Card-a-thon

Well the long weekend is upon us and we had nothing special planned. My husband is working on Monday anyway so that kind of killed any plans to fully capitalize on the three days off as a family unit. I did have a vague and ambitious list in my head which covered many things from swimming to shampooing the carpets but so far, I have achieved nothing.

I blame Netflix. To be honest, I was a little disappointed with Netflix when we got it in Australia. For a start, it is full of Australian content and who wants that? As usual, it is taking some time for those making money off the old model, to adapt to the idea that a global market and global release dates is what will ultimately serve them best while it is making money with the old system so it is not exactly Netflix’s fault.  Also, there are a lot of TV shows in there and I am more of a film watcher these days. Thirdly, and this is a minor gripe, the app through which I connect to Netflix on Apple TV has an awful nested menu, so you have dig and dig and dig down levels until you finally get to what you want – content.

What Netflix does have control over, though, is its own content and so this weekend House of Cards Season Four became available. For this, I forgive Netflix its inability to negotiate decent content for Australian consumers, it’s poor search function and its dumb menu – plus the films it suggests for me which I would never watch in a million years. I want the option to tag them with NOOOOOO to help their algorithms. So House of Cards can up and not just the first episode, either. No, this is the brave new world of content on demand, it was the whole goddamn season and once I started, I found it very difficult to stop.

I actually started to watch episode 1 last night, just the first ten minutes, then stayed up to watch the whole of it and in doing so realised I had forgotten some of the sub-plots that had been going on in the previous season. So before I watched episode 2, I went back to Season 3 and watched the final couple of episodes of that to refresh my memory. Each episode is an hour long.

As TV series go, it is very easy on the eye – impressive buildings, tastefully and expensively furnished rooms and smart tailored power dressing to match the show’s colour palette. Even the opening title credits are wonderful. Its beauty and civilization serves as the perfect counterpoint to the vicious going-ons while negotiations and treacheries are played out.

So having caught up a bit on last season, I thought I would just watch one more episode and then get on and do stuff. The next thing I knew it was five hours later. I am really enjoying this season – more than the previous one and despite the real life hysterics that are currently unfolding in the nomination race in the US. I kept getting to the end of an episode, and like a drunk let loose in a free bar, deciding on, ‘just one more’ until I would stop. Thank God TV does not give you hangovers or I would be in bed with a bucket all day tomorrow.

I have finally managed to wrench myself away about halfway through the season and although I know I should save it for the weekdays, when there is nothing on TV, something tells me that before I hit Monday, season four will be in the bag. Sorry, Kevin & Co. I know it probably takes you ages to film and edit it, but it is only going to take me 12 hours to watch it whether I do it once a week or today and tomorrow.

The only thing that may slow me down I that there are a couple of movie releases that I would not mind seeing right now. Hail Caesar by the Coen Brothers, whose films I generally love, and The Lady in The Van, which I read years ago and which has finally reached Australia. If I can get the shopping done early enough tomorrow – as even the usual jaunt to the supermarket went by the wayside today – then perhaps The House of Cards will not collapse before it returns for season five, until Monday.

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