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Great writing, unexpected twists and turns. Fantastic performances by Damien Lewis, Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin. It may be a slight step down from the magic of the first season - but I am still hooked.
Surprised at the overall reactions of this series, and thus its popularity (but then, "Friends" was once the #1 TV show in America, so, what can I really expect?
I watched the first two seasons, and got terribly bored from:
A) the TERRIBLE acting, particularly by Claire Danes (god, she's HORRIBLE in it; whether that's the directors she's working with or what?), it was almost unwatchable, and so TYPICALLY "TV" B-quality crap acting.
B) the OBVIOUS propagandist nature of the series... in this sense, Mandy Patinkin's participation (and I REALLY like him as an actor) is OBVIOUS in his Pro-Isreal / Anti-Muslim rhetoric, in the scripting, and his acting (the sheer horror in his face when this question of division between the two sides of this conflict supercedes his acting of the role he's playing, his hatefulness is that obvious, to me). But generally, the overall production is SO Flag-Waving USA We're SO Persecuted Yet Innocent !!! (Wei she ma ta men bu shi wan wa men ?!?!?) I couldn't keep watching. Yes, it is timely and maybe even accurate, if you want to compare it to the over-reaction of Western / Muslim phobia that is propagated by Western main stream media! But seriously ????
C) The writing overall was just so main-stream "TV-Lame".
Maybe it got better over the years? After 2 seasons, I couldn't see it trending in that direction. Generally bored, overtly unimpressed by the acting quality, and implicitly offended by the propagandist crap. To be clear, my personal viewpoint is not Pro-anything or Anit-anything; I am of Western origin, raised in a Christian environment, but there are two sides to every story. This program doesn't try to remotely consider the circumstances of life today with any objectivity what-so-ever. That's disappointing.
Hey, but that's just me!
With the bar set incredibly high by the shows debut season, it is to huge credit to the shows crew and cast that they have somehow managed to maintain the highest of standards in the shows second season. Danes and Lewis once again give powerhouse performances that are recognised at the Emmys and Golden Globes.
The season flows exceptionally well, and when the viewers begin to relax they are shocked back into a state of nervous excitement by events of intrigue, heart-pounding action and mind blowing revelations. From episode eight all the way through to the final episode (twelve) there is an anything-can-happen edge that lurks at the back of your mind, and these episodes are potentially the best episodes Homeland has released.
Danes performance as the bipolar counter-terrorism analyst is extraordinary in its realism and accuracy as well as her dramatic delivery. The chemistry between Carrie and Brody is palpable throughout the season, especially the scenes at the cabin as their characters imbalances come together in an understandable and beautiful way. Both Carrie and Brody have evolved this season, Brody is no longer just the poster boy of the war on terror, he has become so much more, he battles against all the different personalities he has, trying to find the one that he belongs to. We do not truly know which one he belongs to which makes for hypnotic viewing as we are not sure whether to trust him or not.
The second season of Homeland sets pulses racing, stomachs churning and minds strategising. This suspenseful terrorism drama is one of my favourite shows, it reminds me of Spooks (a BBC spy-drama series 2002-11), in its realistic portrayal of the western counter-terrorism strategies. I am having a break from Homeland before I begin watching season three, as I am watching Mr. Robot, Westworld and The Big Bang Theory.
One of the best tv series I have seen
Not as good as season 1, but still very good.
One of the great things about pay-cable dramas is that, unlike the restrictions of network television, they are pretty much free to do what they want...when they want to...and how they want to do it. This sense of control is a big part of the reason why "Homeland", in its second season, is able to match the intensity of the explosive first. The producers are able to flesh out the stories/characters on THEIR schedule.
For a basic plot summary (with only minor spoilers), Season Two of Homeland sees Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) recovering from her shock therapy, while Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) is still torn between his allegiance to Abu Nezir (Navid Negahban) and his wife/family. Saying quite literally anything more would be venturing into major spoiler territory, but suffice it to say that the intrigue and unpredictability carries over from Season One.
To me, the main reason this show remains great is because it manages to re-invent itself seemingly multiple times per season. Remember back to watching Season One and how it seemed like a completely different show after 12 episodes? The same exact thing happens in Season Two. A show like this (again, given the freedom that network shows do not have) is able to develop plot-arcs in just 12 episodes that some shows take seasons to parcel out. Simply put, there is a hard-charging philosophy (perhaps this is also a residual effect of the show sharing many creators from the similar-themed "24") to this type of storytelling that makes every moment compelling.
I truly wish I could write more about this wonderful season, but I really don't want to spoil the experience for you in any form. If you got hooked on the first season of "Homeland", you will find nothing to detract you here. It all carries over.
Series two and the quality of the first series continues, powerful, heart-pumping and poetic.
Making such long episodes work is a huge challenge. Turning this show from a mini-series into something big and successful, a series that is broadcasted for many years is a very hard thing to do. Hard, but not impossible.
That being said, the second season is just as good as the first, which is a huge challenge, all on it's own. I think it is either better written, or better directed. Anyhow, the show is easy to watch, even though it's a thriller-drama, a genre I rarely watch.
Negahban plays a big part in the series, and even though he is not a good actor, his character is so well written and so well designed, he manages to be just good enough not to do any damage.
Danes is amazing, and the writers manage to take a well rounded character, add layers to it, and still keep things very interesting. It seems Carrie is always changing, but that is believable, when you consider the bi-polar genius that she is.
Lewis's character, Brody, is again portrayed as a hero. Which is nothing short of disgusting. Again, you see a moral-less and corrupt society of sociopaths as heroes.
You can love or hate her, but you will most likely identify with her, one way or the other.
The story is amazing, and again, I watched it without losing interest for even one second.
Overall, the plot and level of acting are more than satisfactory. Even though Saylor's character, Dana, has a small role, she is very important in making the show interesting. Her well rounded character helps in driving the plot in the correct direction.
While this season has some downsides as well, I again find myself in the odd position of wanting to watch it through. Regardless of the issues I raised, I still have to give it the complementing grade A.
The series continues to go from strength to strength in season 2 after the events at the end of season 1.
Brody is now in a real position of power and Carrie is at her manic best.
Its second season ratchets up the tension and benefits from increased chemistry between its stars.