The opening credits to Netflix's new original series "House of Cards" is a majestic series of time-lapse images around Washington, D.C. Cars zoom up and down Pennsylvania Avenue, the clouds fly above federal buildings.
But you might not want to watch it 13 times. And with the ability to skip ahead and back — with the precision of a mouse or touchpad — you don't have to. That's not an option for a show you watch live on cable. Likewise, if you are the impatient type, you can skip the long, slow pan over the Potomac River at night and get right to the standoff between Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and his wife Claire (Robin Wright).
In fact, you can skip through whole episodes. The series premiered today (Feb. 1) on Netflix, not with a single chapter, but with all 13.
A powerful example of this all-at-once premiere is the ability of a meme from deep into the series to surface on day one. Already today, Twitter featured several posts using the hashtag "#GoZoe," which refers to a plot point that is introduced several episodes into the show.
The term, referring to a controversy involving one of the characters, Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara), blew up on Twitter — that is, in the fiction world of "House of Cards." But with all the episodes being "on air" at once, the hashtag hit Twitter in real live weeks before it might have.
"Why yes, I have been up all night watching House of Cards. #gozoe," wrote likely bleary-eyed Twitter user @benjaminlove early this morning.
In the past, spoilers only came to those who hadn't seen a show when it aired on TV and were catching up on Netflix. Now, they are a danger for anyone who, unlike @benjaminlove, didn't stay up all night.