A phone call from my son earrrrrly Friday morning led off with the question asked round the streaming world, “Do you remember what streams today?” For the Netflix loyal, May 30th is the highly anticipated day House of Cards season 5 hits Netflix. I haven’t decided if I will be staying in for a weekend marathon or settling in on a weeknight for some must stream TV, but a House of Cards haven within a haven is in the cards.
The opening credits featuring Washington, D.C. landmarks and the House of Cards main title theme music by Jeff Beal hits a haunting note that lingers in your mind and thoughts. Captivating, to say the least.
House of Cards Main Title Sequence from Drew Geraci (District 7 Media) on Vimeo
Popcorn makes a delicious case for the ultimate binge watching snack. I will be popping up a batch of Rosemary and Sea Salt popcorn for streaming sustenance.
Rosemary and Sea Salt Popcorn
½ cup popcorn kernels
¼ cup canola oil or grapeseed oil (or other high flashpoint oil)
1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon fresh minced rosemary
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
Heat the oil large pot over medium heat. After the oil is hot, add the popcorn kernels and the 1-tablespoon of rosemary, and then shake the pot to gently toss the kernels until they are all coated with oil. Cover with a splatter screen or a lid that is placed slightly ajar to allow the steam to escape. Cook until the popcorn popping frequency slows to several seconds between pops. Remove from heat, allow a minute or two for any final pops, and then pour into a large bowl. In a small saucepan combine the butter and remaining ½ teaspoon of rosemary. Melt the butter over medium heat. Drizzle over the popcorn and season with salt and pepper, tossing occasionally as you butter, salt, and pepper the popcorn.
No streaming spoilers here, but as it plays out in the House of Cards game, Frank Underwood & Co. prove the more things change the more they stay the same. Never in a million years did I believe I would be enthralled by a fictional series. Let’s face it- House of Cards mirrors the nonfictional turbulent political times we currently find ourselves living in.
See what I mean?
Cunning characters with a penchant for political advancement veiled in brilliant plot twists play to the camera and today’s political climate with art imitating life inside the Beltway mastery. Art imitates life, and makes an excellent storyline. I’m the type of viewer who doesn’t immediately realize how much of an impression fictional and nonfictional scenes and characters are making on me. It’s the same with inspiring and impressive interior design and decorating. There are spaces that grab the eye at first glance and others with a wash over you presence that slowly and surely draw you in.
The brilliant writing, captivating storylines and foreboding theme song make me sit up and pay attention, but it’s the sleek set designs of House of Cards that impress. Somewhere between an obligatory nod to traditional Washington, D.C. townhouse decor style and an overly emphasized attempt to marry modern to minimalist is a space found in many a home sweet home- a haven within a haven.
For those of you who are familiar with the show I don’t need to explain. For those of you who are not familiar with the show, a quick synopsis to put you in the loop…
The married Washington, D.C. insider powerhouse couple, Francis and Claire Underwood, come together at the smoking window (as I referred to it all weekend long). Cutting deals and stabbing backs on a daily basis is not for the faint at heart. When the proverbial house of cards begins to fall, and the weight of the Washington, D.C. world becomes heavier than usual, the cooler heads and blacker hearts of Mr. and Mrs. Underwood divide and conquer the day over a shared cigarette. Harm to the body is trumped in favor of this downtime ritual set with Frank and Claire seated atop a radiator and a shutter framed window or in the kitchen of the White House Residence. An otherwise forgettable and basically unimpressive space suddenly becomes a design focal point.
The forged alcove serves as a small space of shelter and refuge from circadian shenanigans- an in house haven to vent away the foul of the day. I am in no means advocating smoking, but I do suggest if you do not already have a haven within a haven space you may want to entertain the thought of getting one. I am an advocate for recharging one’s battery.
A couple of years ago I won a Rebecca Swivel Chair after entering the Beautiful Black and White Pinterest Sweepstakes from House Beautiful. This is my “in my own little corner, in my own little chair” chair. It resides in a haven within a haven part of the house where downtime meets me time and helps me lose track of real time for a short period of time.
A phone call laaaaate Friday night led off with the question asked round the streaming world, “Have you watched it yet?” To quote Frank Underwood, “I’m only getting started.” Dave the Builder’s man cave will pull double-duty as both screening room and a haven within a haven over the next few evenings. Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like a haven within a haven to stream and decompress.