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Homeland 5 Seasons 2011

Season 1
4.6 out of 5 stars (3,493) IMDb 8.4/10

Based on an Israeli television series "Prisoners of War"; a psychological thriller that tells the story of Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), a CIA officer battling her own demons, who becomes convinced that the intelligence that led to the rescue of Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) a U.S. soldier who had been missing and presumed dead for nine years, was a setup and may be connected to Al Qaeda.

Starring:
Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin

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By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on December 15, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
As 2011 comes to its conclusion, it is no big surprise (for anyone who was watching anyway) that Showtime's "Homeland" is being recognized with major award nominations and critics' group prizes as one of the best programs of the season. Sophisticated, intelligent, complex, and rewarding--I had hoped for a lot from this intriguing and contemporary spin on the Manchurian Candidate theme, but the show served up that and so much more as well. From the executive producers responsible for "24," the show is a stunning and surprisingly realistic drama about family, an incisive look at modern terrorism, a bold political thriller, and a study of obsession all rolled into one gloriously produced entertainment. Add one of television's best ensemble casts, and "Homeland" easily earns its reputation as must-see TV. Showing up on numerous top ten lists, cited by TV Guide as the best show of the year, and getting Golden Globe nominations for Best Drama and for leads Claire Danes and Damian Lewis--this is only the beginning of the recognition and accolades that, I'm sure, will continue (Emmy nominations won't be announced for months).

I won't do a disservice by digging into the specifics and plot points of "Homeland." This is a show that unravels at its own pace, much like a fine novel. Anyone who divulges too much is really just ruining the complexities of the ever-evolving narrative. Danes plays a CIA analyst in Iraq who receives an open-ended warning about a planned attack on American soil by a "turned" POW. When Lewis, as a marine thought dead for eight years, is rescued from an Iraqi military compound and is thrust into the limelight, Danes starts to feel that this vague warning might have real merit.
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The first episode is available for free download from the ShowTime website, [...], so if you're not sure you're interested, watch that one first.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
2011 was a great year for television, with lots of established shows doing some of their best work ever. But in my view, the best thing going on TV was a new show that quickly ascended to the top of the heap, Showtime's sinister psychological thriller HOMELAND. The central storyline revolves around CIA agent Carrie Mathison, still haunted by the events of 9/11, and her belief that returning war hero Sergeant Nicholas Brody has in fact turned against his country as an al-Qaeda operative.

You know they had to be aiming high with the cast they assembled. The star is Claire Danes, making a long-awaited return to TV after a decade and a half in Hollywood. Given Danes' acting résumé, you might expect her to play a straight-laced CIA agent, but this character is anything but. Her Carrie Mathison is brilliant, fearless, determined, but also reckless, abrasive, unstable, and totally unpredictable. It's a tremendous piece of casting, as we've never seen Claire in a role anything like this, and you'll be stunned at how great she is here. Her performance alone makes Homeland a must-see.

Damian Lewis plays the other lead character: Nicholas Brody, a Marine returning home with a lot of baggage after spending eight years in hell as an al-Qaeda prisoner in Afghanistan. He battles PTSD, struggles to re-integrate with his family who had long assumed he was dead, and.. is Carrie right about him working for al-Qaeda? No matter which way you're leaning, Damian and the writers go a great job of planting seeds of doubt in your head. Lewis brings a world-class performance to this role as the mysterious Brody.

The supporting cast is also stellar.
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Format: Blu-ray
Howard Gordon, the co-showrunner of 24, and Alex Ganza, also a veteran of 24 as well as THE X-FILES and ENTOURAGE have crafted an extremely realistic, compelling, and tense journey into the hunt for a terrorist who may or may not have allies on US soil. There have been several comparisons to 24 in that both shows are about hunting terrorists, but that is where the comparisons end. 24 was an adrenaline blast of gunfights, car chases, explosions, conspiracy, super-technology and an indestructible government agent from a fake government agency named Jack Bauer. And while I miss Jack Bauer, I welcome the addition of CIA Case Officer Carrie Mathison (the INCREDIBLE Claire Danes) to the hunt. I also welcome the distinct lack of orgiastic violence (not knocking it, necessarily) and chases and "action". What THE WIRE is to most cop shows like SVU or CSI or NCIS, HOMELAND is to 24, but the main difference is while shows like SVU and CSI are lame and cliched procedurals, 24 was actually quite a powerful show. HOMELAND and 24 are both terrific shows, but for different reasons. We like 24 because it gives us that immediate sense of satisfaction of knowing that the bad guys are going to end up very dead just about every episode; we like HOMELAND because it takes the same concept to a much grittier, much smarter and MUCH more realistic conclusion.

With this show, we have Mathison, informed years prior by someone on the inside of a terror network, that a U.S. soldier that is being held prisoner has been turned by master terrorist Abu Nazir (Navid Negahban, another veteran of 24) and intends an attack using this soldier. Years later, Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody (Masterfully played by Damian Lewis) is rescued from an Iraqi compound after eight years.
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