Homeland: eight years after going MIA a U.S. marine is rescued and taken home, but a C.I.A. agent suspects he may be a terrorist. Overall the scope of the plot feels like it would be a side-story in 24, maybe spanning 6 episodes – Homeland is stretched over 12 full episodes ‘beefed up’ with small, pointless stories – some of which aren’t resolved, or even mentioned again (internal investigation / Saul’s potential involvement / Saul’s wife). My biggest problem was the very slow-moving is he / isn’t he story, it gets quite monotonous after several episodes, and once you know what side he’s on, it kills the show flat. Both central characters are extremely complex – Danes struggles to convince with some horrific eye-bulding and body/movement over acting. Lewis is good, but doesn’t quite have the full chops to convey the inner conflicts and troubles of the character. The daughter (Saylor) and Saul (Patinkin) were the two best actors. In the end, I cared just enough to watch the finalé, which was undoubtedly the best and most fresh / original part of the series, 60 minutes of killer, 30 more minutes of wrap-up ‘meh’. I can appreciate how this would go down more favourably in the USA (it’s current, it’s political, it hits a lot of nerves) but for me, Homeland feels like it’s just filling a ‘post-24 American domestic terrorist drama’ gap, and not much more.

Score: 5.5/10

  1. Jaina said:

    I’m a little bit shocked at this! I fell head over heels for Homeland. I loved the completely flawed characters. Claire Danes is fantastic as the you don’t know if she’s crazy or crazily right agent.

    I do agree that the show probably resonates more for those across the pond, but I still find it to be one of the most compelling things on TV at the moment.


    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      For me, the figure of 24 loomed high and large over homeland, and particularly towards the last 3-4 episodes, it really started to feel derivative (given all the ways it could have played out).

      My Mrs pointed out Claire’s eyes in the 3rd/4th episode and that killed any CrazySexyCool vibe she had going for me. It just reminded me of a teenager throwing a strop for the most part.

      It’s been received pretty well in the UK, so I am the 1%! It’s like Mad Men all over again… https://paragraphfilmreviews.com/2011/06/11/mad-men


      • Jaina said:

        Aww man, not Mad Men too! Though you know what? I think it took me three attempts to get into it. On the third attempt I was stupidly sick in bed and I had a season and a half to marathon. The marathon worked like a charm!


        • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

          You’ve definitely got more patience than me then, I’d write something off at the second time if necessary. 13 hours of my life…. gone… thanks to one of the most boring leading men on TV!


  2. Parts were really enjoyable and I like Lewis since seeing him in Band of Brothers. Not to sure why they had to make it go to another series, I guess it’s all about the ££$$€€ nowadays!!


    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      That’s the other pisser, knowing that there was going to be a second series really took the edges off of the story – especially knowing that they’d spent 10 hours building the characters. I think if it had been a little less precious with the characters, and self-contained into one series it could have done a lot better in the drama stakes.




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