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Homeland. Season 1


If you follow the American awards for television, then you've surely heard of the series Homeland. If you don't, let me refresh your memory.

It won two Golden Globes...
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama
Claire Danes
Best Television Series - Drama

"I'm not crazy. Just a really good actress. In a drama series."

...and six Primetime Emmys.
Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series
Libby Goldstein, Lisa Mae Fincannon, Craig Fincannon, Judy Henderson, and Junie Lowry-Johnson
Outstanding Drama Series
Ran Telem, Alex Gansa, Gideon Raff, Howard Gordon, Avi Nir, & Michael Cuesta (executive producers), Chip Johannessen & Alexander Cary (co-executive producers), and Michael Klick (producer)
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Damian Lewis
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Claire Danes
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series
David Latham and Jordan Goldman for the episode "Pilot"
Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series
Gideon Raff, Alex Gansa, and Howard Gordon for the episode "Pilot"
Outstanding Facial Hair
Mandy Patinkin

Any beard that makes someone look like a kind old
man and not a terrorist deserves an award.

Just kidding, that last one's a fake. Anyway, so what makes this series great? Aside from Mandy Patinkin's beard? Or Claire Danes's very convincing bipolar performance? Or Damian Lewis's American accent? Or Morena Baccarin's short hair? Or David Harewood's... um... no-nonsense performance?

Actually, there are two things that make this series worth watching.

1. Realism
When we hear the words "CIA" or "Langley", we immediately think of spies in suits conducting surveillance using top-of-the-line computer hardware. Or we think of badass agents in the field, kicking terrorist assess like Jason Bourne.

Or just chillin' in the Middle East.

Anyone who's actually worked in the Central Intelligence Agency knows that's just in the movies. Actual work in the CIA is quite far from that. It's a government office, just like any other. It has a lot of boring moments, waiting around, doing paperwork, that kind of stuff. And when they suspect you to be a terrorist, they may conduct surveillance on you 24/7, but in the end, they're still unsure. So CIA surveillance work is basically lots of waiting around for nothing. And this show captures that quite beautifully.

2. Fast-paced plot
Compared to other American television series, Homeland is pretty fast-paced. To state it more clearly, it has the highest plot twist-to-episode ratio among any show I've ever watched. It's like the makers of this show are not in it for the money at all, meaning they have no intention of stretching the plot thin over more episodes, thus creating more seasons, which in turn will generate more money.

"Capitalist pigs."

I think the reason for that is because this show was adapted from an Israeli television series entitled Hatufim (Prisoners of War). And I'm thinking that the mindset of the television bigshots in Israel are way different from their American counterparts.

Well, that's just for this season, anyway. I see the Mathison-Brody plot stretching itself out in probably two or three seasons max. Anything in excess can be considered as milking the cash cow. That is unless it's sanctioned by series creator Gideon Raff, of course.

Homeland (Season 1). USA. 2011.

Rating: Eight and a half out of ten.
Themes of wives fucking your best friend: Minus point three.
Final rating: Eight point two out of ten.

You may also want to read the review of Homeland Season 2.

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