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"Homeland"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Homeland" More at IMDbPro »

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6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Deserving of all the accolades

9/10
Author: ani-for-prez from India
9 October 2012

If you ask me why I love this show I would not know where to begin. But because of the large number of parallels to its polar opposite, the show "24", let me clear the air on how Homeland is everything "24" never was.

Homeland is the mature older sister to the hyperactive, immature and schizophrenic brother that was "24". "24" was a farce, posing as a realistic representation of espionage and tension when clearly, all it wanted to be was a showcase of how excellently America's reputed counter-terrorism forces can fumble a plan and how one man comes to the rescue. It was about this man, running about on a single day, trying to protect an immaculate and inconscientious President and the devastation and rampage he left in his wake. It was about how all foreign countries are the devil and are constantly plotting to turn the "great US and A" into a smoking crater and how this one man cuts a swathe of bodies in his adventure to stop said crater from happening. It was a massive ego boost to right-wing propagandists about how right they are to advocate the massacre of foreign lands and their evil, maniacal peoples. It was about how no person ever needs to visit the bathroom in a day and how they survive on 0 calories and how nothing seems to happen at three points every hour in their action-packed days, these peaceful periods lasting exactly 5 minutes. Just enough for us to be reminded of capitalism and its delights.

Homeland is no such buffoonery. It deals with very real subjects such as PTSD, inner conflict, terrorism and why they do it, imprisonment, true espionage and finally, the quest of a flawed and desperate woman trying to find answers. Terrorists are humans who have grievances and want to be heard but go about the wrong means of doing it. The man who returns home after 8 years of imprisonment has real problems one of which is connecting with his family who thought him dead. Spies do research, communicate and don't spout meaningless jargon to look intelligent.

Don't compare this to something as worthless as "24". Homeland is a serious that deserves recognition for its intelligence and originality and anyone who is a fan of television needs to watch this.

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6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Spectacular drama...can suspense get better ?

9/10
Author: pavanratnaker
8 May 2012

Loved the concept from episode 1, but got a bit apprehensive about it a few episodes later..how wrong was I....the plot just gets better and better and not too complex that you can't understand. Superb performances from all the actors,what sometimes seemed like poor acting just made sense in the end. Have to say whoever was involved in casting should get a big pat on the back. The direction was spectacular, I'm always amazed about how a director manages to keep his/her wits when managing such a complex and constantly changing plot. The way the plot builds up and culminates in the end is mind blowing and not seen in any recent TV series of this genre. Now just can't wait to see the next series , also planning to see the original Israeli series to see how much it actually inspired this one. Anyone who loves a suspense/action drama..go for it and watch it now or you'll regret it !

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6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant show

10/10
Author: 851222 from Lithuania
29 April 2012

Greetings from Lithuania.

Going to be short here.

This show is definitely the best one i saw in 2012 yet.

The acting is outstanding especially from the two leads.

This is brilliantly written, smart and realistic show.

It's very interesting, what they will show in a season two cause the series climax is completely spell-binding.

As it is a TV serial, most every episode ends with an obligatory twist or turn or revelation about one of the characters. Unlike other shows , these revelations are not contrived or unrealistic.

This is a must see for all people who enjoys good shows.

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6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Simply excellent!

9/10
Author: frolicfrog from France
27 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Hi,

This show is truly excellent! I can't wait to see the next episode, which is rare to me... ;-)

Many possibilities open and so many questions we have in mind while all seem possible. Much much better than 24 or some other shows around the same subject.

In France, TV shows are always about cops, never about terrorism. Why ? In England, they are some good shows but very often very slow, too slow. Homeland is simply perfect (until now).

Thanks a lot to all!

Cheers.

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7 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Feels like a draft of what could have been a really good show.

6/10
Author: Yaiza from Denmark
7 April 2013

This is a good show, no doubt, but to me it is a disappointment. I was expecting a smarter product, a serious depiction of a complex subject. Because they had it all: an interesting story, good actors, a huge production. Instead they deliver this flat soap-opera, full of clichés, bidimensional characters, weak concepts, predictable lines... Really disappointing! What a shame!

I'll throw some examples to illustrate my point. Regarding the characters, for instance: The mother, Jess: such a simple-minded housewife, selfish and cold. Can this be a real woman? It makes me think of Mad Men's Betty Draper; they have attributes in common, but Betty is 3D, so complex and subtle, whereas Jess is just an annoying character, boring to the limit. Then you have Mike. Is this a man or a monkey?! Can he think at all? Amazing. To say nothing of Dana, the daughter. In a bad mood for two seasons. Unbearable. And she has absolute power over practically every grown-up! WTH. And "the Arabs". All of them weird by nature, it seems. Com'on! And Ayleen. Do they really expect us to believe this character?! Insulting. And Saul ie the good guy. So good he's terribly predictable. I know you need to have a good guy in the story, but this is almost Disney!

