XIPHOS vs HOMELAND

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I am of two minds about this Showtime original program. On one hand, it’s a somewhat entertaining show with some decent acting and occasionally good writing. On the other hand, there are some major league boners that would be easy to fix if the writers cared enough to fix the issues (more on this down below). There are also some stupendously bad choices made by the writing staff and a retardedly outlandish and preposterous “twist” that is monumentally stupid and insulting. Further, the show got a tongue bath by nerds and online critics so that makes it suspicious in my book since a majority of online nerds and critics have shit smeared where their taste buds should be.

So basically the purpose of this post is me working out if I like the show or not because I haven’t been able to figure that out just thinking about it. I finished the 12 episode run like a month ago and I’m still trying to sort my feelings out over Homeland so I decided to write this up which I really wasn’t planning on doing. I hope by the end of it I finally pick a side, we’ll see if that happens.

One last piece of business before I begin, in order for me to write this I will need to go into MAJOR SPOILER territory. If you were planning on watching this and want to go in fresh and unsullied please skip this post. There is no way I can write this article without dropping major spoilers along the way. You have been properly warned, no crying.

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BACKGROUND INFO: Homeland is based on an Israeli TV show called Hatufim (Abducted). I would like to say I know something about it but the wiki page is in Hebrew and I couldn’t figure out how to translate it so I got nothing.

In the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003, a Marine Sniper team consisting of Sgt Nicolas Brody (Damian Lewis) and Cpl Tom Walker (Chris Chalk) somehow get captured (BS, Marine snipers are virtually impossible to stop) and turned over to an Iraqi Al Qaeda cell and kept in captivity for 8 years. Well, Brody was kept for 8 years. During that time in captivity and while breaking and turning Brody, chief terrorist Abu Nazir (Navid Negahban) had Brody allegedly beat Walker to death. I say allegedly because he didn’t, it was a two prong operation they convinced Walker to turn by making him think Brody turned on him. Walker is the second part of a stupidly and retardedly complex operation that would be impossible to carry off but again more on that later.

Jump forward 8 years and we meet CIA operative Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) frantically driving through the insane traffic of Baghdad trying to get to an Iraqi prison to save an asset from an off the books operation she has been running from being killed by the Iraqis. Mathison has been lying to her boss and bribing everybody she can think to in order to get inside the prison to talk to her asset because he has info about a possible attack on American soil by Abu Nazir. Unfortunately all Mathison was able to get before prison guards take her away is that “an American POW has been turned”. Due to all her actions that caused a diplomatic incident, Carrie is stood down from field work and forced to work desk job as an analyst at Langley. One day 10 months later she watches a live feed of a Delta Force raid on what they thought was Abu Nazir’s safe house. He isn’t there but they manage to recover Nicolas Brody and now the game is afoot Watson! and Carrie thinks she’s onto something.

At first she tries to go through channels the right way by going to her former boss and mentor Saul Berinson (Mandy Patinkin), chief of the Middle East desk and then her current boss David Estes (David Harewood), the Director of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center to get surveillance put on Brody. Of course she gets shut down since Brody is now considered a hero for surviving for so long and is treated as such. So off the books she goes again with the help of Virgil (and amusing and droll turn by David Marciano) a CIA contract agent that specializes in eyes on and video surveillance. He, Carrie and Virgil’s younger brother Max wire up Brody’s house, except for the garage which serves a dumb plot point so Brody can pray to Mecca and do nefarious things, for sound and visuals and begin to covertly follow Brody around.

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To save time I’m going to go general here. Carrie manages to get a FISA warrant to temporarily cover her activity but then begins to doubt she is right about Brody and then she bangs him. There are several episodes of is he or isn’t he a bad guy, family interactions most notably with the space hooker from FireFly nuding it up. Meanwhile, Tom Walker pops back up as the”bad” guy out to assassinate Vice President Walden (The Walking Dude himself, Jamey Sheridan) , who was the former head of the CIA that ordered a drone strike on Abu Nazir that killed 80 kids including Nazir’s son, Issa, that Brody was close to. They also managed to cover up the death toll up somehow. I guess they live in the world of endless possibilities. In reality it would be on Al Jazeera and/or the Democratic National Committee’s rent boi propaganda arm known as Corporate media in about five minutes because Iraqis in general, and the ones that live in Baghdad specifically, are quite net savvy and skilled at propaganda. The death of Issa was the final straw that broke Brody and he joined the mission to kill Walden. Oh and did I mention that Walden was pushing Brody to take run for a House of Representative seat of a recently disgraced Congressman who got nailed for emailing penis shots to interns? Yeah that’s in there also.

