Friday, November 09, 2012

Homeland - A master class in writing

Ok, so I'm seriously fangirling Homeland this season. For so many reasons. The acting, Claire Danes and Damien Lewis are incredible. Danes can telegraph so many diverse emotions without saying a word, and they are so clear and heartbreaking a lot of the time.

It has Mandy Patinkin, which is always a great thing and he's marvellous as well, and it has, and I'm going out on a limb here, the best writing on television right now.


Conflict - external - a CIA agent who is convinced based on very, very small cues that a returning war hero is a terrorist. No one believes her.

The war hero is a terrorist, but his reasons are compelling.

Internal conflict - she's falling in love with the war hero/ terrorist
she's the only person he can relax around so he's falling in love as well.

Internal conflict - she's bi-polar and heavily medicated to keep her disease in check, but is brilliant. When her illness is discovered and her investigation is discredited, she relapses and no longer trusts herself or her decisions.

Every scene has so much tension and conflict, even the little ones where the war hero is at home, trying to rediscover his place amongst his family, while lying to them about almost everything. Anywhere they can they create more tension, while making us care for everyone, even the bad guy.

It's a master class in crafting tension and conflict and creating sympathetic characters who do really bad things and while we're always rooting for Carrie, we're sometimes rooting for Brody. And, as the last two episodes have proven, they're not afraid to blow up their fictional world and change the rules of the game.

It's truly amazing. Anyone else watching it?


Maureen McGowan said...

I love it so much. Danes and Lewis are both astounding. And such contrasts to each other. He's always so guarded. She can be when she needs to be... but when she's not, she's like a raw nerve, every thought projected and committed to 100%.

I think that's one reason why I buy her as a spy so well... I think because we see Danes being such a great actress, we believe that Carrie is also a great actress when she needs to be.

This season went to places in the first couple of episodes that I thought it would take a few seasons to get to. Impressed me to no end. I only hope it doesn't get one note now... It will be had to live up to that first season, that's for sure.

Eileen said...

OMG! Yes yes yes! I think it's amazing! I think they did an incredible job of making Brody sympathetic although I'm starting to get irritated with his wife.

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