Monday, January 21, 2013

THE NEW YORKER's Emily Nussbaum on the artistic implosion of HOMELAND.

Excerpted from Emily Nussbaum's "On Television" article TRIGGER-HAPPY in the January 21, 2013 issue of THE NEW YORKER (much of the article is about the FX series JUSTIFIED):
"As I watched "Justified"'s narrative expand and contract, it was hard not to think of Showtime's espionage thriller "Homeland," which just ended a disastrous second season.  The show's original twelve episodes were a mini-masterpiece, a propulsive scenario paired with a reasonably thoughtful exploration of U.S. policy on torture and drones.  The second season began well, but it imploded into schlock--the creators had fallen in love with the chemistry between their stars [Claire Danes as CIA agent Carrie and Damian Lewis as U.S. soldier-turned-terrorist-turned-double-agent Brody].  When a bomb went off in the finale, it killed every corrupt or shady character, a convenient metaphor for the show's problems: it had been purged of complexity, a side effect of success.  The surviving ensemble--Carrie and Brody, Brody's family, Mike, Saul, and Quinn--were now cursed with, at worst, the flaws of the antihero: brilliant but unstable, willing to break rules in the name of justice.  That's not an original story, let alone an interesting way to examine foreign policy."

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