Weekly Binge: Homeland

We give you what you need to know to dive into the popular shows everyone's talking about.

Welcome to the Weekly Binge, where we'll be taking a closer look at the shows that are worth your time. And by that we mean a lot of your time -- we'll be focusing on the shows that will obliterate those nights and weekends that would otherwise be spent on more "productive" pursuits (and when we say "productive," we mean "less interesting"). So without further ado, let's try to convince all the fence-sitters to take the plunge and get all caught up on Homeland!


Homeland

American Horror Story

What's the premise? A bipolar CIA officer fears that a former POW has been compromised and is planning a terrorist attack on American soil.

What's it like? If the action in Homeland feels familiar, that's because one of its creators, Howard Gordon, previously worked on 24. Gordon co-developed this government thriller with Alex Gansa, whose credits include The X-Files and the 1980s version of Beauty and the Beast. Take the political intrigue and action of 24, add the strong yet flawed female lead of Nurse Jackie, and shake well.

Where can I see it? New episodes began Sunday September 29 on Showtime, and will continue through mid-December 2013 at 9 p.m. EST. The next day, episodes are available on Sho.com and the Showtime app for Apple or Android devices for current Showtime subscribers. Previous seasons are available on Vudu and Amazon.

How long will it take? Both season one and season two are 12 episodes long at around an hour a pop (no commercials, so it's a true hour). With only two seasons under its belt, it would be easy to indulge in the whole thing over a weekend.

What do the critics think? All three seasons are Certified Fresh, with season one coming in at a perfect 100% on the Tomatometer. Most of the critics are hooked: Dorothy Rabinowitz of the Wall Street Journal says, "Once you watch the first episode, it's going to be hard standing the wait for the next," while Mike Hale of the New York Times writes "the combination of adult intelligence and crisp action is still pretty much unmatched on American television."

Why should I watch this? If ever there was a series that consistently left you with your mouth agape in shock at the end -- and sometimes, even in the middle -- of each episode, this is it. The season one finale will leave you with a cliffhanger so huge that it'll feel like Christmas morning to have season two readily available to watch. And for all of you My So-Called Life fans, if you felt Angela Chase disappeared from your screen much too soon 20 years ago, you'll want to tune in to watch Claire Danes's winning performance as Carrie Mathison. Oh, and did we mention this Emmy winning show just got renewed for a fourth season? Feast away!

What's my next step? Homeland is based on the Israeli series Hatufim by Gideon Raff, whose inspiration came from moving back to Israel after living in Los Angeles for eight years. "Home" looked and felt different than he remembered, and he harnessed that sense of general apprehension to write a sharp government thriller. Although Raff didn't draw from -- or was necessarily inspired by -- any specific films, if you enjoy political thrillers, you may also like State of Play, Body of Lies, Zero Dark Thirty, and Fair Game.

What do you like about Homeland? How would you explain it to a newbie? Any big predictions for season four? Get in on the conversation here.

Comments

Sebastian Diaz

Sebastian Diaz

why did they say that Carrie was bipolar? there was no need to spoil that...

Oct 24 - 06:55 PM

Phillip Sternitzke

Phillip Sternitzke

Well the show tells us that in like the first or second episode, so I really wouldn't call that a serious spoiler.

Oct 24 - 07:56 PM

Rizwan Ji

Rizwan Ji

I freelance over th? internet and earn about 80-85$ an hour. I was without a job for 7 months but last month my paycheck with big fat bonus was $15000 just working on my computer from my home for 5-6 hours. Here's what i have been doing----->
----> w瓀瓀.D瑼璝񪏘.c璷m

Nov 4 - 04:19 PM

Swinny TheBanks

Swinny TheBanks

Its not a spoiler, its a premise. She doesnt 'become' bipolar and theres no great reveal. its like saying that there are themes of betrayal in GoT is a spoiler

Nov 6 - 03:15 PM

Phillip Sternitzke

Phillip Sternitzke

Well the show tells us that in like the first or second episode, so I really wouldn't call that a serious spoiler.

Oct 24 - 07:56 PM

Dustin Redmon

Dustin Redmon

The first season of this show is great. I dare anybody to stay on board half way through season 2. The ending to season 2 is an utter mess.

Oct 25 - 01:02 AM

James Miller

James Miller

I already did and I disagree, from your standpoint. It is an utter mess in the last episode but for good reason. I'm not going to give anything away though. People should find out for themselves in this gripping show.

Oct 25 - 05:38 AM

James Miller

James Miller

I already did and I disagree, from your standpoint. It is an utter mess in the last episode but for good reason. I'm not going to give anything away though. People should find out for themselves in this gripping show.

Oct 25 - 05:38 AM

Oliver D.

Oliver Davidson

Great show. I'm almost done with Season 2. Great acting, writing, and direction. I jumped right into this show after Breaking Bad ended. I highly recommend it to pretty much anyone, even people that don't usually go for the spy genre.

Oct 25 - 02:53 PM

Adam Sholdice

Adam Sholdice

this is a good show, but yes i did give up on it half way through season 2 as well. one thing this show lacks is a single likeable character.

Oct 26 - 06:55 PM

Sawyer Robertson

Sawyer Robertson

To anyone who gave up mid-season 2, I see where you're coming from since I did so when it aired, but after it recovered a handful of Emmy noms, I went back and rewatched it. Totally worth it-- the ending will leave you pretty stunned, and granted, the season is messy compared to previous, but the writing on the episode Q&A and Claire's acting will more than make up for any rushed occurrences or confusing moments,

Oct 27 - 01:06 PM

Mark Lewandowski

Mark Lewandowski

This third season has been just awful. Why the producers insist on making Brody's daughter a main character is beyond my comprehension.

Oct 28 - 07:49 AM

Dustin Redmon

Dustin Redmon

I couldn't agree more. Season 3 is even worse than season 2. The story arc of Brody's daughter is soooo boring, and she is very unlikeable.

Oct 28 - 03:11 PM

Dustin Redmon

Dustin Redmon

I couldn't agree more. Season 3 is even worse than season 2. The story arc of Brody's daughter is soooo boring, and she is very unlikeable.

Oct 28 - 03:11 PM

Brent Boswell

Brent Boswell

Season 2 ends in confusion, paranoia and speechlessness. Anyone who hasn't seen it is lucky enough to not wait for the answers that the first part of season 3 slaps you in the face with. Maybe in the top 3 smartest shows of all time.
The cast couldn't be more tuned for success. If you're not watching this then you really have zero clue as to what brilliant storytelling is. You're hopeless.

Oct 28 - 03:52 PM

Andy Marinkovich

Andy Marinkovich

Good show, but not a great one.

Nov 2 - 08:09 PM

Rizwan Ji

Rizwan Ji

I freelance over th? internet and earn about 80-85$ an hour. I was without a job for 7 months but last month my paycheck with big fat bonus was $15000 just working on my computer from my home for 5-6 hours. Here's what i have been doing----->
----> w瓀瓀.D瑼璝񪏘.c璷m

Nov 4 - 04:19 PM

Swinny TheBanks

Swinny TheBanks

Its not a spoiler, its a premise. She doesnt 'become' bipolar and theres no great reveal. its like saying that there are themes of betrayal in GoT is a spoiler

Nov 6 - 03:15 PM

Phil Thomas

Phil Thomas

While I definitely didn't think that season 2 got that bad at the middle like many people (in fact, it was probably my favorite season of television last year), season 3 has been absolutely horrendous. I was constantly talking this show up to friends for how smartly written it was, but right now, it feels more like a bad ripoff of 24 right now; nothing really makes sense anymore. Those looking to fill the hole left in Breaking Bad's wake are better off watching The Good Wife. This isn't worth the commitment.

Nov 14 - 09:46 AM

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