*UPDATE* I’m an idiot. The Walking Dead is on at 9 pm. Wow. Ignore the watch Homeland instead of Walking Dead stuff. I believe Homeland is better but you can easily watch The Walking Dead THEN Homeland. Maybe I should write a blog about watching Dexter vs The Walking Dead (which is worse)?
When I originally saw the previews for Homeland on TV I didn’t think twice. I wasn’t interested in the show. I’m typically very skeptical when new shows start. So many of them are terrible it’s hard to trying and guess which new one to start every year, but one comparison caught my eye. Homeland was compared to the Bourne films. I decided to watch the first episode and it was a great decision.
I think Homeland is the best new show on television this fall. If it wasn’t for Community and Parks and Recreation it’d my favorite show currently airing new episodes. I’ve given up on Dexter (for now, maybe a blog post coming in the future), and I have my problems with The Walking Dead (as you can read here). The problem is most people are probably spending 10 to 11 pm on Sunday nights watching The Walking Dead. I believe you should be watching Homeland, and here’s why (not in order of importance).
- The Bourne comparison is true. Homeland is a tense, tight thriller. There isn’t the pure adrenaline filled physicality that Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon mastered, but there is the intellectually engaging behind the scenes look at the power the government has.
- Real, flawed characters. Also, like the Bourne films (and unlike The Walking Dead) Homeland is filled with emotionally complex people. No one is black and white. The show is filled with shades of gray. The show even takes the same kind of love triangle as The Walking Dead and makes it much much better. The wife is this triangle is a real person, not a blank slate to direct anger at. Even the “terrorist” is a real person.
- We don’t know if Nicolas Brody is really a terrorist. The trailer implies he is and I can see why the network felt like that was a necessary way to promote the show, but the show never says yes or no. In fact, the show really makes us identify with his situation.
- Homeland presents PTSD in a very interesting way. Brody comes home and his life isn’t perfect. He has terrible flashbacks and has trouble slipping back into everyday American life. He questions the entire purpose of the war. He has trouble with intimacy.
- A strong female lead. One of the two main characters is a strong woman. Like the other characters Carrie has her flaws, but we understand and sympathize with her perspectives. Through her eyes we see both sides of debate about privacy. In her mind “privacy” doesn’t exist when it comes to the protection of the U.S. But as she watches Brody we see glimpses and moments that reveal she feels bad about what she’s doing. When something terrible happens we feel it because she feels it.
- Acting. The acting in the show is very great.