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There was a time when I swore I would never prefer the world of streaming media over physical products like Blu-rays and DVDs, and while I still adhere to that belief, the tide is slowly turning. One of the things that makes a disc significant is the addition of special features, particularly director commentaries, and Netflix is wisely acknowledging that draw by adding a full set of commentary tracks to its first original series in advance of its second season, the excellent political drama House of Cards, my favorite new show of 2013.
All 13 episodes get a full-length discussion from each episode’s director — and this is one of the most talented squads to ever tackle a television series, for lack of a better word. It all starts off with two tracks from the Oscar-nominated David Fincher (The Social Network), who took home the Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for his work on the first episode. James Foley (Glengarry Glen Ross) shows up for three episodes, while we get two episodes each from Joel Schumacher (A Time to Kill), Charles McDougall (The Office), actor/director Carl Franklin (Out of Time) and Allen Coulter (Boardwalk Empire).
Having hit up the show on Netflix to listen as soon as I read the press release, I can say that in the very least, Fincher’s track is pretty darned interesting, discussing the process of taking the script to the screen as well as discussing the characters and the wealth of talented actors that portray them. All you have to do to listen to it yourself is go to the audio and subtitles menu and choose the option. That seems self-explanatory, but then again, we aren’t all as whip-cracking smart as Frank Underwood, the dastardly politician played with steely-eyed aplomb by Kevin Spacey.
This is one of the greatest additions that Netflix has introduced to its original programs thus far, and I certainly hope they go the same route with the rest, like Orange is the New Black. (Hulu, take note!) That said, it seems like a shot in the foot to anyone who bought the Blu-ray or DVD sets, which were completely bare-bones and without any special features. But then again, not everybody gets down with the nerdy side of extras like I do.
Regardless of whether you want to listen to commentaries or not, it would still be a good idea to indulge in a full season rewatch before the second season hits Netflix in its debaucherous entirety on February 14. Check out the teaser trailer below.