“Homeland” debuted last October on Showtime and immediately garnered rave reviews across the board. It went on to win the Golden Globe Award in 2011 for Best Television Series – Drama; a well deserved award. Unfortunately for me, I was way behind the curve and didn’t get a chance to check it out until our review copy showed up last week. Usually when it comes to reviewing TV shows for the site, I’ve already seen the full season on my own so I just have to go back and check out a couple episodes to see the quality, and then blaze through the special features, but with “Homeland” I hadn’t seen an episode so in order to do this review justice I had to watch the whole season… in 10 days.
The show starts off with a bang, Claire Danes plays Carrie Mathison, a CIA operations officer who gets reprimanded for an unauthorized operation in Iraq and is re-assigned to an office job at the CIA Headquarters. Before she was brought back from Iraq she obtained information about an American P.O.W. who had been compromised by Al Queda. Shortly after returning to the US, word comes in that Nicholas Brody, a Marine Prisoner of War, was found alive in Iraq and is being brought home. She immediately assumes that Sergeant Brody is the turned P.O.W. that her source was referring to, yet her superiors put him up on a pedestal and portray him as a war hero. Determined, Carrie sets out to prove that Brody is the person her source warned her about, but she can’t seem to dig up enough evidence for anyone to listen to her.
That’s all I’m going to tell you about the show, because you will absolutely murder me if I told you any more. I will say that there are a few episodes near the beginning/middle that drag a little bit, but the final couple episodes make up for all of that. I have never been more immersed in a season finale episode than I was with “Homeland”. My wife came home as the last 30 minutes of the finale were playing out and I was literally standing up in front of the TV watching it; that’s how nervous/enthralled I was with it. Incredible. However, I will say that I was not a huge fan of the last 5 minutes of the episode, and those that have seen it will know what I’m talking about. But in the flip side, I can’t see how they could have done a 2nd season without ending the 1st the way they did. Needless to say I can’t wait for season 2 to start in a couple of weeks.
The technical aspects of the Blu-ray are flawless. The video is crisp and clear and everything looks as it should. Showtime usually does a pretty good job with their Blu-Ray video and audio, so no complaints there. The audio is exactly what it needs to be for this show. The dialogue is easily understood and clear and the bombs and explosions are mind-numbing. Technically speaking, this Blu-Ray is exactly what I needed it to be. In terms of special features include commentary tracks on most episodes, a handful of deleted scenes that don’t add a ton to the story, but are cool to watch no less. There is also a “Making of…” featurette which was just “ok” for me. I would have liked to have seen a bit more here. And to round out the special features is a prologue to season 2.
Basically what I’m saying with all of this is, if you haven’t seen this show, buy this set… right now. If you’re a fan of shows like 24, then you don’t want to miss this. Do yourself a favor and catch up before season 2 starts, it’s not that hard when you don’t want to stop watching!