There is no room for argument: Showtime’s provocative and gut-wrenching psychological thriller Homeland is the best new show of the season.
Revolving around two very unreliable narrators engaged in a series of riveting mind games, Homeland explores an America 10 years after 9/11, surveying the damage done to both the national psyche and the central protagonists. Claire Danes plays Carrie Mathison, a CIA operative with both a mental illness and a troubling sense of personal guilt that she missed crucial intelligence prior to the Sept. 11 attacks; Damian Lewis (Life) plays soldier Nicholas Brody, a prisoner of war who returns home to a family that long thought him dead, and who may or may not have been turned into an enemy of the state during his eight-year captivity in Iraq.
The ratings for Homeland (Sundays at 10 p.m.), which aired its seventh episode (out of 12) this week, have sharply increased since the show launched in early October; if you look at its average audience on all platforms (4.1 million total viewers), Homeland becomes Showtime’s most successful freshman show ever. Loosely based on the Israeli series Prisoners of War, Homeland has already been renewed for a second season, amid nearly universal critical acclaim. Unlike the source material, a family drama focusing on two POWs returning home after 17 years, Showtime’s version balances familial drama with a provocative psychological thriller, according to co-creator/executive producer Howard Gordon (24).
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