For almost a decade, ‘Homeland’ was one of the most current and relevant political thrillers to air on TV. Find out how a show that has always tried to mirror the state of US politics changed due to the pandemic.
‘Homeland’ is a political drama/thriller series that ran for eight seasons on the SHOWTIME network from 2011 to 2020. The show is about a woman named Carrie Mathison. Carrie works for the CIA and is informed from her source that an American prisoner of war has been turned. This is when Nicholas Brody comes into the picture. Nicholas Brody is a US Marine who went missing in action in 2003. Now, having been recovered from the compound of a terrorist named Abu Nazir, the former captive is treated as a respected war hero. However, Carrie doubts that Nicholas is the person he is claiming to be and investigates his return. She has reason to suspect that he is planning a large scale terrorist attack on the United States. She will go to any lengths to stop him.
- How ‘Homeland’ changed over the years
- Why ‘Homeland’ is being watched during a pandemic
- The disturbing realism of ‘Homeland’
A lot of the drama and tension in the show comes not only from the high stakes situations and depictions of international tension between the US and the Middle East but also from the fact that Carrie Mathison is bipolar. Due to this, there are times when Carrie’s mental health affects her ability to do her job. Some episodes of the show even have her hallucinating as the line between delusion and reality begins to blur.
The series has an all-star cast of highly talented actors. The protagonist Carrie Mathison is played by Claire Danes and Nicholas Brody is played by Damian Lewis. Acting veteran Mandy Patinkin plays the part of Carrie’s most trusted ally, Saul Berenson.
Some other ‘Homeland’ stars who come in later into the run of the show are Rupert Friend, F. Murray Abraham, Elizabeth Marvel, and Costa Ronin. These actors play Peter Quinn, Dar Adal, President Elizabeth Keane, and Yevgeny Gromov respectively.
THE SUCCESS OF ‘HOMELAND’
‘Homeland’ has always been consistently popular with critics and fans. It is one of the SHOWTIME networks strongest series and has continually managed to get good reviews as a result of how the show handles real-life political issues.
The first season of ‘Homeland’ was dubbed as the best show of 2011 as per TV guide. The show has also been nominated for over forty Emmy awards, including a nomination for Best Drama Series.
What makes ‘Homeland’ different from other shows based on government security agencies is that the show is focused more on espionage than action. Other shows about the CIA or FBI are often packed with a lot of action sequences and some rather unrealistic portrayals of how counter-terrorism works. ‘Homeland’ is more about the information exchanged between different characters and what that means for the season-long mystery.
Another aspect of the show that really won the audience over is the acting. The entire cast, and Claire Danes in particular, did a very good job with the roles they were given. The acting often elevates the source material and adds intrigue to the scenes. With rave reviews and strong storylines, it is no surprise that ‘Homeland’ is being watched during a pandemic.
THE REALISM OF ‘HOMELAND’
One of the reasons that ‘Homeland’ makes some people a little anxious is because of its realistic depiction of the CIA. Mandy Patinkin has said that he believes ‘Homeland’ is a poetic version of how the government operates. A version as seen by a ‘funhouse mirror’ according to Alex Gansa, who is the showrunner.
Many ex-CIA and government employees have also commented on the realism of ‘Homeland’. While they have said the romantic and intimate moments on the show are a little exaggerated, the passion of the characters is very much real. Former government officials have claimed that they have at times been in the same position as some of the characters on the show, adding that they actually know of people like Carrie Mathison or Saul Berenson.
HOW ‘HOMELAND’ CHANGED DUE TO THE PANDEMIC
The last few seasons of ‘Homeland’ have dealt with a lot of issues and problems that were inspired by real-life events. ‘Homeland’ has dealt with its own version of the US election, fake news, accidental drone strikes, and even Russian spies interfering with the American government. All of these storylines have some kind of real-life incident that they are based on. However, ‘Homeland’ could not tackle the large scale threat of the pandemic. A pandemic is also a national threat and the show could have had a season about how the government deals with a situation like this. Seeing as the eighth and final season aired in 2020, this pandemic storyline was not something that ‘Homeland’ got a chance to explore. But witnessing traumatic events happening in the real world did make a lot of people tune into ‘Homeland’ as an escape. This also contributed to ‘Homeland’ being watched during a pandemic.
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