Homeland Season One Blu-ray Review
the latest series to become a
home-run success for Showtime television. The series was created and is
produced by some of the writer's responsible for bringing to life Fox's
hit series 24 as longtime series writers. With more than four
tuning in every week during its first season, enormously positive
recognition, award wins at the Golden Globes (where the show brought
home two awards:
the Best Drama Television Series award and a Best Actress award for
and a new season premiering soon, this is definitely a show that
audience expectations and became one of the runaway hits discovered in
year's television season.
begins by introducing us to our leading hero: Carrie Mathison (Claire
CIA operative who is incredibly gifted, intelligent, hardworking, and
determined but who is divisive amongst the CIA operatives she works
a few minutes into the show, we witness what was a devastating last
Carrie to find out some information from an informant that she was
outside of the United States and prior to his death sentence being
The audience can hear whispers from the informant given to Carrie. Now
question has become what was told.
forward in the story and Carrie is attending a meeting in which she is
that a U.S. Marine was discovered alive after eight years of having
missing and following the government's declaration of his death. Carrie
remembers back to what was told to her by her informant, and we soon
that she was told a U.S. officer had turned and was working with Al
Qaeda as a
terrorist working against the United States government.
suspects Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis); the discovered-alive Marine
thought dead. She tells others around her about her theory and is shot
receives no official support of her theory regarding Brody. Upset over
Carrie decides to take matters into her own hands.
the help of a connected friend with the knowledge and skills needed to
begin her own investigation into the newly-declared wartime hero,
Brody. It becomes Carrie's full-time obsession to see to it that she
Brody, who she is determined to believe is a terrorist despite the fact
one around her seems to believe it. The question of the series then
this: is Brody a terrorist who was turned by Al Qaeda? And if
what happens next?
setup becomes even more complicated when Brody returns home to his wife
(Morena Baccarin) and his two children, Dana (Morgan Saylor) and Chris
Pace). The three of them deliver their welcoming's to the family member
all believed to be dead. The son, who is only around 12 years old,
hand to his father and says "Nice to meet you."
wife had begun seeing his old Marine friend Mike Faber (Diego
a year before his return. Jessica and Mike both leave Brody in the dark
their relationship (one that extended to Mike being a father figure to
-- especially to Chris). The newspapers and the media seek out the
this family believed perfect but that could be crumbling apart just as
are getting back together. If Brody truly is a terrorist what would
the family? What will happen if Brody discovers that Jessica and his
friend were sleeping together? The United States? The World?
many more questions are raised, and the show continues going down even
directions on top of everything else.
Carrie receives some long-term help from two people essential to her
to her well-being: her sister Maggie (Amy Hargreaves) and her mentor
father-figure that works with her in the CIA, Saul (Mandy Patinkin).
a doctor and she helps give Carrie pills off the record. Carrie is
doesn't want anyone at the CIA to know this about her, including Saul.
someone who is always looking out for Carrie. He is not the head of the
he is the one person that Carrie most frequently works with and looks
to for guidance
(not that she always listens to him though).
course of Season 1, audiences are asked many questions and none of them
easy to answer. The show is one part thriller, another part drama, and
part philosophical. It has enough ambition and craft to be a far more
character analysis than most series would even consider to attempt
of the story being told. Homeland is also surprisingly
thoughtful, with enough
depth and knowledge from the writing staff to handle the complex
heart of this show is a story about damaged people in need of a serious
help-line. It is a show with a beating heart, a fascinating mind, and a
say about people and not only with politics in mind. It is especially
and compelling because of the performance by Claire Danes, who connects
the various elements of the show by being the solid foundation that
remarkable series needed to thrive.
thing about the show? The acting and the characters trumps everything
offers. Which is saying something notable... especially considering how
single aspect of this show is intelligent and well done from every
the series production and creation. Carrie is an undeniably compelling
character that you can't help but become drawn to while watching the
Claire Danes delivers an incredible performance: one of the best on TV.
disappoints in her performance. However, for the show to truly excel in
way possible the dynamic character of Carrie needed a match of intrigue
Lewis also does incredible work as the war-vet who is believed as a
turned terrorist. His character is well-written, and he brings a lot of
to the role. Few actors manage to bring so much emotion to their
characterizations by saying so little. The writers clearly wanted to
audiences guessing about him because the character was really hard
and the story made two possible scenarios seem possible: one exists in
wartime victim and hero returns home but suffers: post-traumatic stress
disorder. The other suggests that he did, in fact, become a terrorist
working against the United States. It makes for compelling television
in a way
that few shows could ever manage.
also impressed by the performance by Mandy Patinkin. Most viewers
remember Patinkin best for his role in The Princess Bride ("Hello.
name is Inigo
Montoya. You killed
my father. Prepare to die.") At
least that is the number one role I always remembered a young Patinkin
bringing to life. This part is unlike anything else I have seen him in.