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The Good: Almost all of the acting was great in Homeland with Danes, Lewis, Patinkin and Marciano doing exceptionally strong work. Also I would say Morgan Saylor, the actress that plays Brody’s snotty and somewhat suspicious daughter, did some good work in what could have been an annoying throw away role. Also in some places the writing was strong especially in the areas of Brody’s reaction to being back and the family dynamic. Some of the intel parts were well handled especially the politics that go with it. Unfortunately it was also equally bad in a lot of ways but again more on that in a moment. Lastly I would praise the space hooker for getting naked a lot. It distracted from the fact that she isn’t a very good actress but since she got her cans out, I’m putting her in the good section.

The Bad: The the plan to kill the VP like I noted above is convoluted and retarded since at the time of Issa’s death, 2 years before, he wasn’t even on the ticket. Is Nazir so arrogant to believe his operant conditioning of Brody and Walker would hold when they got home so they would carry out their mission? He let them run around without much oversight. How would Brody get next to Walden before they knew he was the VP to suicide vest himself and Walden? Speaking of that let me get this straight. The bomb maker is good enough to build a vest that doesn’t set off bomb detectors and bomb dogs (and the Secret Service doesn’t pat down Brody? I call shenanigans on that BS) but can’t build a switch that works? Yeah go fuck yourself writers you cheap hacks. Walker infiltrating a building as his primary firing position by riding in the backseat of a car driving through a security cordon that checked the trunk, the undercarriage and a guy looking inside that doesn’t shine a flashlight in the backseat at night? I guess since Walker is black he’s invisible? Is that a special darkie power writers? You racists pricks, go fuck yourselves. Also writers, you worthless cockbags, if you had to create a scene with Walker putting both Brody and the VP in the crosshairs of a scope for a dramatic purposes then NOT pulling the trigger illustrates the idea that the entire plan is fucking overly complicated and relied on way too many things breaking your way to be even remotely plausible. Kill the dude and be done, don’t look for a some symbolic horseshit of killing Walden via suicide bomber. Christ on a fucking crutch you assholes make my head hurt.

Gigantic personal pet peeves that took me right out of the show: Throughout the show Brody lets anybody and everybody, including himself, refer to him as a “soldier”. NO FUCKING WAY THAT WOULD HAPPEN. Brody is a United States Marine and earned the title of Marine in Boot. There is no way he would refer to himself let alone condone anybody else calling him a soldier. I don’t care if he’s a Manchurian fucking candidate he wouldn’t let that happen. It goes to show that the writers know nothing about the Marine Corps, never served a day in uniform nor talked to any Marines while writing that garbage.

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USMC Captain Mike Faber Brody’s friend and cuckold: Hey writers explain to me how this works. If Mike was enlisted with Brody in 2003, how is he a captain in 2011? Even if we assume his enlistment ended in 2004 and he already graduated college (a prerequisite for commissioning and a big IF at that) and you factor in the time it takes for pre-commissioning and then OCS, the timeline doesn’t work. If he got out, went to college, then got commissioned, then the timeline really doesn’t work. If he was Brody’s Platoon Commander then the friendship is at best questionable and timewise impossible. If you are on the ball in this here new fangled war footing Marine Corps of ours, you move up fairly quickly because of how much we have grown in size. At 8-9 years Faber should probably be a Major or on the promotion list. dead weight doesn’t last anymore. Plus the dude was banging Brody’s old lady and raising his kids for 8 years and Brody just shrugs it off after socking him once in the chops? No way. Fuck off you effeminate balless wonder writers.

Brody’s ever changing rank insignia: In 2003 Nicolas Brody was a Sergeant (E5 3 stripes) in the Marines. For surviving captivity for 8 years he was meritoriously promoted to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant (E7 3 up 2 down) yet on his Blue Dress A’s and once on his Alphas he was sporting E5 rank and only one service stripe? GTFOOH with that weak ass shi-ite. No way that would happen. That’s just pure laziness from the production staff and frankly insulting. If they care that little about small things how little do they care about big things?

