The Best TV of 2014 So Far

From purple weddings to female perps, Rob Sheffield lists the highlights of an already abundant year of great TV

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'House of Cards' (Netflix)
Patrick Harbron/Netflix12/20

12. 'House of Cards' (Netflix)

Like that other big Netflix binge-watching drama, House of Cards came back with a hell of a second season — all the acclaim for the first season cranked up the overall level of cockiness and daring. And as Senator-turned-Vice President Frank Underwood, Kevin Spacey is nothing if not the embodiment of cockiness and daring. In fact, the whole lost decade the actor spent trying to play likeable guys now seems like it was all a bad dream. The D.C. political treachery took a leap forward, as Underwood's Second Lady, Robin Wright Penn, kept right up with him in terms of Machiavellian mind manipulation. Plus a cast of basic-cable all-stars: Look over here, it's Dr. Rapey from Mad Men as a slimy D.C. media flack. Or over there: A computer hacker played by Jackyl Onassis, the goth rock star from Party Down. But Spacey's the one you can't take your eyes off.

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