- Written by Lee Allison
House of Cards is NOT agile!
Spoilers ahead! Well, duh!
Undoubtedly many of my readers have seen or have heard of House of Cards, Netflix’s attempt to horn in on the business of traditional cable and television content providers. HoC features a cast-load of amazing actors led by Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. These two play fantastic roles as a pair of well-matched politicians who scheme, plot, and even murder their way into the White House. In its first two seasons the show was literally showered in well-deserved awards and reviews, absolutely riveting stuff.
But in the world of TV business the House was known for something else entirely. Netflix successfully experimented with dropping an entire season’s worth of television on the audience all at once. On February 1, 2013 Netflix released all 13 episodes for immediate streaming. This was revolutionary. No one had ever done anything quite so similar. Binge-watching? Suddenly that was a thing; that was a word we were all familiar with.
Then on February 14th, 2014 they did it again. Another 13 episodes of gloriously delicious political shenanigans hit the Web. Many couches were broken-in, PJ’s worn thin and many, many pizzas ordered. But damned if they hadn’t succeeded yet again. Season 2 was, if anything, even smarmier, gutsier and more over the top than Season 1.
Then came Season 3. On February 27th, 2015 the latest season hit. And it stank. Horribly. Feel free to Google up some reviews if you doubt. But the quality of the content is not the reason for this approach.
Netflix is attempting to handle something (a television series) that is usually moderately agile with a big-bang release method. House of Card’s release management is decidedly big-bang. The workers (actors, directors) go off with no feedback from the stakeholders (audiences, critics) and do a whole butt-load of work. They then reveal all of that work all at once and hope for the best.
If they were releasing the episodes one by one and filming each one the week that the previous episode were available for viewing they could at least avail themselves of reviews, tweets, facebook posts and other forms of feedback to ensure they were delighting their customers.
Oh, don’t get me wrong; I’m looking forward to more binge-watching junk TV, yes I am. But just know that next time you pre-order four Pappa John’s pizzas to be stagger-delivered over the next 12 hours while you plop into your favorite chair, couch or bean-bag… just know… they ain’t being agile. Not even a little bit.
Plus, I get to use the most bad-assed promo shot for a political thriller ever taken. Dontcha just love that Lincolnesque-look with the bloody hands? Sweet.