This past weekend, AT&T Uverse (and watch for the ad coming back soon) offered HBO, Cinemax and Showtime for free, so of course I binge-watched “Homeland,” and am now completely up to date.
Any of y’all still watching it?
I have to say that it seems that the original reason for the series has sort of gone by the board, and the program is only about half as compelling as it was.
It’s like… remember the “sequel” to “The Fugitive?” It wasn’t really a sequel in that there was no Richard Kimble. Basically, Hollywood decided that the team that chased Kimble, led by Tommy Lee Jones, was sufficiently compelling that we’d want to watch them chase somebody else.
Actually, you know what? That’s a bad example, because it WAS just as much fun watching Tommy et al. chase somebody else. Good flick.
But I thought of it because there’s a similar dynamic. We started watching “Homeland” because it was riveting to see what would happen with a U.S. Marine who had been captured in Iraq and brainwashed to become a terrorist when he got back home. And, oh, yes, there was this seriously dysfunctional CIA analyst who at first was the only person to suspect him, and then later fell in love with him.
Well, now the Marine’s out of the picture, so we’re left with the story spinning completely around the woman who, in the first couple of seasons, would make me want to yell at the screen, “No, Brody, no! Stay away from her!” I wanted him and his family to have a chance at SOME semblance of a normal life, and she seemed more of a threat to his well-being than the terrorists who had held him captive had been.
OK, to be fair, the series was always about Carrie. But her pursuit, in more ways than one, of Brody was what made us want to watch her initially, because Brody was such an interesting case.
And without him as a focal point for her, there’s a void.
At least, in Season 4, she is taking her meds regularly — except for an episode in which an ISI agent swaps out her bipolar meds with a hallucinogen, which gives her an excuse to be Crazy Carrie again. Not that she’s making the best life choices when she’s fully medicated, but at least she’s calmer.
At least Saul is still around. Mandy Pantinkin anchors the series for me. He gives me somebody sane to identify with.
Meanwhile, the writers have sorta kinda tried to replace Brody with Quinn, the Hamlet of professional assassins. I like Quinn all right, but as a substitute for Brody, he’s lacking. Yes, he’s conflicted, but his conflicts are less monumental than Brody’s.
Anyone else have any thoughts? Anyone else still watching?
At least there’s ONE person out there who’s interested in this topic. Former SC political operative Nu Wexler Tweeted this today: