A lot can change in three years. Back in 2013, when House of Cards launched, the very idea of a show streaming on Netflix, with all episodes erupting from the floodgates at once, seemed singularly odd. It’s hard to even get into that headspace in 2016. The service, for better or worse, has given its users a Pavlovian response to the consumption of its top-shelf programming: binge it soon, binge it fast, and get in on the conversation before it ends.
House of Cards is maybe the first actually great Netflix original series (sorry, Lilyhammer), the first to prove that a show didn’t have to be chintzy or overly soapy to get people to keep talking about it well past its debut. But, like Netflix’s effect on our TV culture, a lot has changed for House of Cards over three years, too.