Sal's a complex character.
He has his own crisis with his falling apart marriage and he has taken
role of responsibility in making sure to take care of Carrie when she
him. He has such a likeable character. He is gentle and sweet-natured
in a way
almost no one does on this series.
The writing on Homeland is so good. So very, very good. If the plot
you in (and something tells me there's a good chance the plot will draw
audiences in) the characters will. Something about this show is
together perfectly in the debut season that it's easily become one of
series I have seen in quite some time. You will be wondering about
is going on with this show every single episode. You will wonder about
characters. It is so dramatically compelling that it is easily one of
for-adults series currently airing on television.
To make matters even
better for this show's success,
Homeland has the
benefit of some excellent direction, including the outstanding work of
Michael Cuesta (Dexter), who I
am willing to proclaim as one of television's best.
He has an interesting way of directing the series and the series feels
polished in terms of camera-work (framing), performances, and pacing.
This is a
series with a grace pace and it works because of how well everyone in
production crew has gelled together in the process so well.
The music by composer
Sean Callery (24, Medium) is jazz infused and
anything that is expected. Yet it works. It seems perfectly suited for
kinds of characters and themes that become explored on the show. The
by Nelson Cragg is remarkable and yet it doesn't draw anything away
focus of the show: the characters. As I said, I am quite impressed by
entire team that works on this show.
Homeland is one
of the most ambitious and engaging series to premiere in the past
It is going to be difficult for the series to actually live up to the
that the audience likely has. I would image that most fans of the
say they have massive expectations for season two. At least, I know
that I do
and that I am now looking forward to seeing where this show heads to
its course. Homeland is
brilliant television. It is unlike anything else on TV right now. It is
that deserves to win the Emmy, and that deserves the attention of
everywhere. We are truly in a golden age of television as creative and
televisions series like Homeland arrive
on the airwaves.
presented in its broadcast aspect ratio of
1.78:1. This is the standard widescreen ratio given to most modern
While the series may not have a 2.35:1 scope, it has apparently done
affect the cinematic and expansive nature of the series visual eye,
cinematography, and elaborate production aspects. The sets on this show
incredible and having the Blu-ray presentation is preferred to seeing
in the best resolution that is possible. While Homeland may
not have the
kind of flawless picture quality a Hollywood motion-picture might have
certainly be pleased to know that it joins the ranks of the absolute
presentations given to any television series.
impressive picture quality is the dynamic and crystal clear 5.1 DTS-HD
Audio presentation. The series is presented in English (but
languages are spoken, and these moments may or may not be subtitled
whether or not the writers want us to have a good idea of what is going
on in those
isn't an action series. It has moments of intensity but it never
action show. Don't expect a lot of scenes with dramatic bass levels or
action pieces. However, the audio is great as preserving not only the
score, but all of the surrounding environmentally based sounds and the
occasional action element. Homeland
has an amazing lossless presentation in the audio department.
are presented in English SDH (for the deaf and hard of hearing),
release does not contain a plethora of supplemental features, the bonus
features would be worth checking out for dedicated series fans
learning more about the making of this series. Here is a breakdown on
included: Commentary on the Pilot Episode,
Week Ten: A Prologue to Season Two; a
brief scene that takes place after the events the finale, and deleted
spanned across the discs and for various episodes. For the most part
seemed pretty clear they were deleted because they impacted the stories
way the writers decided not to have happen or they simply weren't as
one more inclusion: Homeland Season One:
Under Surveillance is easily the best supplement included on this
Clocking in at a little over 30 minutes long, this is an engaging
with information on how the show was pitched, created, scored, filmed,
more. There are interviews with several of the writers, producers,
directors, the composer, cinematographer, etc. and each aspect of the
manages successfully to give more information on the show's creation.
fascinating to learn specifically what brought on the idea to make
Carrie a bipolar
character and to have the performance background information on how
Danes prepared for the part. If any complaint can be made about this
it's that it was so fascinating to hear the individuals responsible for
making Homeland talk about it, that I wished it
big at the Golden Globes and it
deserves to win at the Emmys. This show is unlike anything else
airing on television. It is ambitious, it is intelligent, and it is
provoking. You will be fascinated by these characters and by where the
is heading every episode. This is television that is not to be missed
interested in a compelling thriller and a well-told drama. Homeland
is one of the best new series. Period.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.