“The great nineteenth-century novels were famous for their cliffhangers, and many people associate the form with Charles Dickens, who wrote serial novels so complex, yet so rewarding, that one might even say they resemble “The Wire.”
…Yet the iconic cliffhanger derives not from Dickens but from “A Pair of Blue Eyes,” a little-known novel by Thomas Hardy, which was published in fifteen installments in Tinsley’s Magazine, in 1873.”
-Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker
Most people already know that episodic television has been really kicking the crap out of feature movies for the past decade when it comes to quality programming. Next month at the Academy Awards the movie people will pat each other on the back and give out prizes for a year of completely mediocre films and performances. They should be ashamed of themselves and their half-assed efforts when you consider how television has been cranking out fantastic shows week after week after week. Who among us would sacrifice a single episode of Breaking Bad for whatever is handed the Oscar as Best Movie this year?
House of Cards is yet another entry into the foray of great television, or at least great in comparison to what’s playing at the local cinema, but you could say that about The Brady Bunch. Once again we have an episodic TV program with the production values of feature films and, with the exception of the two principals (Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright), a host of great new actors.
Hollywood is dead. Long live Hollywood!