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|Index||236 reviews in total|
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.
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.
Damian Lewis is a strong candidate for best male actor in English
speaking countries today. If you've not seen him in Life, you are
missing not just consistently excellent performances by him, but also a
great show that was stupidly cancelled after only two seasons. In
Homeland he is playing a totally different character and though it
looks easy to some, his character calls for emotionally repressed,
possibly anguished man and it's very hard to bury emotions, whether as
an act or as real.
I've only seen the first two episodes, but that's all that have come out so far. I think and hope this show will evolve in a dramatically compelling direction and that it doesn't waste the incredible talent of Mr. Lewis. I recommend this show, broadcast on Showtime without commercials and all episodes available as they come out on In Demand, at least from my cable company. I have given 8 because they're are some plausibility problems, but like much in fiction, cinema or book, the viewer/reader must suspend his sense of disbelief and take the reality of the show as it presents itself. I see problems with too much unreality as the show progresses, but the writers and producers seem to set on verisimilitude, not far-out, over-the-top versions of the so-called real world.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Claire Danes breaking new territory as a convincingly psychologically broken field agent... She is simply great.
Damian Lewis comes through again. He always does, but the last couple of times he got some tough breaks... most notably the new style cop program Life, which was very good but doomed by not selling quite enough commercial time on network TV.
A new twist on the post 9/11 WOT drama genre.... internet haters come out, but their criticisms are weak and overreaching.... Homeland is riveting from the start.... can't wait to see where it goes.... highly recommended.
If only network TV could keep up with SHO, HBO, and all the other cable guys who are kicking creative tail every time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am watching a few new shows this season. I wanted to say this after
just one episode but I was waiting to see if Showtime's "Homeland" is
just one episode wonder. But after five back to back rocking episodes
this is undeniable fact that HOMELAND is the show to watch out for this
season. Homeland is developed by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa, based on
the Israeli series Hatufim(Prisoners of War) created by Gideon Raff.
The series stars Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison, a CIA operations
officer who has come to believe that an American Marine, who was held
captive by Al-Qaeda as a prisoner of war, was turned by the enemy and
now poses a significant risk to national security.
When this season was starting, Person of Interest was the show I had most hopes from. Why ? Well, firstly it is created by Jonathan Nolan and it featured one of my favorite TV actors Michael Emerson (Lost fame). Also it prompted CBS to move CSI in over 10 years to a new time slot. That is definitely something. This show is also awesome but homeland is on an altogether another level.
As far as Homeland goes, I had hopes but not too much because it had producers from "24". Don't get me wrong, I loved watching 24. Despite that I have to admit the show was quite over the top and had one man saving America over and over again every year. Homeland had a few similarities in terms of one hero (Claire Daines) trying to prove that other guy is wrong etc. etc. but this time they have done that much more subtly. Also she has her own set of problems to deal with and is not the "whitest" person around. The office politics even in a CIA office is done wonderfully. Now if they just let their writers to continue to flex their muscles this show will shine for a long time.
The strength of the show also lies in the superlative acting by the cast. Casting of both Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison and Damien Lewis as Nick Brody is perfect. The character of "Saul", played brilliantly by Mandy Patinkin, plays the figurative father to the hero. Morena Baccarin also plays her part with ease. Other supporting actors are also good. If you are looking to see a gripping thriller with incredible characters, you are at the right place. Enjoy !!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
To make it short. 30+ something hyper intelligent CIA officer with
bipolar disorder (constantly under medication) blaming herself for
9/11, tries to redeem herself by uncovering a returned US marine
captive conversion to Muslim terrorist?.
You pretty much get this clear during the first 2 episodes. Nicholas has been "away" for 8:ish years in some middle east country and is heroically rescued.
Clare Danes is a movie star but i think Carrie Mathison is her best character ever. To quote Craig Ferguson (during a sit down with Clare) "Its a very odd show...". Its hard to the describe it. Its straight forward a simple agency vs bad guys series, but its not.
Clare Danes has always been on my girls-I-wanna-meet-list, she just moved up to girls-I-wanna-marry-without-meeting-list (very short list 3 ;). Her performance is just dead on perfect.
P.S "I sense something, something i haven't felt since...." watching House for the first time.
I'm a big fan of a good pilot, that usually lets you picture what a
series might turn out to be. I am skeptical as to whether such
"terrorist-psycho-thriller" will make it in a TV series (drama). In
truth, it is much more difficult to make it in a 2-3 season drama than
to spin it as a 2hours movie. There is a tendency for such stories to
end up being overly ludicrous. A little bit of controversy excites the
audience, but when it is overly done, it becomes difficult for the
writer to contain - and end it on a high note. Just ask Lost.
However with that skepticism in tact, I believe the pilot shows a lot of promise of what a good series this can turn out to be. From the pilot: I believe the script is brilliant, the acting is as good as it gets, and the premise of what the series is/will be centered on is top class. This is merely derived from the first episode. I wouldn't want to overrate this series, but it has the potential to be the first best "terrorist-psycho-thriller" series, or a nothing worth talking about.
Fingers crossed, and I for one, truly hope this ends well. Breaking bad is my favorite series of all time, and I for one hope this can come close.
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