House of Cards took its final bow last month, with a delayed, reworked, and shortened final season of eight episodes wrapping up the story of Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) following her ascension to the Presidency previously held by her husband Frank (Kevin Spacey).
Though the legacy of the series has been heavily tainted by its association with Spacey, who was fired from the show following the wave of sexual abuse allegations that were raised against him last year, it cannot be understated just how much of an impact it has had on shaping and redefining the medium of television as we know it. The first season was a huge gamble for Netflix given that they had yet to commission an original drama series before, their only experience in the field being their co-production of the Norwegian-American drama Lilyhammer.
Fast forward five years and the streaming platform is one of the biggest players in the world of entertainment, with hundreds of original series and films under their belt. It could be argued that they now favour quantity over quality, given how only a handful of these (such as Stranger Things and a couple of their Marvel adaptations) have garnered a popular and critical reception comparable to House of Cards. Regardless, every one of their media competitors has stepped up their game in response.
Looking back at Cards now that it is finally finished, how do its six seasons stack up?