Homeland returns to Channel 4 this weekend and we couldn’t be more excited about the second series of the award winning show.
A revelation both with viewers and critics, the show’s first season has been hit with an absolute landslide of awards, picking up six Emmys, two Golden Globes and another eight gongs in the process.
The question is though, what makes the show so good?
Bear in mind, for anyone not up to speed with the series, SPOILERS!
All Of Its Leads Are Broken –
Carie is a woman barely coping with her issues and now horrifically in love with a man she despises. Brody is a vengeful killer out for nothing but his own gains. These aren’t the types of characters you usually would hang a show on and hope that it floats.
That is exactly why the current wave of premium cable TV in America is beginning to lead the way. It’s leads are far from the witty super beings that populate the more mainstream shows, they are flawed people with selfish agendas. Few are quite as good as Homeland’s central duo though.
It Never Waves A Flag –
American dramas do tend to go slightly patriotic. It’s just a part of American culture that a lot of nations don’t share. Homeland on the other hand is far quicker to use patriotism not as a character’s unquestioned motivation, but as an excuse for poor decisions.
There are multiple occasions where the sheer notion of patriotism is called into question, usually not in a positive way. For and outsider looking into the American world, it makes a refreshing change to not be rolling your eyes at every salute.
It’s Not All Happy Endings –
In most US dramas, Brody would have been exposed, Carrie would have been reinstated and the world would be a sunshiny and happy place.
Not in Homeland. This is a show in which Brody not only remains under cover, but his plot’s working perfectly and he’s gaining the trust of those in power. With season two of the show showing Brody moving ahead with his moves into politics, the show’s central antagonist is not only surviving, but positively thriving.
Carrie on the other hand has had a terrible time of it. Barely believed throughout the season, her state of mind is constantly questioned and in the end is a pariah in the CIA and going into electroconvulsive therapy.
It’s not just the two battling leads. Brody’s wife Jessica is stuck in a loveless marriage and Saul has had the carpet pulled from under him completely. It’s a refreshingly bleak tale of good rarely conquering evil.
The Acting’s Superb –
There’s a reason why both Claire Danes and Damian Lewis have been showered with awards.
Damian Lewis is absolutely sensational as the slimy Brody, a man haunted by ghosts and filled with regret and anger.
Claire Danes is the showstopper though, with her performance as the damaged and brittle Carrie possibly being the finest of her career to date.
With Morena Baccarin, David Marciano and Mandy Patinkin providing brilliant back up as Jessica, Virgil and Saul respectively, the entire cast is absolutely chock-full of actors right at the top of their game.
Eye Opening Revelations –
Most dramas have plot twists you can see coming. Not Homeland, whose twists and reveals are not only regular, but fantastically dramatic and paradigm switching.
That Carrie is bi-polar, that Brody taught Abu Nazir’s son English and bonded so closely with him and his conversion to Islam have been such enormous moves in the show’s storyline and have come so easily and without warning that it’s left its audience sitting beyond the edge of their seat.
With even the trailer for the second series looking like it’s set to continue the very best themes of Homeland, we’re just about ready to let ourselves be hooked once again.
Homeland Series 2 begins this Sunday on Channel 4
FemaleFirst Cameron Smith