Anyway. Then there is the way these characters talk and move. Carrie is exhaustive, overacted. Jess is such a perfect American housewife it makes you laugh. The CIA guys are so devoted is beyond reality. Those lines, please! Some dialogues are so Western-hero they are almost naif...

Of course the settings are great, and the effects, that kind of things. But when it comes to the cinematographic stuff, the script, the editing, it just seems this was a draft for what could have been a really good show. I wish the team behind "The Wire" could have had a look at that draft!

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7 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

It's '24' for old people...

5/10
Author: Themis Katsimichas (Themis Katz) from Athens, Greece
9 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

... and I don't mean a more "mature" audience. I actually mean old people.

I've only seen season 1 and these are my thoughts on it:

It has half the cast of '24'. It has half the writers&exec. producers from '24'. It even has the musician of '24'. The twists and turns of the plot, on who is who, even the morals of the characters, are from '24'.

I don't know, if the 'Homeland' story development seems more plausible from '24' because it takes more than a day to see it through, but that doesn't necessarily make it better.

I've also read about how "good American TV drama" it is, and I would like to remind the fellow viewers, that it's a remake. It's "good Israeli TV drama", although, admittedly, I haven't seen the original one. But, it looks like an American remake of an Israeli remake of '24'...

The fact that it has less adrenaline-driven scenes and more f-words and sex scenes, doesn't necessarily make it better. And because of that alone, I summarize it as "24 for old people". If it was for a more "mature" audience, it would be half '24'/half 'Rubicon'.

In any case, all this, is my frustration for wanting something new and great and original and gritty and heart-stopping and I was led to believe that 'Homeland' was all that.

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7 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Best I've seen in years

10/10
Author: bullzeyeno1 from United States
12 January 2012

This is my first review on IMDb (unless I posted long ago and forgot). I wanted to express how much I enjoyed Homeland's first season. Though it shares the same creators as "24", I was not aware of that fact until after I watched the finale and while there are certainly some similarities, I think they have created a series in "Homeland" that for the most part breaks the mold of the TV thriller.

What particularly stands out to me is the idea of using two primary perspectives: one of the cat (Carrie) and one of the supposed mouse (Brody). The result of such a decision is that both characters are humanized. The audience is given an opportunity to share in their qualities and flaws alike. I'm not sure I've seen this before on screen in a show where you are given a window into both sides of a game in which there is presumably one good side and one bad side. In literature, I've only seen this setup in the A Song of Ice and Fire series.

The acting is also excellent. Claire Danes (whom I admittedly haven't seen since Romeo + Juliet) is thrilling as the manic, obsessive CIA analyst who embarks on a personal mission to find the truth. Damien Lewis (whom I have heard of but never personally seen) is borderline chilling as he readjusts to life in the US after 8 years of near-total isolation in a dark room in Iraq. I also cannot move on without commending Mandy Patinkin for his work as Saul Berenson. Comparatively, we know little about his character beyond his failing marriage, but it is easy to embrace him as the calming force in Carrie's life.

As it is a TV serial, most every episode ends with an obligatory twist/turn or revelation about one of the characters. Unlike other shows (often including 24), these revelations are not contrived or unrealistic. This is a series that is measured and calculated, so for those expecting another 24, the number of dead bodies is few.

I can say that the one grievance I have (and it may very well be true of most shows/movies) is that Carrie often seems the only person in the entire CIA capable of putting pieces together. All in all, it is an outstanding procedural drama that often keeps you at the edge of your seat.

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7 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Excellent season 1 finale

10/10
Author: lagrabavana from United States
20 December 2011

Generally people write review after watching pilot episode but i am writing after season 1 finale because i think just by watching one episode a show cant be judged properly.

This is an amazing TV series and all episodes are very well written and acted. All the actors are very convincing. Every episode has something new to offer. It is full of thrill and surprises.

The last episode of season 1 may be one of the most well crafted episode. The moments are so tensed that they are sometime unbearable to watch.

Hats off to everybody who was involved in creating such a TV series.

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7 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

If you like perfect television, look no further.

