‘Homeland’ turns 10 – Remember the award-winning spy series

Showtime’s success reaped awards and made Claire Danes one of the great actresses of American television

In another text published by the author, whose theme was the evolution of spy cinema, it was discussed how much this type of work dialogues a lot with the time in which it is made. Indeed, the subject of espionage is closely linked to an individual’s natural mistrust of another as well as to more serious problems such as public safety and his vulnerability to attacks by malicious people.

Read also: From James Bond to Jason Bourne – Know the history of espionage in the cinema

Around 2011, a subject like terrorism was still arousing fear and, above all, the interest of the world population and more particularly of the North American population. After all, that year there were attacks like the ones in Norway, in which more than sixty people died in different places.

Another notion potentiated at this time was that of the covert operations of groups like the CIA, in which they operated in any corner of the world, represented by soldiers and spies; the discovery and eventual death of Osama bin Laden in the same year by the Special Operations Forces (JSOCs) rekindled public interest in this type of issue that had not been seen since the Cold War.

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Released the year following the operation, “The Darkest Hour” was heavily influenced by the episode

In this way around 2010 Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon started discussing a new project. The two had already worked together years before on another program whose proposal was almost identical, the idolatrous 24 Horas. Officially, they had the Israeli series Hatufim 2010 as a source of information, which chronicles the return of a soldier to his home after a long period of negotiations between the kidnappers and the government.

Upon his return, he immediately showed how unaccustomed he was to this reality, as well as the various other consequences of the period of imprisonment and torture to which he had been subjected. His behavior soon raises suspicion that he may have turned to the enemy and was now an undercover agent. This summary works great for Hatufim and Homeland, but also for the movie Under the Domain of Evil.

While he won’t publicly admit it, it’s very hard not to imagine that Jonathan Demme’s 2004 film – along with the 1962 original and Richard Condon’s book – didn’t have to. everything served as inspiration. Like the two series, the plot is about a soldier who is kidnapped during an operation in the Gulf / Korean War and is brainwashed. In this way, on his return, he is greeted as a hero and the doors of politics open naturally.

The plot about a eventually converted hero was the north of the early seasons

Anyway, from the start of production, the first name to be confirmed was Claire Danes as protagonist Carrie Mathison. The Danes were until then a household name in cinema even without having a franchise or series to which he could merge his name. In 1996, she starred with Leonardo DiCaprio in the drama Romeo + Juliet and in 2007 the adventure Stardust – which is based on the story of the same name written by Neil Gaiman.

The way Homeland’s story was thought out and transmitted, especially in its early seasons, conjures up a very similar rhythm to 24-hour (although it doesn’t copy the countdown tool) to keep it alive. urgency of the threat of an imminent terrorist attack even during moments of pure dialogue.

In fact, the moments of action throughout the series are punctual because rare but it is only because they are here the apogee of a tension built in the preceding episodes only through the dialogue of the characters. The series doesn’t treat the action scenes as a staple at the end of each episode, as seen in most crime series.

The moments of action at Homeland are punctual and very well worked out

At the same time, the program for a time came under criticism for how they represented the Muslim community, mostly associating them very much with the villainous forces. Not for nothing, in 2017 (when the show was in its sixth season), lawyer Ramzi Kassem was invited to act as a consultant. The person who provides legal defense for detainees at Guantánamo has been tasked with helping producers to give more nuance to the Muslim characters in the series.

The show aired between 2011 and 2020; in the meantime, it garnered several accolades from specialist and public critics, primarily in its first seasons, in addition to winning Golden Globes and Emmys both as Best Drama Series and for the performance of Claire Danes. In addition, the show accumulates an impressive number of nominations for the mentioned awards and others like the BAFTA and the Directors Guild of America.

Homeland is the type of program that has been able to combine moments of very competent writing, mainly involving the technical jargon used by the CIA and the form of surveillance, with moments of surgical action; nothing is used en masse and managers know when to use each element to create the necessary tension.

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