Shameful confession from an almost 30-year-old: I hate politics and stay excessively far away from that entire world. I understand that politics are important for civilized societies (although if Jersey Shore was in a time capsule I bet aliens wouldn’t find us all that civilized). But I’m a liberal, sensitive, right-brained bleeding heart who knows that her strong suits don’t lend themselves to helping the world through politics. So, when it came to the new Showtime series Homeland, I was almost dead certain I wouldn’t watch more than the pilot – if that. But, having the pilot now under my TV-watching- belt (it’s not a fanny pack!), I find myself considerably intrigued to see where this show is going.
But first, we have to go back to before I watched the pilot. Because that’s where you likely are right now. Homeland doesn’t officially air until this Sunday. So relax, sit back in your ergonomic desk chair, and let me tell you why you should consider it for your Sunday TV roster.
Much as I’d love to see Claire Danes in just about anything (well – I never saw her in Terminator 3 as I am pretty sure I’d be bored) this show initially lacked any appeal for me. An that made me feel like a jerk, because around me I saw friends and other critics so flippin’ excited. So, stubbornly, I put in my DVD screener episode (Showtime puts together the most amazing press kits, as does FX ) and prepared to be frightened about the realities of the world the show would surely touch upon. (Unlike what the Disney ride insists, it’s not a small world. It’s a big world, a big world of scary things and future apocalypses! I’ve literally had people grab DVDs out of my hand becuase they know that watching “The Day After Tomorrow” will inevitably lead me to a week of tunnel vision dedication to quoting statistics I find online about how the earth is doomed.)
Now that I’ve come out on the other side of watching the Homeland pilot, and I didn’t dislike it anywhere near as much as I’d anticipated. It’s a mighty fine production with quality. Of course, that was never what I suspected might be lacking. It was the plot, the topic of politics and issues of war that had made me uneasy. Politics and war? They still make me uneasy. They always will. But the show gave me a plot that I could understand, and a vulnerable, do-gooder, character to back. In fact, it’s the lead character of Carrie Anderson (Claire Danes) that I’m backing.
To touch on the acting, Claire Danes plays overly ambitious, highly paranoid and frazzled excellently. There is a scene of her in her closet where, without words, you come to understand her character so much better. And Mandy Patinkin plays Saul Berenson, a wise, grouchy mentor that I already trust implicitly and know that Carrie will inevitably let down.
Damian Lewis and Morena Baccarin also star in Homeland, playing a married couple reunited and now fractured.
Because I didn’t go into watching the pilot armed with a lot of background knowledge, I’m opting not to share a plot summary with you. I think it’s more fun to let the story unravel before you. If you do end up watching the show, I hope you come back and let me know if you liked it.
Homeland airs on Showtime @ 10 PM ET/PT. And catch Dexter on Showtime @9 PM ET/PT.