Homeland Season 1
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Hailed as TVs best new drama by critics everywhere, the award-winning HOMELAND delivers compelling characters, thrilling twists and breathtaking suspense. Carrie Mathison (Golden Globe winner Claire Danes), a brilliant but volatile CIA agent, suspects that a rescued American POW may not be what he seems. Is Marine Sgt. Nicholas Brody_(Damian Lewis) a war hero...or an Al Qaeda sleeper agent plotting a spectacular terrorist attack on U.S. soil? Following her instincts, Mathison will risk everything to uncover the truth her reputation, her career and even her sanity. Packed with multiple layers and hidden clues, Season One offers something new every time you see it...watch carefully.
Claire Danes's performance as an off-the-rails federal agent may be the best thing about Homeland, but it's certainly not the only thing to admire about a show that's the visual equivalent of a page-turner (and the recipient of 2012 Emmy Awards for Best Drama Series and Best Actor and Actress in a Drama Series). The focus here is on the specter of domestic terrorism. When Marine Sgt. Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), missing and presumed dead for some eight years, is found disheveled, disoriented, and alive in Iraq, he's regarded as a hero back in the States. But Agent Carrie Mathison (Danes) isn't so sure; in fact, she's convinced that Brody was "turned" by the notorious, bin Laden-like terrorist leader Abu Nazir, and is now part of an ambitious scheme to kill Americans on their own soil. The fact that she has no proof and precious little support within the CIA--only mentor Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) and a couple of others give the slightest credence to her theory--hardly deters Mathison. She's persistent, to say the least. But she's also obsessive, unstable (bipolar, to be precise), and reckless, all too willing to do things illegally and prone to making choices throughout the season that put herself and those around her in serious jeopardy, both physically and psychologically. Brody, meanwhile, has a tough time readjusting to normal life, what with the obnoxious glare of the media spotlight and the awkwardness of the reunion with his family, including wife Jessica (Morena Baccarin, very different from her role as the icy alien leader in V) and their two kids.
So what is Brody's real agenda, if he even has one? There are plenty of indications early on that Mathison's suspicions about him are correct. But are his visions memories, or simply hallucinations? Does even the fact that Brody kneels on a prayer rug in his garage, chanting in Arabic, mean he's a bad guy, or merely a zealous convert to Islam? This show is too smart to give away too much too soon; red herrings abound, and the season ends with a cliffhanger sure to leave Homeland adherents salivating for more. In the meantime, those looking for a marginally more credible and only slightly less entertaining alternative to 24 are in for a treat. --Sam Graham
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Top customer reviews
The plot twists are great and while some you see coming, there are some good surprises too. The writers also do a good job of making you think you know what's coming and then they throw you off in a new direction.
Can't say enough good things about the acting performances of the main characters. I found myself hating or annoyed with the two main characters more often than not and that is a credit to the superb acting skills on display.
A warning for those who want to watch the show--there is nudity, sex, violence and plenty of four letter words. If you're not prepared for that, you won't enjoy the show.
Based on an Israeli TV series, "Homeland" takes us into the life of a CIA operative Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes)who believes that a recently resurfaced American hostage from Afganistan Sgt.Nicholas Brody (Damien Lewis)may have been turned into a terrorist. Mathison who suffers from bipolar disorder and has kept it secret from her former boss Saul (Mandy Patinkin), believes that information she has from an informant points to Brody as the terrorist. She goes on a crusade to get surveillance on Brody with unintended consequences.
END OF SPOILERS:
Danes, Lewis and the rest of the cast give stellar performances in this intense drama. We get plenty of answers about what happened to Brody and what happened to him overseas.
The DVD for the series looks quite nice with a sharp looking transfer. Presented in its original broadcast ratio of 1.78:1, the show has the look of a big screen production.
We get English subtitles as well as Spanish and French.
Special features aren't as extensive as I would have liked or expected but they are quite good. We get deleted scenes, an excellent commentary on the first episode. We also get a prologue for the second season (which started in September). Also included is an exceptional making-of documentary entitled "Homeland Season One: Under Surveillance which features comments from the various production crew, writers and actors for the show.
An exceptional series "Homeland" is well worth watching but it isn't appropriate for any youngsters and those easily offended by nudity, sex and bad language would be best advised to steer clear.
Homeland can be compared to 24, another show I loved, but I believe Homeland surpasses 24, especially in the quality of its actors. Claire Danes plays a mentally unstable CIA agent, Carrie Matheson, and Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody is a newly rescued POW who may or may not have been turned by his Muslim captors during his years in captivity. The cat and mouse game played by Carrie and Brody is tense and exciting, as we never know who holds the upper hand. The episodes build to an incredible finale that had my hear pounding.
The blu-ray looks great, but the special features are not exactly special. However, at $20, this is a steal. I picked up a copy for myself, as well as three more for Christmas gifts family members who have so far resisted my pleas to watch the show. I know they won't be disappointed.
The main issue that I have (and I have NOT yet seen the subsequent seasons) is that there are too many loose ends that are not explained at any point in the story line, even after the fact. Other than creating a red herring, why was the house purchased in the Dulles flight paths. What were the courses of career paths such that the Head of the CIA used to report to Saul, and now is his boss, and what caused the vest to malfunction … wires tend to be soldered together (not simply wrapped)?