'Homeland' is a psychological drama-thriller television series, which concentrates on terrorism related themes and is created by some of the makers of the hit TV feature and my favorite, '24'. The series released in 2011 to critical acclaim and won 2 Golden Globe Awards for best drama and best actress (Claire Danes). The series also won 3 Emmy Awards for best drama, best actor for Damien Lewis and again best actress for Danes. It is loosely based on the Israeli series, 'Hatufim' (English title: Prisoners of War) created by Gideon Raff.
The series centers around Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), a Central Intelligence Agency Officer and Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), a U.S. Marine. The story shows Brody returning to the United States after being held captive by the Al-Qaeda as a prisoner of war in Iraq for 8 years. On his return, Mathison begins to investigate him as she strongly believes that he has been turned into a terrorist.
The story to me was really intriguing and it really caught onto me straight away. What really struck me was the stunning performances of the lead actors, Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, for me they make the show. The drama quotient is high and the makers really concentrate on character development, which they succeed in doing. Also the cinematography, direction and the general screenplay is pure class.
Right, my critical points, the pace never accelerates even though there was plenty of scope. The makers for me played their trump card way too early and the climax does not do justice to the whole series. What it does do, and I think that was the intention all along is to set things up for the second season. I'm all for the next season, however I expected more from the finale.
Lewis is great as the disturbed American war hero bringing in a lot of pain and intensity. Mandy Patinkin who enacts the role of Mathison's mentor, Saul Berenson, performs in a likeable manner with his amusing deadpan facial expression. I've become his fan. Now the best for the last, Miss Danes truly shines as a competent CIA Officer struggling with Bipolar disorder. The mixture of emotions she goes through during the series is portrayed with sheer brilliance. I couldn't take my eyes off, from what may turn out to be a career defining performance.
To sum it up, the show never peaks even though all 12 episodes are of a quality watch and full of intrigue. I get a feeling Homeland and crew are here for the long haul.
'Homeland' is not racy but a classy affair.