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Psychological Drama Homeland is Set to Rivet Britain

Posted on the 17 February 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost
Psychological drama Homeland is set to rivet Britain

Claire Danes and Damian Lewis in Homeland. Publicity still.

Homeland is a US television series (based on an Israeli production, Hatufim) that makes its British debut this week. Commissioned by the US subscription channel Showtime, it stars Claire Danes as a secretly bipolar CIA analyst, Carrie Mathison, who gets into an Iraqi prison and gains information from an al-Qaeda bomber, who tells her that an American prisoner of war, Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody (played by Damian Lewis) has changed sides. When, months later, the serviceman is released, she suspects him of being a potential terrorist and puts him under surveillance. He’s plagued by flashbacks; she has casual sex. It’s a winner. It’s set a decade after the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. According to The Times, in America people have “Homeland parties” where they watch episodes back to back. Looks like the Brits are in for a good time.

The series will run in 12 parts on Channel 4, from Sunday night. President Barack Obama is a massive fan, and it’s garnered Danes a Golden Globe.

All in your mind. Chris Harvey on The Daily Telegraph loves it. In Homeland, everyone has “a secret.” The action is “mostly psychological”, with roots winding “deep into the American psyche.” The series “turns on the specter of terrorism from within.” Paranoia is “relocated to the viewer’s mind”, leaving us wondering “whether we’re watching the security forces sleepwalk through the formative stages of another attack on the US”, or if the threat’s only in Mathison’s mind.

The Times ran a profile of David Harewood, who also stars in the show. He says “The whole idea of an all-American hero being possibly a terrorist has done the Americans’ heads in.”

Addressing the moment. Rebecca Nicholson on The Guardian was equally impressed, saying that Danes is doing her “best work in years”, successfully portraying the obsessive, sexually loose Mathison. What’s so great about it is that sometimes we side with her, and sometimes we don’t. The show’s “lack of certainty” lends it a “breathless pace.” Also it feels like it’s “adressing the moment” in a “contemplative and sophisticated” manner.

Naked Damian Lewis! Yay! “If you thought Danes was an acting marvel in Terminator 3, then this is liable to blow your mind,” squealed Holy Moly. And you get to see Damian Lewis naked. Danes is a bit of a maverick agent. “For a start she’s on her mobile while driving. Not handsfree. In Baghdad. Mental.” The premise might sounds “simplistic”, but “it’s pretty gripping stuff. Plus, you know, there’s the uniforms and nakedness. Enjoy.”

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