I’m going to go to so far as to say that Homeland was the best TV series that premiered in the 2011-2012 season. The incredible drama fronted by the talented and beautiful Claire Danes won a number of awards at this year’s Golden Globes including “Best Television Series – Drama” and “Best Actresses In A Television Series – Drama”. With the Emmys right around the corner, fans should expect similar accolades to be awarded to the Showtime series.
Homeland delivers a compelling and emotionally riveting plot revolving around Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), who is a brilliant CIA agent, and Marine Sgt. Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), an American POW (who has returned home after years of being held by terrorists). Mathison has information that an American POW was turned, and when Brody shows back up – she’s certain that he’s an Al Qaeda sleeper agent who has much bigger plans for a terrorist attack on US soil.
The writers provide you just enough to make you question the loyalty (and sometimes sanity) of all of the characters. Not knowing for sure who is good and who isn’t, viewers find themselves looking for hidden clues right along with Mathison… And even critiquing Mathison’s approach to obtaining the truth.
All of the actors do a truly incredible job in this series. I can’t emphasis that enough. Damian Lewis has you going back and forth in almost every episode from believing what his character is saying to doubting him again. His emotionally intense performance is engrossing, and fans can’t help but feel for his character and everything that he has been through in the last 8 years.
Mandy Patinkin is probably my personal favorite in this series. Patinkin plays Saul Berenson, a CIA agent and mentor to Carrie Mathison. Through everything, Saul seems like the one character that you can trust in any situation – even though the writers try to mess with that security in one episode in particular. Fans know better.
The real star of this series though is Claire Danes. She undoubtedly gives the best performance of her career to date in this series, playing a character that she so obviously loves. I can’t imagine anyone else in this role, and if there had been – I don’t think the series would have worked as well. Fans can’t help themselves from wanting vindication for Danes’ character – even though in season one that would have meant something catastrophic. I suspect that one day near the end of the series, Danes’ character will get vindication. However, I am positive, at this rate, that is a long, long time away.
When it comes to the special features on the Blu-ray release, it would have been nice to have a bit more. Deleted scenes, pilot commentary, and a featurette on the first season are all nice additions, but I would have liked more content like the featurette which serves as a prologue to season two (which is a wonderful feature!). Probably because waiting until the end of this month for more Homeland is a painful, painful wait. Still though, a longer list of more in depth features would have been nice.
Overall, this is one of the best series to hit small screens in a long time. The scripts are solid, the acting couldn’t possibly be any more refined, and the execution of the series is just something that leaves you craving more. The Homeland: Season One Blu-ray is a must for your collection – and a must-see before the next season starts the end of this month!
Review By: Emma Loggins