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bullzeyeno1

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"Homeland" (2011)
7 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Best I've seen in years, 12 January 2012
10/10

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.