My Biggest issue with Homeland: it’s the majorly stupid “twist” of shamalamadingdong size dumbfuckness If you don’t want to know bailout now!

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Claire Danes character has bipolar disorder, it runs in her family, her dad has it. Her sister, who is conveniently a psychiatrist (fuck off “writers”), has been treating her on the down low with psych meds, Mathison on her own has been self medicating with booze and whoring around. This twist is incredibly dumb. There is absolutely no way the CIA doesn’t know. They keep a tight leash on their government paycheck operatives. They piss and blood test them like every month looking for everything, steroids, street drugs, weed and heavy duty anti-psychotic meds. Plus they do invasive background checks not just on a candidate for employment but on their families and a father that is bi-polar would have been a giant red flag. It was for me in both the Army and Marines and their checks aren’t nearly as extensive as the CIA. This twist/storyline reeks of work shopping and writers being smart ass smarmy fucksticks that live in a Hell A bubble. Asshole hack cocksucker writers I hope you all get ass cancer for being that talentless and still working. Fucking Hollywood is creatively bankrupt if losers like this and Orci and Kurtzman still get work.

END SPOILERS

Final Analysis: Now that I have written this I have come to the conclusion that once again the Nerds are fucking wrong, they suck and deserve to get beaten on a regular basis. Hollywood shouldn’t listen to them or critics. Homeland, while it does have good acting, really isn’t a good show in fact it’s pretty bad and it can kiss my black Irish ass.

Xiphos
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70 responses to “XIPHOS vs HOMELAND”

  1. Jarv says :

    This series is shit. Danes is terrible, the plot is overly complex and suimultaneously moronic and it is completely overwritten.

    • Xiphos0311 says :

      I agree with everything you said Jarv except for the part about My So Called Life I thought she was pretty good. Other then that dead on.

      • Jarv says :

        I’ve only seen the first 3 episodes all the way through and a bit of the one where they shag in the cabin. She was fucking awful in the first episode, although I will give you that she got better in 2 and 3.

        Oh, and “rape” scene in the first episode? What the fuck? Get out of here with that.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        there was a rape scene in the first ep? Huh I don’t remember that.

      • Jarv says :

        She goes to seduce him and then he goes out of control on her.

        Danes is watching while she cries as he fucks her.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        She who? one of the hookers that Danes asset was running?

      • Jarv says :

        Ginger guy’s wife.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        Oh yeah that’s right right. I don’t particularly see that as rape. its more like the enormous pressure he was under combined with guilt and POW issues and thinking, at that point, he had killed Walker plus being home left him fucked up.

        Its one of the myriad of reason why the plan was so stupid too much had to happen right for it even have a chance of working and Brody was just to messed up to be relied upon as we see in the finale.

      • Jarv says :

        Aside from the shit writing, it was severely unpleasant to watch.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        yeah I agree. The boring static shots were sun DTV quality along with the bad writing really killed any momentum they show tried to get going.

  2. Droid says :

    I may watch a few eps of this at some stage, so I’ve skipped the review. But I got the sentiment. Funny how the internets work. I’ve seen nothing but positives about the show, and then you and Jarv poo poo it. I now don’t know what to think.

    • Xiphos0311 says :

      the internet is usually wrong since the nerds get together and boost their non-existent self esteem by felating each other by acting like they “know” something is good when it isn’t.

      • Jarv says :

        Ignore the hype on it. Don’t watch it.

        It’s horribly overwritten. It adds nothing to the story that she’s mentally ill and they try to stuff a stupid twist into every single fucking episode. Inigo Montoya is good, as is ginger british guy, but that’s not enough to watch it.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        can’t disagree…

  3. tombando says :

    Never heard of it. Will google the space hooker though. Doent sound all that great. Did Harold spooge over it?

  4. Bartleby says :

    I’ve never seen this show, although I always meant to, as I like Danes (mostly for My So Called Life. The plot didnt interest me much, mostly because H-wood has a track record for destroying this kind of thing or just making stuff up. Bi-polar sounds like a crappy writers concoction to make Danes more interesting or give her built-in inner conflict.

    • Xiphos0311 says :

      the bi-polar things is dumb beyond all belief. Even Shaymaln looked at it and said really, WTF were you thinking with this horseshit? There is a so much wrong with this show, so so much.

