Categories Homeland Print Media

Homeland Series Finale Acknowledges Brody – April 26, 2020

Arm in Arm in Espionage: Series Finale Recap

by Bill Keveney | USA Today | April 26, 2020

When “Homeland” grabbed the public’s attention and six Emmys, including best drama series, for its spellbinding first season in 2011, the relationship between CIA super spy Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) and military hero and suspected terrorist  Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) took center stage.

Over eight seasons, many ups and some downs and the death of Brody in Season 3,  the central dynamic shifted to Carrie, a brilliant operative struggling with mental illness, and her savvy CIA mentor, Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin).

That bond frayed at times, as Carrie broke every rule in the book twice, but never has it been as endangered as it was going into the series’ final episode, which aired Sunday, after Russian agent Yevgeny Gromov (Costa Ronin) gave Carrie only one way to secure the black box flight recorder, evidence that can prevent a possible nuclear war: “Kill Saul.”

Here’s how the finale played out:

Continue reading Homeland Series Finale Acknowledges Brody – April 26, 2020

Categories Homeland Print Media

Homeland Declassified: An Oral History of Never Told Tales – Jan 16, 2020

Battles, Backlash, CIA Meetings

by Michael O’Connell | Hollywood Reporter | January 16, 2019

Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Damian Lewis and the creators of the era-defining Showtime drama — now entering its eighth and final season — reveal in The Hollywood Reporter’s oral history never-told tales of a show that smashed records, captivated presidents and predicted everything from terrorist attacks to Russian election hacks.

“What keeps you up at night?” That’s the question Homeland showrunner Alex Gansa annually posed to Washington insiders before putting fingers to keyboard on a season of his Emmy-winning Showtime drama.

What began as a slick spy thriller driven by a potent sexual chemistry, courtesy of leads Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, evolved into an exposé on the greatest dangers to an America that finally had some distance from 9/11. Threats from ISIS, the surveillance state and Russian interference punctuated clandestine meetings with the intelligence community — part of a yearly writers and cast symposium in D.C. affectionately dubbed “Spy Camp.”

The series, loosely developed from an Israeli format by Gansa and longtime collaborator Howard Gordon (24), became an instant and bona fide success when it premiered in 2011 to 2.8 million viewers and unanimous critical acclaim. Boasting a murderers’ row of writers, each a showrunner at one time, the drama catapulted Showtime and studio Fox 21 to an echelon of prestige TV they previously couldn’t reach. It swept its first Emmys (with six awards total) and those first seasons had both the Obamas and Clintons soliciting screeners.

Continue reading Homeland Declassified: An Oral History of Never Told Tales – Jan 16, 2020

Categories Homeland Print Media

Homeland Overhauled – Feb 28, 2018

Six Shows That Were Seriously Overhauled After Their Stars Left

by Sam Ashurst & Morgan Jeffery | Digital Spy | February 28, 2018

If it’s broke, try to fix it. No one can do the same job forever, and actors are more keen to stretch their legs than most – doing different things is basically the job description. But sometimes telly shows want to carry on after their star leaves, going to drastic lengths to extend their shelf life.

Here’s some shows that managed to survive losing their star, thanks to some major plot overhauls.

Damian Lewis – Homeland

Source: Showtime

Damian Lewis was very much at the heart of Homeland when it started out – the first season was all about the investigation into his character Nick Brody, a US marine who’d been corrupted by terrorists, while the second run saw him exposed as a traitor and explored his redemption.

Come the third season, though, it was clear that the show’s writers were running out of things to do with him. Lewis appeared in just half of that year’s 12 episodes as a fugitive Brody, before Homeland took the bold decision to kill him off.

Continue reading Homeland Overhauled – Feb 28, 2018

Categories Homeland Print Media

A Forensic Analysis of Homeland – Feb 8, 2018

Homeland: Is the CIA Drama Actually Any Good? (A Forensic Investigation)

by Gavin Haynes | The Guardian | February 8, 2018

Source: Showtime – Photo: Everett/Rex Features

We armed our writer with some DVDs and a few cups of coffee and he came back with a definitive answer to one of TV’s biggest unanswered questions. Homeland is famous for two things: Claire Danes’ capacity to act by wobbling her face, and being maddeningly uneven. Terrorists come and go: who could tell a Bibi Hamed from a Saad Massoud in the long game? But inconsistency remains. So as the show resumes later this month, when you look at it across six seasons, is Homeland actually any good? The question has never quite been resolved. Until now. Six seasons, one metric. Goodness.

Season One

UPSIDE

What’s striking now about Homeland’s debut is how slow it is. Rather than what it became – a frantic hail of bullets falling amid a fog of sarin gas – this is a psychological turn about the alienation of a returning PoW.

DOWNSIDE

A climax that’s a touch random. Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) attempts to turn the vice president into strawberry jam with his suicide vest, before mammalian evolutionary programming saves the day, via a last-minute phone call from his teenage daughter – as if The Godfather climaxed with the Monty Python foot coming down on Michael Corleone.

Verdict: 57% good

Continue reading A Forensic Analysis of Homeland – Feb 8, 2018