By Alexandra Burlacu email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Feb 04, 2013 11:43 AM EST
Netflix has sparked off a huge social media buzz by simultaneously releasing all 13 episodes of its new political drama "House of Cards."
The beginning of each year, i.e. late January/early February, is always oozing with premier dates for all kinds of shows and 2013 is no different. This time, however, one of the most anticipated debuts came from Netflix, which brings the hottest new dramas on the Internet rather than on television.
Netflix' new "House of Cards" series has generated notable buzz particularly for its huge bet: a reported $50 million to produce a single season. The political drama mirrors Netflix' push for original content programming and is now available to watch at one go.
This very strategy to release all 13 episodes at once has set social media on fire, with more than 10,000 mentions after the show's debut just after midnight on Friday, Feb. 1. The number of mentions keeps increasing every hour.
According to critics, the new "House of Cards" is a must-watch for Netflix subscribers. It is a remake of a namesake British series and is set in the treacherous political world of Washington, D.C.
Netflix' version, however, comes with a heavyweight star: Kevin Spacey plays the role of the House Majority Whip Francis Underwood. After failing to land a near-certain Secretary of State title, Underwood has sworn revenge. Robin Wright stars as his wife, while David Fincher directed the first two episodes.
Times' James Poniewozik calls it a "brassy, confident" new drama, although it may not be as "out-of-the-box astonishing" as "Mad Men" or HBO's "Sopranos." USA Today also had positive feedback for the new "House of Cards" show, reckoning that Spacey is a perfect fit for Underwood.
The BBC mini-series the show is based on was particularly scandalous and controversial, as it portrays a world full of blackmail, drug use, ordered hits, internally prompted impeachments, as well as a comprehensive media manipulation strategy disguised as an affair.
For Netflix, "House of Cards" is definitely a new frontier, and viewers seem eager to explore the new offering. As television becomes less reliant on a schedule and more acclimated to the Web, Netflix may well hit the jackpot with its new Web series.