    • Jarv says :

      Bi-polar sounds like a crappy writers concoction to make Danes more interesting or give her built-in inner conflict.

      That’s exactly what it is.

  5. kloipy says :

    Great as always Xi. This show really is not on my radar at all. Heard it was good, but not really my thing, so this cements that I won’t be watching it.

    Though, I still think you’re wrong about Breaking Bad 😉

  6. ThereWolf says :

    Nice one, Xi.

    I am aware of this series, seen the posters around (didn’t recognise Danes) – but it sounds like a miss. So I’ll miss.

    Although I would like to check out the space hooker…

    Actually just finished the last couple of ‘Firefly’ episodes. Enjoyed the series; shame it got canned before they couldn’t finish it properly.

    • Xiphos0311 says :

      Probably a good idea Wolf. The sad thing is that there is actually a half decent program buried amonst the mess. It peeps out from time to time to tickle your fancy then gets buried under an usntoppable wave of shit because the writers were weak and didn’t trust themselves or their idea.

      Glad you like it.

  7. Xiphos0311 says :

    I sort of lean the other way with Fire fly cancelling made it into the mythological. It was all ready showing signs of strain and they blew through all the western tropes in the first 13 eps. The movie wrapped it up nicely I thought.

    • ThereWolf says :

      See, I think there’s too much of a jump between the movie and the series; the River & Book characters had a lot more play in them – their arcs were heading somewhere, you could see it starting to develop.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        Yeah I agree with that about Book he was probably going to an operative like what’s his face from the movie.

        River I think they wrapped her up well they explained what was wrong how she got so bent and her powers.

      • ThereWolf says :

        Yeh, it felt like she was just getting started. Couple of episodes back she shot a few people (which pointed the way to the movie version of her) & the last episode I watched she outwits a bounty hunter.

        I just thought – ‘there’s more story here…’ Wanted to see more of the weird guys searching for her.

        Book, interesting character but I don’t think the writing ever got to grips with him. They were still feeling their way with him…

    • koutchboom says :

      I’ve always said some hyped up show that is a ratings failure is better off getting cancelled. Case in point Community, while never a great show…it had a few hits. BUT THEN the whole bru ha ha of it getting cancelled and the dorks went into a panic….luckily it wasn’t cancelled but jesus christ has it been fucking awful since it came back. HAD it just been cancelled dorks through the rest of their lives could have reminisced about the greatness of the show they THINK it could’ve been or become. BUT now we can see that yeah it really just blew.

  8. koutchboom says :

    Also this show never interested me. First off they don’t allow gingers into the military, secondly dudes fucking Non American I would never be able to take it seriously.

  9. tombando says :

    Yeah this doesn’t sound that good, Claire Danes is a good actor but some of these plot twists are not great. As for ignoring what the nerd herd sez, well thats actually a good idea. Remember they catered Scott Pilgrim, Snakes on a Plane and Turdmen to said audience. And we saw how that turned out.

    • Xiphos0311 says :

      as always The Bando is a voice of reason.

      • Jarv says :

        Half the problem is that a lot of Danes stuff in it feels like it’s begging for an award- the embarrassing scene with her blaming herself for 9/11 for example.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        Ah yes thanks for reminding me of that I meant to mention that little nugget but forgot.

      • Jarv says :

        Wouldn’t like to let it slip…

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        yeah I meant to talk about it in relation to the bi-polar issue.

      • Jarv says :

        I actually take issue with the whole menatally ill thing. It’s either award bait, or a crass piece of writing in an attempt to give her a quirky character.

        Or, even worse, they’re trying to imply that everyone in the security services is a bit nuts. Which is insulting.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        yeah that little twist was just fucking stupid it reeks of smartassedness and writers being complete untalented assholes.

      • Jarv says :

        I tend to think it was award bait. Or at least I hope it was, and I put the “I couldn’t stop 9/11” speech into that context. It’s clearly begging for an Emmy or whatever.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        Yeah award bait or that the writers being hacks and thinking that dumb ass idea would get them an award.

      • Toadkillerdog says :

        Thanks for the heads-up Xi, I shall avoid this, even though I had not heard of it in the first place!

        Did he really allow himself to be called a “soldier”?

