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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Addictions: Homeland

I'm totally addicted to the Showtime drama, which over here in the UK is shown on Channel 4, and if you've not seen the series yet then I warn you that there will be several spoilers in this post. The show is so well written and constructed that I would hate to give away any of the incredibly tense storyline and I warn you now - DO NOT READ ON IF YOU WANT TO STAY SPOILER FREE.

I missed the entire first season on the initial run and didn't get into the show until I picked up the season 1 box set on the recommendation of a friend and since then I've been following the second season which is currently playing - I think we're only a week behind the US with the seventh episode due this weekend.

Homeland is a drama/thriller series developed for American television by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa, and based on the Israeli series Hatufim (Prisoners of War) created by Gideon Raff. Claire Danes (she get's my vote for TV's hottest bird) plays Carrie, a CIA operative who initially suspects Damien Lewis' character Brody of being a terrorist. That was all covered in the first season and it did indeed turn out that Brody had been turned during his time as  a prisoner of war in Baghdad and now intends to wear a suicide vest and blow up the vice president of the United States. Brody, you see is considered a war hero by the nation and is now a congressman giving him access to sensitive areas and powerful people. Of course the Brody being turned storyline has been resolved and Brody is now working for the CIA without the knowledge of his Al Quada collegues.

That's a pretty slim summing up of the much layered storyline, but it gives the general idea of what is going on. Both leads, Danes and Lewis, have an incredible chemistry which allows for the unlikely love story between them to develop naturally as the story builds twist upon twist and each week I am left eager for the next part. The second season is every bit as tight as the first and I never miss the show, which, in my opinion, is likely the best TV series in many years.

All of the supporting cast are excellent, but if there is one character who really makes the show work then it is Carrie - Claire Danes here may be playing the most dynamic female character ever seen in a primetime TV series. She disproves the idea that female characters have to be either an icy domineering career woman or an emotionally unstable wreck - Carrie Mathis is both of these things which makes her perhaps the only person focused enough, at the cost of her sanity, to stop a planned terrorist attack on US soil.

The cheif bad guy, Abu Nazir is also excellent portrayed and  comes across as part Osama Bin Laden and part James Bond villain.

Man it's a clever show and just when you think you've got it all worked out, they throw you a loop and the show goes off in a direction you never even contemplated. So far the second season's been as compelling as the first and I do hope we find out what the big terrorist plan is all about, by the end of the season. Though no doubt we'll get another cliffhanger ending because the show's been greenlit for a third season.

Nuff said - I love this show and my only fear is that it'll go on too long and before a mere intimidation of the brilliance in these first two seasons. For now though, it remains compulsive viewing.

1 comment:

Monty said...

We love this series too and tune in every week, despite a couple of glaringly implausible inconsistencies in the plot. Great fun overall and well acted ;)