But in this case, again, I think the Netflix model hurt the show rather than helped it. Had the episode been allowed to stand on its own, it would have stood out; a week to consider this softer vision of Francis Underwood would have allowed viewers to fill in some of the emotional blanks in House of Cards’ unceasing scheming. Instead, sandwiched as it was in the middle of my personal binge, the episode and its revelations seemed ephemeral and weightless. Hitting “next” on my remote allowed me to swallow without chewing, to move on without digesting.
Andy Greenwald makes the first compelling case against “the Netflix model” that I’ve read. I watched House of Cards the exact same way he did, and totally missed what should have been a key turn in the show.
(Also: spoilers. Duh.)