Cards Aces Emmy Nods But Still No NZ Deal

One of the year’s most Emmy-nominated series, House of Cards, has still to be picked up for NZ broadcast.

It’s in the running for nine awards, including the top three in the drama category.

Yet none of the free-to-air channels or Sky have opted to give the Netflicks remake of the BBC hit, which switches its political machinations from Westminster to Washington, their vote of confidence.

US political dramas traditionally don’t rate well here, The West Wing being the honourable exception.

But that was a broad-appeal network TV drama rather than the edgier fare made for pay-TV.

You would expect House of Cards to be a natural for SoHo, which has the lion’s share of the 2013 Emmy contenders announced this morning.

But Sky historically has played hardball with distributors for content and, tellingly, House of Cards wasn’t part of the package deal SoHo did for distributor Sony Pictures’ other fabulous but equally fringe-appeal dramas (Breaking Bad, Damages, Justified, Hatfields & McCoys).

Until House of Cards does screen here, Sony is unlikely to release it on Blu-ray (all of the above had broadcast holdbacks, with Hatfields due out next month).

The good news for those who haven’t lost patience and downloaded the series is it can be bought on Blu-ray from Amazon in the US or UK.

It appears to be an all-regions release from Sony but if you don’t have a region-free player, might be safer to pay a little extra for the UK release, which is compatible with our region.

Reviews of the Blu-ray specs have been laudatory. According to High-Def Digest, “The 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer on this Blu-ray set is positively gorgeous.

“David Fincher set the bar high when he directed the first two episodes, and the subsequent directors did a fantastic job in maintaining that style and level of visual clarity.

“The series looks very much like a Fincher film – which you may or may not find appealing – and, visually speaking at least, House of Cards justifies its reported $100 million dollar budget.”

AVForums called it “a near-perfect 1080p High Definition video presentation in the show’s original production ratio of 2.00:1 (yes, you read that right) widescreen.

“Although it reportedly looked stunning back on its original Netflix debut, I doubt even that high class streaming service could match up to this near-flawless rendition, which boasts fantastic detail throughout.”

Fans of the original should also consider revisiting it on Blu-ray, too, although the 20-year-old drama won’t look as pristine as Netflicks’: “Colours are a touch skewed and dusty, with the distinct look of an early ’90s BBC television film, but skintones are warm and fairly natural, primaries have some staying power, delineation is decidedly decent and black levels are deep and satisfying.”

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One Response to “Cards Aces Emmy Nods But Still No NZ Deal”

  1. I am one of the ones who has lost patience and found other means. By the way, I am enjoying this website and find it a much less cynical view of TV in NZ than Throng.co.nz. Keep up the good work.

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