Beau Willimon on Hollywood and "House of Cards"

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

D.C. is all about politics and power, and in the new Netflix drama "House of Cards" there's plenty of both.

"House of Cards" is produced by the video streaming service Netflix, and the company used market research to build a show based on the actors, director, and style of drama its viewers found most appealing. They released all thirteen episodes together last month, to great acclaim.

The political drama centers on the House Majority Whip Francis Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, and the revenge he tries to exact against others on Capitol Hill after he’s passed up for the Secretary of State position he was promised.

Does the series take inspiration from real life? And how fine is the line between entertainment and government? "House of Cards" creator, writer, and producer Beau Willimon shares his thoughts.


Beau Willimon

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja and Kristen Meinzer

Comments [8]

TJ Crow from Virginia

That was so scary it took my breath away. Mr Willimon says he has no political agenda, then immediately intimates how he got a Dallas journalist out of jail. So, okay, he's got a powerful show.

But this show scares me since it hinges the fact that much of our daily lives is determined by petty decisions made by our higher ups. Perhaps its educational, and that would be good to get that fact more talked about.

But more probably, the depiction will just get hijacked by pop culture, thereby justifying this behavior in the eyes of John Q, and, as John H said, attracting many young people to DC just to enjoy the corruption.

Coming soon: Drunken senate parties where they all dress up as House of Cards characters!

Mar. 30 2014 01:06 PM

I loved the format. I didn't binge watch House of Cards. If one cannot discipline themselves to one or two programs a night of anything on commercial television, then they are bingeing. I truly dislike commercial television. Poor quality. However, for House of Cards from the first 15 minutes one could see this was a high budget program and many things had to be mentally digested. Just because all the Andy Griffith Shows are on Netflix, I don't feel I need to watch them all in one week, and I really enjoy that program. The choice is personal, if it was binged by viewers, that was their choice, not the producer's or the director's choice. Frank Underwoof, nice to meet you!

Mar. 08 2013 05:42 AM
kathryn howard from Dallas TX

Being in a social forum for TV programs and Movies, I am the guru of HOC and I can honestly say, out of thousands of viewers around the world, HOC was very well received by all age groups, ethic backgrounds, lifestyles. The acting, and the use of the fourth wall was pure genius, was well oiled. I personally find Spacey's body of works incredible! How about a series with Spacey using the fourth window with all his threats - the triple threat! Thanks Netflix for the superb program!

Mar. 07 2013 10:09 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

D.C. is America's largest theme park after Disneyland and Hollywood,and the rides are super scary

Mar. 06 2013 04:24 PM
Alex Dufrense from New York

Unfortunately the salaries paid to those who create these shows is not part of the discussion. These new internet companies (Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, etc..) do not pay the crew as much as networks or cable. It should come as no surprise that those at the bottom, carpenters, painters, grips, production assistants, wardrobe, etc.. suffer the most. What I find most annoying is that many of these companies profited from pirated content for years and now have turned around to produce the content themselves but refuse to pay fair wages. First you steal the product, then you knock it off with cheap labor.

Mar. 06 2013 03:59 PM
jerrygroove from eugene,or

i loved the series,very well done.but i think that whoever did the BBC mini-series called "HOUSE OF CARDS",in the early ninetys, should at least get some all the coverage i've heard,it hasn't been said that this is an adaptation,a very ,very good one.

Mar. 06 2013 01:17 PM
Angel from Miami, FL

We've already been watching TV shows this way for years. Full seasons of popular shows could be rented from Blockbuster and Netflix. Enough for a rainy weekend or marathon viewing. But I (and many others) prefer our shows on a weekly basis because it's on a manageable schedule. Binge-viewing a show pressures one into "making time" to watch that show.

I wouldn't be surprise if folks with jobs and/or kids will simply set up a daily or weekly schedule to watch House of Cards episodes. It's even likely that they will just stop watching it due to the hassle (like owners of full DVRs). Letting someone else (the networks) schedule our TV viewing doesn't seem to get the credit it deserves.

Mar. 06 2013 09:37 AM
Dennis Maher from Lake Luzerne NY

Love it. Jefferson and Adams meet Machiavelli and Sun Tzu.

Mar. 06 2013 09:32 AM

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