Political thrillers usually alienate a portion of a show’s potential audience; House of Cards did something quite remarkable in its first season, and spoke to everyone with its simple themes: don’t cross Frank Underwood, lying gets you places, and don’t – for the love of god – cross Frank Underwood.

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A tepid start lead to critical acclaim and widespread chatter for the Netflix Original series. With season becoming available for instant gratification – all 13 episodes, chapters 14-26 are available for immediate consumption – all eyes are on Spacey and how House of Cards can trump that brilliant first 13.

Luckily, the first episode seemed to trump the entire season before it, with unexpected twists and an even more ruthless couple in F.U and C.U. And with the critics filing their reviews at different points in their viewing stages, a mixture of preimere-delight and full-season-consumption blues are prevalent in the press’ response.

“The first four episodes Netflix made available are more intense and unpredictable than the first season,” wrote Mark A. Perigard for The Boston Herald. “There aren’t many protagonists here, but that’s not the point; you don’t watch House of Cards for its uplifting message, but rather to see how much more Spacey, Wright, Kelly et al. can plumb the depths of emotional depravity,” said The New York Post’s Michael Starr.

Slate’s Willa Paskin said, “The first four episodes fly by in a blur of cheeky maxims, convoluted plot twists, and storylines about the deep Web,” while Tim Goodman of THR wrote: “House of Cards is pretty much the same show it settled into less than midway through its first run. It's entertaining and cruises along with a strong pulse,” in her review.

House of CardsYou won't believe how low these guys will go

Finally, Alessandra Stanley of The New York Times wrote, “House of Cards is “Scandal” for naysayers and misanthropes, and that’s actually quite cheering.”

It’s fair to say the critics have fallen for House of Cards, even if some of them had a love/hate relationship with the first season. Season 2 brings all the elements of episodes gone by – deceit, murder, and intrigue – and applies them in spades once more.

Links to all the reviews can be found here.