ON MY TELLY: Homeland

So this week i’ve had the rare opportunity to catch up on TV shows i’ve been missing out on, and on top of the ‘To Watch’ list was Homeland. Not being hugely into investigative dramas I was a bit skeptical about investing time to watch it. Also I thought the war hero theme had been done a trillion times. So my decision to watch homeland was purely on the fact that it was winning awards, which is not always the best thing to go by, and that I actually like both lead actors, Claire Danes and Damian Lewis.

Not to give away the whole plot to those missing out, but Sergeant Brody (Lewis) returns from Iraq, after eight years of being pronounced missing, to his wife and children. He is declared a war hero and has no qualms about living up to his public persona. CIA officer Carrie Mathison (Danes) has her eye on him and is led to believe that whilst captured in Iraq he has been converted into a terrorist and is planning an attack on the US.

There are many plot twists and turns, the first one being that Carrie is bipolar and this has been kept from the CIA as she will be dismissed instantly if known. Being devoted to her job, for Carrie dismissal is not an option. Carrie, sleeps, drinks and makes love to her job in every sense. Throughout the first few episodes Carrie and Sergeant Brody do not come into any physical contact and when they do, around episode five, let’s just say the drama is notched up a level. The tension from Carries’ part is addressed in a way that some viewers may have seen coming.

Homeland is very much character lead, which I feel sustains a long running series as we are invested in what will happen next to them. But it is evident that Danes, Lewis, Mandy Patinkin (who plays Saul, Carrie’s reluctant partner) and occasionally David Harewood (Carrie’s Boss) are the actors carrying the series along on their shoulders. It seems as if the other character’s remuneration is limiting their acting capability. Morena Baccarin plays Sergeant Brody’s wife Jessica and her character comes with her own sub-story. But I think she’s not invested in this story herself, causing her to maintain a smirky ‘i’m innocent’ expression on her face, no matter whether she’s angry, sad, happy, cheeky, it’s all the same. Which I think is a shame as the story she is given could have allowed her to be a great supporting actress.

I am now on episode seven and the conclusion of that episode was a shocker, and could lead foolish ones to believe that the main storyline has been resolved. But there is still five more episodes of season one to go (yes there is a season two), so I predict that episode eight will deliver another shocking twist at the end.

Get watching Homeland if you enjoy, high tension, reasonable amount of violence, subtle plot lines, Damian Lewis and occasional random sex.

Check out the trailer below.

ON MY TELLY: Beaver Falls

Channel 4 have broadcast a considerable amount of ground-breaking dramas. Some hilarious (Misfits), some gripping (Smallville) and some unrealistically dramatic (Skins). So as my time spent watching telly has fallen, I felt it was time to get up to speed and find a new show to focus on. So I gave Beaver Falls a trial run, and to write it off as flop is not a wholly fair judgement of it.

Beaver Falls allows you to believe this is a fluffy easy to digest comedy drama, and that is not far from the truth. Beaver Falls main protagonists are three Oxford Brookes graduates Flynn, A-Rab and Barry. They decide to head to Californian summer camp Beavers Falls for an experience of a lifetime, involving typical fun and frolics young men get up to.  As this is supposed to be a ‘comedy drama’ you would expect some laughs and some intriguing situations. But no! Beaver Falls fails to deliver strongly in these two genres. The clichés and stereotypes are perfectly conformed to. They have thrown in the group of uninteresting fat kids that get bullied, the stupid jocks, the group of guys that are a supposed to be different shades of cool.  The writers Iain Holland and Jack Lothian were probably aware that viewers will not eat up this much BS, so thats when they propably decided to throw in a far fetched bomb into the mix. ***Spoiler alert*** Sexy lead protagonist Flynn has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Cannot remember the illness, but it is what Stephen Hawkins has, only worse. This would make sense maybe in any other drama but the whole show is so blasé that it doesn’t appear as dramtic as they probably hoped for.

Beaver Falls’ cross continental cast initially appears intriguing, especially to see if the humour will be heavier on the Yanks or the Brits side. Instead the cast is full of drama school graduates/drop-outs that haven’t grasped the concept of subtly humour, outrageously crude humour or any kind of humour at all.

Despite not being wowed by Beaver Falls I continued onto episode two. It was marginally better than the pilot episode, as it appears that the actors have started to perform ever so slighty. But unfortunately it was far from gripping. They are just lucky that I am stuck at home sick , bored and that I hate not knowing what happens next.

Want to know what i’m yapping on about? You can catch it tonight on E4 at 9pm.

%d bloggers like this: