15 September 2011

First Thoughts: HOMELAND Pilot Episode

Homeland won't be airing until October 2nd on Showtime, but the cable channel has released the pilot episode online.

For viewers from North America, you can easily find a copy. There are several TV blogs hosting the 56minute episode on their site. For everyone else, you can find these in your usual online sources.

Showtime is hoping that by watching this series online, way ahead of its broadcast, they can encourage more viewers to subscribe to their channel.

Homeland's official synopsis:
HOMELAND is a psychological thriller that tells the story of Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), a CIA officer battling her own demons, who becomes convinced that the intelligence that led to the rescue of Sgt. Nick Brody (Damian Lewis) a U.S. soldier who had been missing and presumed dead for nine years, was a set-up and may be connected to an al-Qaeda plot to be carried out on American soil.
I've been looking forward to watching Homeland. It goes without saying I'll be tuning to this from beginning to end. 

Watching Damian Lewis as the possible anti-hero in this story is going to be interesting. Because I've seen him play the hero more than once --- in Band of Brothers, as Dick Winters and in Life as Charlie Crews --- and loved it.

I did not recognize Mandy Patinkin here. He wore a headgear most of the time, and covered his face with beard and glasses.  I was waiting for him to make his entrance, the Mandy Patinkin, as I know him. But he had been in the sequences all along.

And Claire Daines, while capable and believable as the CIA officer with her own issues to deal with, still reminded me of Temple Gradin. I have to get that out of my head.

Morena Baccarin was the biggest surprise for me.  She could have done without the wig, though.

Homeland has an amazing cast, with a script written by scribes I trust can tell it substantially. The pilot episode, as expected, was set up well. Its story is relevant again, especially with 9/11 marking its 10th year this month.