I walked out of my house the other day and saw a couple cop cars parked in the street. At first I just thought, “Ah, Baltimore,” and focused on a kid running down the concrete, but then I noticed caution tape, and several big black vans, and… stage lights?
Turns out they were using my block of Bolton Hill for filming the show House of Cards. I find the series, a spin-off of the 80’s BBC series, interesting for a couple of reasons. First off, it’s always entertaining to see a camera crew and guys in cop outfits (not to mention a little disconcerting, because Lord knows Baltimore’s a reality-TV cop show waiting to happen). Our city is yet again playing Washington D.C.’s stunt double for a show about fast talking politicians. They’ve moved filming into the Mount Vernon area this week, and are scheduled to shoot inside the Peabody Institute, which is supposed to be a Georgetown hotel.
The other cool bit is that House of Cards, directed by David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey, will never appear on actual TV. The online-streaming company Netflix outbid both HBO and AMC for rights to the series’ first 26 episodes. It speaks volumes for the direction television is heading that an entirely off-the-air company can be beating out major stations on a big-ticket show like this. I guess it means we’re headed toward the post post-network-era era?