'House of Cards' Season 1 episode 1: 'Welcome to Washington'

"House of Cards" returns for Season 2 on Netflix on Friday, Feb. 14 -- happy Valentine's Day, right? -- and in preparation, Zap2it is taking a quick look back at the first season. Sunday (Feb. 2) kicks things off with "Chapter 1."Where we are:Episode one introduces the major players -- Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and wife Claire (Robin Wright), who are angered and irritated to learn that Frank is not president-elect Walker's (Michael Gill) nominee for Secretary of State; Underwood's chief of staff and right-hand man Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly); reporter Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara), who is tired of covering city council business and is looking for a whale of a source to catapult her into the big leagues; Rep. Peter Russo (Corey Stoll), a congressman from Pennsylvania who gets arrested for drunk driving and solicitation; and Russo's secretary and lover Christina Gallagher (Kristen Connolly).In the wake of being snubbed as Secretary of State, the...

'House of Cards': Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright bring Shakespeare to US politics

Netflix is venturing deep into the scripted television game with its new political drama "House of Cards." The series has a great pedigree: It stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, had its first two episodes directed by David Fincher, was developed by playwright Beau Willimon and is based on the 1990 British TV series of the same name (which, in turn, was based on the Michael Dobbs novel "House of Cards"). When it debuts on Feb. 1, the show will mark a new era for the quality of Netflix original programming. It was Netflix's dedication to quality that got Willimon on board to begin with. During a recent conference call with Willimon, Spacey and Wright, the series creator explained that it was Netflix's "extraordinary commitment to guarantee 26 episodes up front" that convinced him to take "House of Cards" to them instead of rival networks like HBO or Showtime. "What that allowed us to...