiment to see if humans will gorge themselves to death on pop culture if given the chance, like a goldfish does with food. It’s something to keep an eye on, at least.
But anyway, potential issues of mass suicide by streaming television aside, I repeat, are you guys binge-watching Season 2 of House of Cards this weekend or what?