10/10
Author: Rockwell_Cronenberg from United States
20 December 2011

When the first episode premiered, the premise alone was interesting enough. CIA analyst Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes, never better) is told by an informant in the Middle East that a prisoner of war has been turned. Enter Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody (the always incredible Damian Lewis), who after eight years of torture and isolation has returned home to a world changed. Carrie is obsessed with proving her hunch that Brody is this turned man and a large threat to the safety of the nation, and the end of the pilot slightly made it seem that the show played it's hand too early. We got an easy answer quick and while I was amazed by the intensity and brilliant performances in the opener, I was concerned about how this concept could translate to an entire season of television, let alone multiple ones (the show was quickly picked up for a second season).

However in Homeland you learn quickly that "nothing is as plain as it seems" doesn't even begin to scratch the surface. Behind every clue and mystery, there are a dozen more twists and turns. Carrie is a brilliant analyst, but she is also mentally unstable and hiding her illness from those above her in order to keep her job. Brody has converted to Islam and prays in his garage, secret from his family he's returned home to, but he's also trying desperately to bring his family back together. I'll avoid spoiling anything major about the show, but the fact that these intriguing twists on a standard formula occur within the first two episodes is enough to give you a small taste of what this show does to the routine.

On the surface, this is a show that could have been so many things we've seen before. I was a huge fan of the first few seasons of 24, but it's no secret that the show quickly turned to recycling old ideas and it's need for twists and cliffhangers brought it to some pretty absurd places. You were always aware that you were watching something out of the ordinary, but with Homeland there's this feeling that this could be happening in your backyard. The war hero could be a terrorist hiding in the spotlight, the dead stripper in the alley could be something much more sinister. This is a show that brings paranoia to a level we haven't seen since the slew of '70s thrillers in film that capitalized on growing awareness of every day danger. Everyone is looking over their shoulder here and soon you will be too.

The thing that makes this show truly unique though, has nothing to do with it's high intensity or dense, relevant and ever-turning plot. A lot of shows can make you drop your jaw or grind your teeth. No, where Homeland really blew me away this season was in the fullness of it's main characters. Again, when you look at it on paper these characters could have really not worked at all. A mentally ill woman who uses sex and manipulation to get what she wants, a broken prisoner of war who comes home and kills deer in his backyard and shuts himself away from his family. These people could have been miserable to live with, but through the complexity of the writing and the sensational performances, Carrie and Brody became two of the most human characters I've ever seen put on television.

They do detestable things in almost every single episode, they are constantly hurting those around them through their own selfishness and yet every week I found myself caring about them more and more. They are so flawed but that just makes them real. When Carrie is busting into hysterics and falling apart, I just wanted to hold her. When Brody is making a colossal mistake I just wanted to grab him and snap him out of it. I never once felt a resentment for these characters and that speaks so much to the quality of the writing and acting. Danes gives what I feel to be the finest female performance on television in the past decade and Lewis is operating on the top tier as well. They bring a clarity and authenticity to these characters that make the show so much more than it should theoretically be. They take a show that was all about the premise and the intense plot and make it about these people.

Of course they are not the only actors in the piece, and Mandy Patinkin steals his scenes as the big bear of a mentor you always wish you had. Seeing him come on screen instantly warmed my heart and brought a smile to my face. At first I thought that the home life of Brody with his family (played by Morena Baccarin, Jackson Pace and Morgan Saylor) was the one weak point of the show (and there were some truly awfully written scenes in the first few episodes with these guys) but when a phone call came in the season finale and I had to wipe the tears away just to keep my eyes on the screen, I finally began to realize just how much I care about all of these people.

Some of the shows biggest fans thought that the finale was a disappointment, but honestly the only thing those people should be disappointed in is themselves. If you're here for the twists and the espionage, you can look somewhere else, because this show is about so much more than that. It's about these broken souls fighting a war every day, against terrorism domestic and foreign, and more importantly against themselves. Look no further than the finest episode of the season, "The Weekend", and you will see that the narrative is just the tip of what makes this show the finest currently on television. It's about these characters and you won't find better, more layered and more honest ones anywhere right now.

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7 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant Mixture

10/10
Author: gravenholt60 from United States
19 December 2011

One of the most interesting mixtures of characters and plot lines that I have seen. The main story is well developed, with interesting side stories that twist the main concept into a convoluted and emotional drama. It isn't until the season develops that you become convinced that the Sargent is in fact a terrorist, and yet, in this latest episode he fails to blow himself up! The actors are excellent, the writing is great, and the pacing is perfect... what happens next?I love the fact that the show plays upon the two-sided nature of the bipolar condition, the 'manic' side of which is often accompanied by intense emotions and mental clarity. Very interesting and ground breaking television in my opinion. I am looking forward to every episode.

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