Differentiating between web video and television is getting complicated.
Netflix just released the trailer to House of Cards, its first original series. With all the tropes of a good political intrigue, it looks like something worthy of HBO or AMC. The impressive pedigree helps: Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright star; David Fincher directed the pilot.
Rumors are that it cost over $100 million to make the show, a decent sum for any series, but an especially large one for something you can't watch on cable tv. If you're already paying a pretty penny for premium cable, it might be frustrating to learn that you'll need another subscription to watch the most buzzed about new show of 2013. But now you know how people who beg their friends HBO Go passwords feel.
Then again, you were already probably going to subscribe to Netflix anyway, because a new season of Arrested Development is dropping there in 2013 too. (Netflix is also picking up a new season of AMC's The Killing, if that's your thing.)
All 13 episodes of House of Cards will arrive at the same time on February 1 — an interesting strategy that's rumored to be how Arrested Development will also get launched.
Releasing everything at once would seem to lessen the social media buzz potential of a sequential release schedule, but Netflix seems out to prove that we can throw your conventional television wisdom thoughts out the window.