OH Pleeez. I am with Charles Reynolds on this one. Quite why people feel the need to criticise the reviewer and not just say that you disagree & offer a different critique is beyond me. Don’t shoot the messenger.
I have really enjoyed these reviews and they belong in that (very) rare category, for me, that have quite often made me laugh out loud. Mostly in recognition and agreement of that point. Plus the enjoyment of making that point deservedly comic. Plus this reviewer agrees with me about Jazz! Hey:Homeland deserves to be made fun of:it takes itself waaaay too seriously.
It survived its overly drawn out stretching over several episodes from the wonderful original Israeli Hatifum (Prisoners of War) of one series only on the strength of some fairly wonderful and charismatic acting from Brody and Claire Danes.
But lets face it:they were cartoonish characters, with cartoonish grimaces and facial tics. They were cartoon capers made large.
Yes, Americans do glossy and slick Dramas so very well. The wife is always dutifully Stepford: Jess gave a whole new meaning to Stepford: scarily so. i would secretly have been relieved if Jess really had turned into a fish person from that brilliant alien/fish people invasion series set in the swamps of the American South years ago. At least that would have been interesting. It might have explained her stone faced seriousness.
The only time Jess ever became animated was in her cringe-worthy message to the troops/wives/families speech at the fundraiser. One wondered how on earth she ever managed for 8 years. Oh but then there was Mike. Equally plastic and stereotyped.
Jess was like somebody in an enclosed Amish community: shut off from the modern world. Oh wait, she lived in a Military milieu. Even though she didn’t live on the base i guess those social restrictions still remained. I could have sworn Jess had a job at one point?
Anyway:i digress re the language used in the programme:the official American dialogue. This is the curse of American Drama. the ever insidious interminable and insipid and completely meaningless pyschobabble. Yes folks, it sounds good,
it even looks good but it means absolutely nothing.
Jess was probably the worst perpetrator:conversations between her and Brody were near unintelligible for any meaning whatsoever.
Question:do people Really talk like that? I don’t think so. Not All. The. Time. However possibly quite a few Americans who have been subliminally or actively brainwashed into talking psychobabble for the rest of their lives. By some regular dialogue invasion of the bodysnatcher therapist.
Psychobabble is the dark matter of dialogue and drama. It is one long interminable therapy session going nowhere. It mostly speaks in negatives:eg. “I’m not saying that I’m Not..etc. etc” If you stop to examine this dribble by way of the double negatives rule it becomes plain that it is the most patently execrable verbal garbage. Script-Writers should do and Must Do Better.
Regarding the infamously cringeworthy potato peeling scene:of course it was meant to show us that they had no day to day conversation or even relationship. Since so far they had mainly been in bed. In, as our reviewer rightly puts it:some kind of dreadful Lovers Guide to Log Cabin Loving old Video.
However putting all logic and reason aside: eg. whether Carrie,a vulnerable Bi-Polar sufferer who had obviously really fallen in love with their target would really have been allowed to carry on thus? Answer= apparently-all is fair in Love and the Cold-oops War on terror..
Since nothing seems to have changed in America and the dreaded reds under the bed are now all eponymous ugly bearded official ‘Arabs like on the last video shown in this episode that they get from Arabs R us. Like for the equally eponymous market scene in supposed Beirut. ‘Cause that’s all there is in Arab countries:large markets where people ‘haggle’ geddit?
Well:unless the terrorist is handsome and deliberately painted as sympathetic Nicholas aka Osama Bin Laden (OBL). Since what else was the uncomfortably realistic Islamic burial at sea scene other than to force those of us who hadn’t seen the Documentary on the killing of OBL and the subsequent replica reconstruction of his burial at sea-to watch said burial?
Question:why does Islamic chanting deliberately have to sound more ‘holy’ somehow? likewise the overdone Hebrew chanting of the supercilious and sanctimonious Saul at the again enforced sight of about a hundred black bin bagged wrapped bodies back in the CIA Hall?
The forced as in you shall watch it symbolism of 9/11 was pretty clear to see. I reject with some annoyance being forced into viewing these obvious ‘Teachable Moments’ in fully lit flashing lights.
Yes, Nicholas was a nice handsome terrorist, like OBL, was that it? he lost his family to a drone strike. We geddit.
Likewise Brody. it didn’t need to be rubbed in and we could have done without the bin bags and the uncomfortably realistic burial at sea. Which looked like a real live body to me, or did they get a dead one specially and shoot it full of four bullet holes? Whichever: its icky.
For the rest of it i hate to admit that being a soppy romantic i was fully buying into the love affair=Ahhh..Well once away from the uncomfortable Maris Piper or were they King Edwards juggling in the cabin. that were never cooked..
At least the conversations of Carrie & Brody were a touch more realistic and lively than those of Brody and Jess? Whose interchanges resembled a flat-lining heart monitor a little like Walden’s Thunderbirds Are Go set-up in the basement..
However overall Homeland, as mentioned as far as women go seems oddly set in the 1950’s:or is that just America today?
Yes:supposedly Carrie had an important high-flying job yet she didn’t, did she? She was just being pimped out for The Greater Good.
Then, much like the women in American Vampire Dramas, Jess & family were treated like medieval chattel and officially handed over by a jolly chat in a bar over a beer to Mike by Brody!
The whole earlier plot with Brody, his improbably stored suicide vest in his cupboard and his praying in the garage rested on the extremely unlikely idea in
this day and age: that good stepford wifey never went into his ‘man places’, you know, like the British shed.
The fact that Carrie, as an agent, was a woman at all was only so that the audience could perve on her generally: twitching naked but for a hospital gown in faux-orgasmic pain. (Likewise Dana, albeit to a lesser, more surreptitious degree) Nice one.
Offensive to both women And sufferers of Bi-Polar disorder whose illness was coopted just for this purpose and to further fully stereotype Carrie as an official weepy hysterical woman. Whilst absolving themselves from this via the disorder. Well thats OK then..
Oh and don’t forget the umpteen shag-athons :both maximised aural and visual in which poor Jess had to partake too. That was the essence of first Jess then Carrie’s roles.
As far as Saul goes i agree with the other posters:although its hard to care any more about the ‘mole’ I have long suspected Saul and particularly since his shady ‘here borrow my glasses’ visit to oh so quickly dispatched Aileen.
Mostly i just find Saul severely annoying due to his whole caring sharing persona coupled with the full on righteousness of his religion thrown in..The deliberate coupling or mirroring of these two religions in Homeland is irksome in the extreme.
No, we don’t need the official ‘Balance’, thanks..
Nb. I will miss the delectable ever hands on hips whilst angry & unaccountably shouting with the most endearing Spock-like ears:Estes=boo hoo..