Netflix Announces ‘House of Cards’ Directors Commentaries for Season 1

By January 3, 2014
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Netflix offers a tremendous service, but one of the things we’ve lost in switching over from Blu-rays and DVDs to the streaming giant overlords is bonus features for our favorite movies and TV shows. Yes, if you still have the disc plan, you can sometimes have a disc full of bonus features mailed to you, but that’s not always the most convenient prospect when you’re trying to tear through a few seasons of an acclaimed show or scratch movies off your personal “must-watch” lists at a rapid pace.

According to Variety, Netflix has decided to implement a change in one of their most popular original programs by adding directors commentaries to the first season of their hit series “House of Cards.” The second season of the show hits the internet next month, and in order to drum up some interest in the show, Netflix will add commentaries from directors David Fincher, James Foley (Glengarry Glen Ross), Joel Schumacher (Falling Down), Charles McDougall (“The Good Wife”), Carl Franklin (“Homeland”) and Allen Coulter (“The Sopranos”) to all of the first season episodes beginning today. Simply go to the alternate audio and subtitle menu and you can turn the commentaries on and off at your leisure.

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As someone who loves the idea of bonus features but also as someone who can admittedly be lazy at times, I’ve been turned off with how annoying it is that I have to wait at least five or six total days between the point where I turn in the last disc of a season, get a bonus feature disc mailed to me, and get the next disc to continue the next season. Yes, this may be one of the most egregious examples of “first world problems” you may have ever encountered.

The point is, I’m glad Netflix is adding bonus content like this directly into the interface for streaming content. It bodes well for the future of special feature material…well, as long as enough people actually listen to the commentaries, that is. Netflix is famous for mining data to extreme degrees (“House of Cards” itself was created based on the fact that subscribers loved watching David Fincher films and Kevin Spacey movies). So if we listen to these commentaries, we’ll likely get more of them and hopefully some featurettes and other content as well in the future; otherwise, I doubt we’ll be seeing Netflix make any effort to give people something they don’t want.

Are you a fan of bonus content with your favorite films and TV shows? Will you be listening to these new commentaries? Let us know below, but before that, check out this video that combines the style of the “House of Cards” opening credits with “Breaking Bad” credits and timelapses from the AMC series (via David Chen):

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at ScreenRant.com, FirstShowing.net, MySpace.com, GeekTyrant.com, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.