Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Homeland Comes To Bravo

I usually don't write about reruns.
But Homeland is premiering on Bravo Wednesday night at 10 and for most Canadians this will be the first look at the best U.S. TV show of the past few years.
So this is a new show as far as I'm concerned --several friends have confided they just don't currently have the funds to buy into Super Channel which has Homeland's first run.
I've seen other TV series with somewhat the same plot --think 24 which boasts the same creators in producer Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa.
So I was apprehensive about watching this one until I watched the entire season one in advance thanks to DVDs loaned by Bravo.
And I'm hooked.
Thrillers are one of the staples of TV. And this one could have gone any number of ways.
The heroine is Carrie Mathison who is already a bit crazy at the beginning of the saga and gets progressively more unbalanced as the plot zithers along.
Played brilliantly, compulsively by Claire Danes, she is a dedicated CIA analyst. She even uses the same antidepressants her father takes for his manic depressive state
What I like is that Danes never overdoes the desperation, rher she builds on it scene after scene. I haven't seen much of her since she so captivated audiences in the series My So Called Life.
But as an adult she has grown and stretched into a difficult part.
Equally challenges is the British actor Damien Lewis who I liked a lot in the short lived series Life. He plays a recently released prisoner who has suffered eight years of psychological torture. In some ways his story arc takes up where The Manchurian Candidate left off.
Equally brilliant is the man who in effect plays her caretaker at the agency --Mandy Patinkin is back in another series just as troubling as his last (Criminal Minds).
The imminent threats are as potent as in 24 but because this is cable story lines fairly lumber along. This makes for meaty characterization, In some ways the slow pace is lulling as we get to know Carrie and how she always feel betrayed by her own personal failings.
Anyhow I now feel Homeland is the best U.S. series currently running. That's right, I've shed my Mad Men allegiance and that was pretty hard.
So watch and tell me what you think.

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