Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Homeland on Showtime

I've seen the first three episodes of Homeland, thanks to a top-secret, crumpled envelope with a screener disk sent to me by Showtime.   It looks to be a wrenchingly powerful series, about POW US Marine Sgt Brody, who returns home to his wife and kids after nearly a decade in captivity.

Not, necessarily, great news, since CIA Officer Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) has just been told by an informant that an American has been turned by the Middle Eastern terrorist.  Is Brody that man?

He's certainly not completely comfortable with his family - especially his beautiful wife, Jessica (played by Morena Baccarin of V fame!), who's been having a serious affair with Brody's friend.   But that's likely not the reason Brody is acting weird, because we also see him looking at products for who knows exactly what in a home supply store, and getting up in the middle of the night for prayer - Islamic.

Meanwhile, Carrie has a drug problem, and her superiors are less than convinced of her acumen in any case.  Saul (Mandy Patinkin) is at least willing to have an open mind, and Patinkin puts in his customarily fine performance in the role.

Homeland of course has been compared to The Manchurian Candidate, but it's not clear at this point whether he's aware that he's been turned, or if it's all unconscious, as in The Manchurian Candidate.  I suppose there's also an outside chance that Brody is really a double agent - he really hasn't done any damage as of the end of the 3rd episode.

Showtime tried its hand with terrorist drama in Sleeper Cell a few years ago, which I actually thought was very good, especially in the first of its two seasons.  Homeland looks to be at least as good - with solid acting, action, story line, nudity, and a beat on current events that even mentions bin Laden is dead.   The series premiers right after Dexter on October 2, and I'll be back with more reviews later that month.


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