Homeland II Hits Home With Critics

Which TV character is based on Chicken Little and Fox Mulder?

None other than Homeland’s Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes, above).

That’s according to the creators of the Emmy-winning drama, which returns for its second season on Monday (TV3, 8.35).

In an interview with the New York Times, Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa cite other influences, including: The Lives of Others, Parallax View, Three Days of the Condor, Rear Window, Graham Greene’s “Heart of the Matter” and all the John Le Carré books.

Gordon also describes the evolution of Nicholas Brody’s character as “a kind of Rorschach test for everyone involved from the studio to the network to Alex and me”.

Moreover, USA Today reveals had the producers had their way, Brody’s bomb would have detonated at the end of season one and actor Damian Lewis would be off to another project “as they ‘reset’ the show for a second season.

“At least that was the early plan until Showtime nixed it, insisting that at its core, Homeland was about the relationship between Brody and Mathison.”

USA Today reckons Homeland starts “its new season as brilliantly as it ended the last one … Don’t even think about missing it” while the Los Angeles Times said it “resonates more than metaphorically with current events and common concerns.

“Given the extravagances of the plot and the characters, that it feels plausibly seated in the real world is a testament to everyone involved in its production.”

Arguably the most apt observation of Homeland’s appeal is the New York Times’: “It’s smart in almost a European cinema way, but also just television-dumb enough to be enjoyable …

“To stay creative, Homeland has to pry even deeper into its entwined and deeply damaged main characters without burning out their mystery.

“To hold momentum — and postpone a denouement for a dozen episodes (and into future seasons) — the narrative has to take ever more preposterous turns and plump up implausible villains.

“Not as much as 24, perhaps, but at least half as much: 12. Success lies in finessing the extremes. Luckily, the first few episodes do just that.”

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