        I do not get fired up by most of the common mistakes hollywood makes concerning the military because it can come off as pednatic and picayune, but if you are going to identify your main character as a By God U.S. Marine, then you damn sure better know that he aint no dumb ass soldier

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        yep several characters including the Marine used the word soldier. It was annoying more so because there was 5 or 6 Marines watching it and throwing shit at the TV. Then it became a running a joke.

  10. Col. Tigh-Fighter says :

    Well I enjoyed it. But I have questionable taste.

    PS. Love the sites new look. I’ll pop in more, but work has been hectic of late

    • Jarv says :

      Cheers Col-

      How’s it been, anything interesting on the horizon?

      • Col. Tigh-Fighter says :

        All high-brow stuff Jarv, I’m doing the Keith Lemon Film pickups from tomorrow. So filming in a strip club with topless glamour models tomorrow, which will also feature a “wall of arses”. Then on weds, Kelly Brook will suck asparagus suggestively, and Keith will make a vagina out of mash potato and stick a sausage in it. In the afternoon, we will shoot enough jizz (made from egg whites) to blow a calender of Kelly off the wall.

        Classy stuff 😉

        Otherwise ads and videos. Did Rupert Wainwrights last vid with Helena Bonham Carter (totally ace bird!), then a Nokia ad. After Keith Lemon straight onto a Playstation ad. So 2012 is finally kicking off for me.

        Hope life is treating you grand. Love the new look over here. I hope to get online more in a couple of weeks /

      • Jarv says :

        Keith Lemon? Yikes, I don’t think I’ve ever sat through a whole one.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        that’s a bit of a waste isn’t it? Although you would work right through and not get distracted much unlike the other members of the crew.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        Oh and who is Keith lemon?

      • Col. Tigh-Fighter says :

        lol. Possibly a waste. Im not a total homo though, so I could enjoy myself 😀 We shall see. I dont usually find that Page 3 type girl attractive though.

        Keith Lemon is a creation of tv comedian Leigh Francis. Spoofs celebrity culture and crap like that. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Lemon

        The main part of the film (which was filmed in Belfast and I didnt do) had Vern Troyer and The Hoff in it. So you can judge the caliber of the film.

        http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2147365/

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        aren’t the page 3 girls sort of regular looking with big juggs? I’m trying to remember.

      • Jarv says :

        No. They tend to look fake and whatnot, also most aren’t actually attractive. The more natural ones can be, but it’s not guaranteed.

        The phenomena is mostly dead now- the Internet killed it, and the last copy of the Sun I bought didn’t have a page 3 girl.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        Ah OK that’s right they are overly processed, thanks.

      • Jarv says :

        For the most part, yes. They’re mostly an 80’s phenomenon (that’s when the “superstar” ones were) that still kind of goes on.

        Jordan was a page 3 originally, I think.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        oh yeah her talk about fake from head to toe.

      • Jarv says :

        In a way, I kind of admire her, for making a shit load of cash with no obvious talent. However, she’s freakishly over plasticised now.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        there are a whole boat load of no talents that seem to be able to print money by being marginally attractive and relentless self promoters. More power to them I wish i could do it.

      • Jarv says :

        She’s apparently quite bright in reality, and pretends to be thick as fuck as part of the persona. Now she’s getting a bit past it, allegedly she wants referring to by her actual name rather than what she describes as a part.

        Allegedly, she’s a very astute businesswoman.

      • Jarv says :

        being marginally attractive and relentless self promoters

        Paging Madonna. Except she was never marginally attractive.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        Madonna looks like Gollum now. She’s just one utterance of the words “my preciousssss” from completing the transformation.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        So this Keith lemon thing is a Borat like deal? reading about him the character sounds like a twat.

    • Xiphos0311 says :

      The show is like Clair Danes character in that its bi-polar and Mostly its on the down cycle but when it goes toward the up its a decent show. the thing that bugs me is most of its issues, except for the bi-polar nonsense which is aggressively stupid, is its just so lazy.

    • Xiphos0311 says :

      it’s not questionable people like what they like. I just happened to not like it much past the acting and certain parts of the story. The twist really bothered me.

      • Jarv says :

        It was the Bipolar shit that got me. You’re right, aggressively stupid.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        yeah that and him letting people call him a soldier without jumping down their throats were the two issues that really got me. It magnified in my mind all the other problems in the show. Oh and the nerd love automatically makes me question its worth.

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