House of Cards, Season 3

David Giesbrecht for Netflix

Audiences have come to rely on House of Cards for many things. Great Southern accents. Characters with a shocking lack of morals. Near-hilarious amounts of asides. And, very very distinctive lighting. 

Yes, that signature dark tone that has caused thousands of viewers to wonder "Don't these people ever turn on the lights?" In fact, the color palettes are even more nuanced than that—savvy HOC addicts can't stop obsessing over the fact that almost every frame contains a curious balance of yellow and blue. Specifically, scenes are yellow in the background and blue in the foreground, most often in the form of a single yellow light and a blue piece of clothing or furniture. Once you see it, the colors are all that you'll see. 

The team over at BuzzFeed was so puzzled by this phenomenon that they decided to get to the bottom of things once and for all. And, according to House of Cards' director of photography Igor Martinovic, the colors you're seeing are an accident and not actually a hidden code snuck in by the show's staffers. "The blue and yellow colour scheme is a natural occurrence," he wrote. "The human eye tends to perceive shadows as cold and lighting sources as warm. In terms of colour, that translates into blue and yellow. Even though the show is full of conspiracies, this is not one of them." 

But then Martinovic added something slightly suspect. "I can assure you that there were no secret colour scheming meetings and even if there were, I would not be able to comment on them for obvious reasons," he continued. He probably just mentioned that to be cute, but if gives a tiny bit of hope nonetheless. It would be nice to know that all of this hasn't just been in our heads. 

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