Tuesday 12 December 2017

Why I won’t be tuning into Homeland anymore

Homeland's Claire Danes on a secret mission in a street in 'Beirut' - filmed in Israel
Homeland's Claire Danes on a secret mission in a street in 'Beirut' - filmed in Israel
Garreth Murphy

Garreth Murphy

SPOILERS AHOY: I’m finished with Homeland. There, I’ve said it.

After two and a bit seasons of the smash hit US drama, I’ve finally reached the end of my tether with it.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been prepared to forgive it many things – its implausible plot twists, its annoying characters (Dana Brody, take a bow and stop frowning) and ridiculous set pieces (Quinn – he’s a human killing machine with a conscience).

I was even prepared to overlook its ‘jump the shark’ moment in season two when Brody clipped someone while continuing a phone conversation.

But last week while watching the ridiculous conclusion to the latest episode, I finally realised that I’ve had enough. I was bored. And it had just got too silly.

(Oh and for those who aren’t up to date with season three episode eight, you’d be best advised to stop reading now.)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those people who thinks TV shows have to be hyper-realistic. I can roll with farce with the best of them.

But I do like my TV shows to have some sort of a pay-off and Homeland doesn’t seem to be capable of doing that. It’s stuck in an ever decreasing spiral of red herrings and plot twists.

Season One of Homeland was some of the most compelling TV I’d seen since The Wire. It was bruising, compulsive and addictive. Episode seven of the first season, The Weekend, was one of the finest pieces of TV I’ve ever seen.

But it couldn’t keep it up. Season two readily fell into farce, while season three hasn’t got much beyond its standing start.

Maybe it was the fact that I read that it has already been commissioned for fourth series that finally pushed me over the edge but Homeland doesn’t have anywhere to go anymore.

After one of the most convoluted plot twists this side of the Bobby Ewing Dallas shower sequence – Carrie-has-been-hung-out-to-dry-by-the-agency-oh-no-she-hasn’t – Homeland ratcheted things up another notch of ridiculousness.

Viewers learned that Saul Berenson actually knew where Brody was all along. I mean, really – would the acting head of the CIA really go to a derelict apartment complex in downtown Caracas to find a smackhead? Are things really that tight at CIA HQ?

It was just the final straw. Yet another moment of silliness that had me reaching for the remote control and deleting the series link function.

To be fair, the show would probably be better off killing Brody at this stage – after all, how much can one actually take? He’s been kidnapped for seven years, murderer of the Vice President of the US and a smackhead and he’s still got to deal with a child like Dana. 

But I still won’t be going back. Homeland’s real drama was in the human interactions between the characters - not the jaw-dropping moments of silliness.

We had fun Homeland, but it’s time to see other series.

Irish Independent

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