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If only Congress worked more like this game

A new teaser for Netflix’s House of Cards plays like a highlight reel of protagonist Frank Underwood’s most heinous exploits. As the show prepares to drag itself into a fourth season this March, it’s worth remembering not just how villainous Frank’s rise to power was, but also how ludicrously easy. The political journalist David Weigel once criticized the show for never exacting its proper pound of flesh in exchange for letting Frank succeed. It was as if every adversary was forced to confront him with one arm tied behind their back. As Weigal wrote, “Underwood’s enemies don’t seem to understand…

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With House of Cards, Netflix is learning what gamemakers have known all along.

Looks like television producers are finally figuring out what videogame companies have known for decades: If you can make something yourself, why buy it from somebody else? – – – House of Cards is a 13-episode drama directed by David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey. Twenty years ago, the star power and high production values would’ve made Cards a top-tier network show like NYPD Blue. Ten years ago, Cards likely would have landed on premium cable, next to The Sopranos or Six Feet Under. If you can make something yourself, why buy it from somebody else? Now, viewers can only…