Homeland – Season One

I don’t do movie marathons. I wouldn’t, for example, entertain the thought of re-watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy on a snowy winter weekend. I don’t do all night sessions with TV shows. I don’t really even have a desire to get “caught up” on anything. I have the attention span of a gnat combined with a guilt complex that forces me to stretch media consumption over a weirdly extended period of time. That is, until now; until Homeland season one.

Yeah, that’s right, Gail and I put the hammer down during the last 30 hours of the year and watched the final eight episodes. And you know what? I don’t feel any guilt or any buyer’s remorse. It was that good. I don’t know what they’re smoking over there at Showtime, but let them keep smoking it.

This thing is whacked. It has characters that the viewer gets a lot of information on yet they’re still mysteries, it has huge plot twists that confound and excite the mind, and it has some excellent acting, mostly by Claire Danes.

Danes plays CIA agent Carrie Mathison to the hilt. She infuses this brainy, intense, and psychotic character with just the right amount of vulnerability to make her highly likable. It’s a well-written and well-played character, the best of a lot of good ones.

I’ve seen some good shows lately. In the last few years I’ve watched The Wire, Downton Abbey, and Arrested Development, but none of them are as captivating as Homeland. Sure, the others have great stories and intrigue, but none of them keep you quite on edge like Homeland. It’s stressful watching at times, but in a fun way.

** PLOT KILLERS FOLLOW **

So sitting here now, we got a terrorist that may be in the President’s back pocket and the only person who knows it is getting some advanced shock treatment because she’s bipolar. That’s a great setup for season two. It can’t come fast enough to iTunes because the net is rife with plot killers and I’m sick of stepping gingerly around articles and conversations that could contain them.

Hurry up!

A few last things. I predicted the “Isa” recognition by Carrie but figured she’d yank the tubes out of her nose and decline the shock treatment. How wrong I was.

And oh yeah, you don’t realize how poorly actors portray drunkenness until you’ve seen Denzel’s performance in Flight.