Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Homeland: Season 1 [Blu-ray]
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Showing 1-10 of 3,566 reviews(verified purchases). Show all reviews
on September 30, 2012
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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on January 1, 2012
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. Mandy Patinkin is particularly notable, playing Carrie's mentor, in a role that is less prominent and also more subdued than his usual starring roles. His subtlety is a great contrast to Claire Danes' out of control intensity.

With all these actors in place, along with superlative directing and writing, Homeland becomes a thriller of the highest order. Do note that despite the fact that the show was created by "24" alumni, this is not an action series. It's smarter, more cerebral and more about the characters. This is not to its detriment- Homeland is as exciting and suspenseful as anything you'll see. All I can say is that I was constantly on the edge of my seat, and always left dying to see the next episode.

Season 1 of Homeland gets the highest possible recommendation.
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on January 29, 2013
My expectations were extremely high going in. Word of mouth reviews from close friends and acclaim from critics were on a level unheard of since Breaking Bad, Friday Night Lights, The Wire and Lost.

However, unlike those other shows, this is the only one that failed miserably in coming close to living up to the billing.

Bottom line, this is a glorified soap opera that centers around never ending character development with very unoriginal plot twists. Proponents of the show claim that unlike "24", "Homeland" aims to be much more of a psychological thriller than a cliff hanger heart racer. This is not a problem for dramas like Mad Men or Boardwalk Empire which lack a consistent underlying stressful theme, but for a show that sells itself to the audience as one in which "everyone is in constant danger" the lack of action is disappointing. Instead of daring action sequences, the audience just gets hit with more and more characters crying and complaining about their lives.

Those that like this show clearly become enamored with the personalities of the characters themselves. At no point did I reach this level. I honestly got to the point where I couldn't care less what happened to the characters played by Claire Danes and Damian Lewis. The lack of a true protagonist leaves the audience directionless and unfortunately makes the plot twists much less exciting.

Further, the plot twists in this series are not very original anyways. Almost all of these "Pro/Anti American Terrorist Plot" themes were played out by the likes of "24" and "Air Force One" among others. Again, at no point was I on the edge of my seat just dying to see what was going to happen in the next episode.

Trust me I fully get that this show was not intended to be a "24" spinoff, but you simply can't replicate the exact same theme yet ask the audience to have different expectations. "Breaking Bad" had an almost identical theme to "Weeds" but the writers were able to brilliantly differentiate it while still maintaining the same level of excitement. People that are buying into this show should be cognizant of that discrepancy here and adjust their expectations accordingly.

Out of respect for my friends' opinions, I sat through and finished the first season. I passed on the second season and simply resorted to reading the episode recaps on Wikipedia. I am happy I did instead of investing another 12 hours of my life forcing myself to care about what happens to the supposed protagonists.

Pros:
- Great acting

Cons:
- Very unoriginal plot lines
- Purported "cliff hangers" and "game changers" did not follow through in terms of resulting excitement level
- Constant character development
- Lack of a true protagonist that the audience can care for or relate to
- Drawn out emotional sequences
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on November 16, 2014
Am shouting into a wind storm given the over-the-moon popularity of this series but I grew weary and then irritated with the two characters by the end of Season 1 and have no interest in pursing further installments despite the teasers and inducements of friends. Plot twists I love but the vacillations of these two characters endlessly back and forth and the inevitable affair, a mix of oil and a matchstick, produced only relief when the season reached its non-so-cliffhanging inconclusive conclusion.
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on February 11, 2016
The plot, Supporting cast, and Damien Lewis are superb. Claire Danes and her character are annoying verging on infuriating, constantly breaking the suspense with her brand of bipolar. It's bad enough I have to sit through her struggles but to add her screeching, whiny voice and temper tantrums destroys any enjoyment gained by the show. No matter how much I want to find out what happens next, sitting through Carrie's crazy is a deal breaker.
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on November 13, 2013
Homeland mascaras as a procedural thriller, but implicit in almost every shot is two-dimensional, us vs. them caricature of Arab societies and the U.S. defense system, especially the Marines. Gordon and Gansa have made a fortune stoking America's paranoia, first with 24, now Homeland. It's based on an Israeli show, which had little of Homeland's over-the-top terror fears. It was about reintegration of POWs, a legitimate subject in itself. Homeland turns this into a tawdry, overacted CIA fantasy. That so many professional critics praise Homeland says a lot about the state of mind of the Fifth Estate. Clare Danes is a hyperactive robot; in 20 years her character will be played by an android, and look the same.
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on August 22, 2015
This show reminds me of a bell that has already rung. The characters just get away with too many things. Very good actors and directing can carry any kind of writing. Casting is excellent. The actors dig themselves into a hole and magically appear above ground. Reminds me of a horror film plot. Don't want to be specific, as I don't want to spoil it for those who may have an interest. As in the title, only buy this one if it's free. It's not so much a waste of time, but I do think it may be a waste of money.
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on June 16, 2016
Slow-paced and unrealistic with a psychotic wacked out female playing the role of a CIA agent who overacts the part. Being ex-military, the roles are out of character and in many circumstances, would never play out as this story would have some believe. And to top things off, f-bombs galore, full nudity with undisciplined children who have potty mouths themselves. I purchased this due to all the 5-star reviews so apparently, it takes little for many folks to be "entertained" these days.

Also, this set is enclosed in cheap plastic hinged page flips, a poorly organized menu system and you must channel skip over different show advertising every time you begin watching.
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on September 23, 2013
Watched all the episodes within just a few days, it's like a book you can't put down. I don't watch all that many shows regularly, but this one is truly special. The writing is superb, the actors are all beyond superb. My favorties are Damian Lewis, Clare Danes, and the wonderful Mandy Patinkin. And don't forget Mona Baccarin, she's also exceptional. Each episode ends with a cliffhanger than makes you want to watch more. Truly the most riveting series I've ever watched. Only problem is that since I don't subscribe to Showtime, I had to wait a year to see Season 2, which was just as good. Now I'm hungering for Season 3, which is about to start. Unfortunately, on top of the regular Dish rates, Showtime is just too much more for me to get, unfortunately for me.
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on October 11, 2015
It has no one character that a viewer can relate to. All humanity (translation : everyone) is a jerk/evil. This show tries to show that every human being is bad. As such there is not one character a viewer can relate to. The bad guys are bad, the good guys are bad, the extras walking in the background are bad, the cab driver is bad, the hot dog vendor is bad; in short all humanity is bad. This must have been written by a goth kid before he cut himself again.

This is important because this is a not a fantasy show. It is set in a sort of realistic situation that supposedly is a real world. I'm guessing this could possible work if it were a sci-fi on some other planet or dystopic post apocalyptic time or something, but being set in the world of today where know that some people are bad but we also know that some people are good and some are just average, keeps it from working.

If you live in a world where everyone you know is a total piece of garbage then this show will seem realistic to you and you may enjoy it. I also feel very sorry for you.

I'm halfway through the season now and it is only getting worse. I'm expecting the pets to be depressed or depressing. I'm watching the entire season because, upon bad advice, I bought it. As opposed to the characters in this show I have hope, so "maybe" it will get better by the last episode. If it does I will revise my review. Of course after watching a full season of this I may have no hope left.

Update:
So I finished season 1 hoping it would get better but let's just say I won't be buying season 2. Bottom line ... if you like typical anti-USA movies that are just so boring because they have become cliche and predictable then you will like this. If, however, you actually happen to like the USA and would be surprised to find a movie or show that portrays it well then you will hate it. Just another "USA is the bad guy" show. Watch any of the other thousand or so of the these types of shows, change the characters names and you have it.
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