The hyped-up news is that “the online streaming network Netflix, best known until recently for rerunning other companies’ old shows and films, officially joined its cable and broadcast counterparts in the race for television’s most prestigious prizes, picking up more than a dozen nominations, including a best drama nod for its political thriller ‘House of Cards.’”
Turn the deck face up and you can see the truth. “Cards,” a bad re-do of a sly 1990 British series of the same name, is rated by Netflix viewers at two stars (“didn’t like”) while its predecessor gets three (“liked”).
If Netflix’s Emmy coup represents anything deeper than a change in content providers, it is the McDonaldization of TV drama, an instant delivery of 13 slabs of fatty spiced-up stuff for those who might mistake it for filet mignon.
Chalk it all up to Netflix’s wooing of Academy voters, along with their possible discomfort over the openly liberal political tone of “Newsroom.” Corporate show biz is still the scared-rabbit venue it was back in the Joe McCarthy days of blacklisting. So it’s safer to cite Jane Fonda and Jeff Daniels rather than the series itself.
“House of Cards” will win its share of Emmys but the public knows better.