6:00am PT by Brian Porreca
'House of Cards' Binge-Watching Guide: The Best Way to Consume Season 5
[Warning: While this article does not contain spoilers from Season 5, it does contain spoilers from Seasons 1 through 4 of House of Cards.]
Why couldn't Netflix release the newest season of House of Cards over the long Memorial Day weekend?
That's sure to be the question fans of the political thriller will be asking as they start to watch the fifth season of the Kevin Spacey (Frank Underwood) and Robin Wright (Claire Underwood) starrer.
For one of the first times in the streamer's history, Netflix is releasing the entire season of an original series on a Tuesday.
And for the fifth installment, binge-watching may be taken to a whole new level, as viewers are itching to see how the series handles being released during a Trump presidency, how new showrunners Frank Pugliese and Melissa James Gibson changed creator Beau Willimon's creation (or didn't), and how the Underwoods' web of lies and crimes will catch up to them (or won't).
For fans who want to balance their cards this week and get through the series, here's a spoiler-free breakdown on how to pace yourself.
Round One: Chapters 53, 54, 55.
We're back. Or rather they're back, the Underwoods, that is, along with fan favorites Michael Kelly (Doug Stamper), Neve Campbell (Leann Harvey) and Joel Kinnaman (Will Conway). Set aside three hours to start the newest season, because tying up some loose ends from season four will be necessary. Also, to answer your question about how the series might be similar to today's real-life current political climate, all you'll have to do is watch the first 30 seconds.
Round Two: Chapter 56.
After staying up late Tuesday night to get through the first three episodes, viewers will get some relief going forward, as some of the middle chapters only need to be watched one at a time, including this one.
Round Three: Chapter 57.
No need to rush through this season so far -- it's a marathon, not a sprint, this time around, so whether you're watching during your lunch break at work or in between your boss yelling at you, the answer to the question of why Netflix released this season on a Tuesday may be answered, because it's starting to look a little less binge-y.
Round Four: Chapters 58, 59.
Never mind, it's picking up, and the Underwoods may have just taught you how to stick it to your boss. Watch these two and take a break.
Round Five: Chapter 60.
Spoke too soon. This may just be the slowest episode of the entire series.
Round Six: Chapter 61.
Things are staying at a slower place, but as some old characters' story arcs come to an end and others go to new heights, take this one all in before getting to the next.
Round Seven: Chapters 62, 63, 64.
Now we're talking. It's almost as if everything that needed to happen this season took place in these three episodes. You're almost at the finish line for the season, but before you get to the end of all ends, you'll need to dedicate these three hours.
Round Eight: Chapter 65.
If you watched the final chapter along with the previous three, that's totally understandable. But if you want to treat the season finale as a stand-alone episode (which you should), grab the popcorn. The question of how the series can continue to go on and on and on will be answered in this one. And it may be both a predictable and unpredictable way to end season five's final round.
So, when is season six? Netflix, please don't release it on a Tuesday again.
How will you be watching this week? Sound off in the comments section below and stay tuned to the Live Feed for all things House of Cards. You won't want to miss it.