The Remote: Clear your schedule for ‘House of Cards’

Ryan Pait

We need to talk about Kevin.

Kevin Spacey, that is. And Robin Wright. And Kate Mara. And Corey Stoll.

And every single part of Netflix’s “House of Cards,” actually, because it is amazing.

It’s not a show that would work on regular TV.

“House of Cards” is all kinds of stylish. It’s gorgeously cinematic, layered, and cohesive. Its episodes are so intrinsically linked that it’s hard to resist watching all of it in one sitting.

The show currently consists of 13 episodes, which were released simultaneously on Netflix on Feb. 1.

This simultaneous-release model and Netflix’s devious “Next Episode” button are two of the series’ greatest weapons. Fans of marathoning shows will feel right at home with “House of Cards.”

I am one of those fans, and may or may not have — but definitely did — watch the entire series over the course of five days.

I can’t think of many networks that would be willing to air what’s essentially an amazing 13-hour movie, but the success of “House of Cards” will definitely have the major networks reconsidering their options. Netflix has already ordered another season.

The show revolves around Francis “Frank” Underwood (a delightfully twisted Kevin Spacey) and his wife Claire (Robin Wright, aging like fine wine), two Washington D.C. power players.

The series begins with Frank being passed over for the position of Secretary of State. Enraged, Frank and Claire decide to flip the system, all while remaining under the radar, and start using upstart journalist Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara) and troubled Congressman Peter Russo (Corey Stoll) as pawns in their elaborate scheme.

That’s about as much as I can say without spoiling the spectacle. If you like your TV series deep, this is one for you.

Since I can’t talk about much of the plot, I will say this: the actors involved in “House of Cards” are fantastic.

Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are delectably evil and enigmatic as Frank and Claire Underwood, and they’re enormously fun to watch. For those who enjoy shows where the protagonist isn’t really the good guy (paging Walter White and Don Draper fans), the Underwoods will feel like old familiars.

Kate Mara and Corey Stoll also shine in their roles. The two more than hold their own when sharing scenes with acting heavyweights like Spacey and Wright.

The show also benefits from the guidance of Academy Award-nominated director David Fincher (“Fight Club,” “The Social Network”), who serves as one of the show’s executive producers. “House of Cards” is just as thrilling and elegant as any of Fincher’s movies.

The only two shows that currently air on TV that I could possibly compare “House of Cards” to would be “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad,” both of which focus heavily on character-based drama rather than plot-driven drama.

There is an overarching plot in “House of Cards,” but most of it stems from the characters and their mysterious motivations.

“Law and Order: SVU” and “NCIS” it is not.

And that’s definitely a good thing.

The show may be called “House of Cards,” but you’ll be the one that’s knocked over when you finish it.