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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!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
... and I don't mean a more "mature" audience. I actually mean old
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Never have I seen such an excellent show that has you on the edge of your seat every episode, only comparable to Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. In particular I would like to sing the praises of Claire Danes as her portrayal of bipolar Carrie. Her acting along with Damien Lewis's is absolutely top notch, I would even go as far as saying she is the female Walter White -Season 5 (Bryan Cranston) of television. I would highly recommend this show if you love to watch nail-biting dramas with brilliant actors. But I do have one small problem with the show, there is some absolutely unessential nudity or "boobage" as some would like to call it. Of course it fits in with the storyline but honestly the show would still survive if the nudity was taken out.
This is the first show in a long time that I've watched that's made me
say "Oh my gosh" out loud in my living room. I was always told to watch
"24" but I wasn't able...this show feels a lot like what I think "24"
probably would have felt like. I recently read that it was one of the
best new shows this year so I watched all 12 episodes on demand.
Thankfully I was able to get this show completed in two days. I don't
think I could ever wait to see what happens if I had to wait a week
The entire cast is great. Clare Danes does an amazingly great job with a complex character. Damian Lewis also does a great job with another complex character. Their chemistry when on the screen together is apparent.
This is a well-written, smart, ever-changing who done it kind of show. Not only is it well acted, but I find it keeps the mind engaged. I look forward to more "oh my gosh" moments in the second season.
I don't know where to start,as a Muslim i'm fully aware that western media can't resist to show us as a terrorist, but once i watched Homeland, i realized that days are finally over.. I must say, the people who worked on homeland prepare for it very very well, it's obvious that they look up about what really Islam is ,islam's doctrine, i must thank them from my heart "at least for now " The show in unbelievably awesome, great cast, i bet if that was a movie, at least 6 actors\actresses will get nomination for academy award, and damn yeah claire danes will win for sure.. i must take the opportunity to praise Mandy Patinkin for his great performance, he really touch you as saul berenston.. the other people i want to praise are Damian Lewis,Morgan Saylor, David harewood and rupert friend, these people made great impression on the screen that is not easy to get over.. I love This Show and i can't wait till Season 3 get start, Because it get it all in one show,as life lessons: love, sacrifice, betrayal, it shows how it is hard to start over your dirty past, how the community you live in response with that ... etc As a show: homeland is thriller, suspense, romance and drama .. what the person seeks more in a TV show ? waiting for season 3 on fire...
Honestly this show is the first thing that's compelled me to write a
review. I'd like to consider myself a well educated film goer. And
after I finished breaking bad, weeds, game of thrones I needed
something new to get into. Being that Homeland had just won an Emmy I
was like "oh yea i remember seeing previews for that show last year,
apparently it's pretty good". And apparently people are just as dumb
and poorly educated as I thought.
The first two or three episodes honestly had me intrigued, then the further I delved into the monotonous garbage can that is homeland the more I hated life. Being that this series has been praised by basically everyone, each episode leaves you with the hope that something monumental will happen eventually. But the plot lines are just sooooo slowly formed you never get any sense of suspense or anxiety or anything that makes you tell your friends "If you haven't seen this, rethink your life". The dialogue sucks, and Claire Danes honestly just affirms the point that women should never ever be involved with operational security. She comes off as pathetic and absolutely insane. Probably during the 8th episode I thought to myself "ohhhhh I get it now the entire writing crew is smoking crack and watching re-runs of 24". THe most confusing part of the whole movie was why in the world does Claire Danes Begin to lust after an alleged terrorist? She's like some queen B CIA agent but no wait she also a female and clearly completely irrational and crazy in the grand scheme of things. She's obviously hott and semi-promiscuous and would have little to no problem at all finding a post deployment military man in D.C., It's just non-sensical garbage.
All in all I really can't recommend that anyone watch this series. I felt that it was very poorly executed and has an underlying statement of "just shut up and watch." Honestly it really could have been good too. As another Reviewer said...... it should've have been a movie or at least just a 4 part miniseries. Or maybe half hour episodes instead of a hour each. I gave it 3 out 10 because like I said it was semi- watchable in the first few episodes. But its just soooo anti-climactic towards the end. It gets drawn out in the sense that some of the episodes simply leaves you with the yearning for some kind of gun fight or action in any form. But no, the only plot development we get in having to ponder how the hell did this woman become a CIA agent. Unbearable....................also i really wanted to to see Brody blow himself up and like the 30 other people but they couldn't even deliver that.
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