Lunchtable TV Talk: Homeland


Not all shows are blessed with sheer perfection. In fact, most aren’t. Even the best shows have uneven episodes or seasons and threads or characters that don’t quite pan out.

One of the most uneven shows, Homeland, saw a revitalization last season as its troubled protagonist, Carrie (Claire Danes), left the CIA and worked in Berlin. Of course her path never strays far from her CIA officer life and its characters, even when she tried everything to escape. It’s part of who she is, even when she formed an identity and family life outside of it. The most recent season revived the show – and my interest – even if there were bits I did not care for (Carrie going off her meds again!)

If anything, this new life for Homeland, without Nicholas Brody and that whole mess with which Homeland was introduced to viewers, shows that you can’t really write some things off, even if they seem to have expired. After delivering a knockout punch with its first season, Homeland should probably have taken a different tack. It became progressively more difficult to deal with season by season until it reinvented itself with the last season. With an unbelievably talented cast, you just need some stellar storytelling to get back on track.

And, ultimately, as Carrie herself learns, you can go home again.

Now let’s see what Homeland’s fifth season, which will begin in early 2017, brings. (I realize I have/had nothing new to write about the show – it’s been written about and analyzed ad nauseam by professionals and others… and I don’t need to add to the cacophony. As usual, though, I am just cataloging my viewing experiences for my own sake.)