Friday, May 25, 2012

Mandy Patinkin is breaking my heart

I got my hands on Homeland and watched the entire series in less than two weeks, because it is amazing. It's tense and the characters are amazing and complex and the plot twists are awesome and Claire Danes plays possibly the most interesting, driven and screwed up woman on TV right now and she's totally believable.

But hands down my favourite part of the show, (and Damian Lewis is on it, so this is saying a lot) is Saul, played by Mandy Patinkin. I love that on a show with so much tension, he is so calm, almost understated, a pretty wonderful foil to the Claire Danes character.

He is soft spoken, so when he does yell it makes more of an impact, he is a voice of reason and somewhat of a power player in Washington and during the course of the first season, his life sort of falls apart. Sorry(Spoilers ahead), stop reading here if you don't want to know, but in a show with lots of twists, this is one of the minor ones.

His wife of 25 years leaves him. It's quiet, no yelling, no hysterics, just the extreme sadness of two adults. She wants a husband who can be with her, is interested in what she loves and he wants a wife who is there for him when he needs her, but their needs do not line up. He loves her, because when she is in his life, he isn't lonely, but she is often lonely, because his job takes up so much of his life, which is shown perfectly in the first episode when he goes to pick her up from the airport and he gets called away and he has to take a cab home.

In a show where a lot of plot is a little over the top, life and death, this subplot, in it's understated and quiet way, was the perfect counterpoint. Saul, while being the backbone for everyone around him, sees his own life falling apart and no one really notices. Especially the main character who is caught up in the drama in her own life and job, and yet the relationship between Saul and Claire Danes doesn't change because she is not his backbone.

It's a fascinating relationship, and one of the many things the show does really well. Anyone else watched it? (Maureen has, and is the reason I watched it)


Eileen said...

We watched it and I was absolutely riveted by it. The tension of trying to figure out what was happening with Damian Lewis both on the outside and the inside was incredible. Claire Danes as the sanest crazy person in the room. Everything. It was amazing.

Maureen McGowan said...

What a fabulous analysis of Saul.

It's such a great show. They made me completely believe everything in all the storylines. Storylines which, if I listed them now, would sound ridiculous and hard to believe.

I love how they keep you guessing about the Damien Lewis character. Even now, after so much is revealed, I'm not sure what he's going to do or what he's thinking.

The motivations are so well set up.

I've got to think about this more. Or maybe have a few drinks with Sinead so she can help me figure it out... but I think the similarities and differences between the Danes and Lewis characters are fascinating too. He's hiding everything. So controlled. But when he does react to stuff it's super volatile and violent. And you have no idea what he's thinking. Ever. Her motivations and ideals are more straight forward... And she's reacting to everything all the time... But also very good at deception. Fascinating characters. Fascinating. Both the writing and acting in that show are so great.

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