4 types of ‘House of Cards’ watchers

We’ve distilled the show’s exhaustive audience into four primary types of “House of Cards” watchers. Here is what you’ll hear from them this month.

By Carten Cordell

Kevin Spacey of Netflix's House of Cards
Photo courtesy of Helga Esteb/shutterstock.com.


It’s been not quite a week since the debut of the hit Netflix series “House of Cards’” second season, chronicling the rise of the fictional, but corrupt incarnate politician Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey).

We’re betting at this point you’ve either mainlined episodes like Peter Russo at happy hour (Too soon?) or you are slowly savoring the sinister machinations like Frank Underwood on a short rib.

If none of this makes sense to you, you are likely one of the few in the D.C. area that has resisted watching this deliciously evil series.

In either case, we’ve distilled the show’s exhaustive audience into four primary types of “House of Cards” watchers. Here is what you’ll hear from them this month:


The Binger

These are the most prevalent of the show’s fans, aided by Netflix’s all-at-once delivery system. These viewers took advantage of the holiday weekend, slipping into a 13-hour couch coma until every twist of the series was uncoiled and every backstabbing carried out.

While these emphatic fans have gotten to the end before others, their reward is to sit in monk-like silence until everyone catches up. Their only outlet is to write cryptic social media posts like “Whoa! Didn’t see that coming!” lest they reveal any spoilers.


The Slow Cooker

These are more of the traditional TV watchers, who at least try to wait a day before bulldozing the series’ 13 hour-long episodes.

The opposite of the binger, the slow cookers’ watching experience is fraught with avoiding spoilers on the Internet and dodging every friend that may have ever revealed a plotline. But they present a deeper appreciation and are known for their discussion of the episodes.

For those who like the savor the show, check out This House of Cards Podcast.


The Hate-Watcher

Everybody knows one of these in the NoVA area. They could be a journalist, a Congressman or an intern working on Capitol Hill. No matter who they are, they will point out the falsity of every line of dialogue and the improbability of every episode.

Unless you like watching your episodes accompanied by scoffs and lengthy explanations of “how this could never happen,” avoid these guys.


The British Traditionalist

“House of Cards” is based on the 1989 novel by British author Michael Dobbs and the 1990 BBC miniseries by starring Ian Richardson, which is also on Netflix.

Like those who have read the Game of Thrones novels, viewers of the BBC version sort of know what’s coming (Though the American version veers in different directions) and don’t mind telling you.

Richardson’s Francis Urquhart is every bit as evil as Spacey’s Underwood and it’s compelling to watch him worm his way through Parliament.

Despite the success of the American adaptation, these viewers will stick wholeheartedly to the original, dated 1990s style and all, and crown Richardson’s version the more sinister of the two.

You might well think that, we couldn’t possibly comment.


So which fan are you? No matter, if you truly enjoy the show, you’re probably plotting the downfall of the other three. Like Spacey purrs during this season, “For those of us climbing to the top of the food chain, there can be no mercy.”