We needed a new show.
We’d watched Billions for no discernible reason. I had learnt in granular detail every single thing that happened in the British royal family from approximately 1950-1961. I’d watched a terrible Netflix movie called You Get Me about a teenager who breaks up with his girlfriend for one night and sleeps with a psychopath who then tries to kill his girlfriend.
It was time.
Then we saw Homeland in the Netflix section about shows with strong female leads. Yeah, we were super late to it. The first season aired in 2011 and seven seasons later it’s still going. Why had we never watched it? My boyfriend’s mum said it was good and that was all the convincing we needed.
But ever since, we’ve been watching the series like this:
There's a lot to praise about Homeland. A multi-faceted female lead who (sometimes) isn't driven by her romantic relationships with men. A rare depiction of mental illness. A successful, interesting woman of child-bearing age who doesn't have kids or a partner.
Oh goodness. I'm only three seasons in and these are all the problems.
Why is Carrie always so angry at Virgil?
A significant proportion of Carrie's dialogue in season one is spent yelling "Jesus, Virgil!" despite the fact that Virgil continuously does exactly what she asks. He sets up cameras throughout Nicholas Brody's house despite not at all having permission to do so, and then when Brody goes into the garage and there's not a camera in there, Carrie gets really mad.
I'm sorry - did Virgil not break the law enough for you? Leave. Him. Alone. He's doing his best.
He's also Carrie's most loyal friend and if she yells GODDAMMIT VIRGIL one more time it feels like he's going to just walk away.
This is a contentious topic but I don't understand how people can argue that Homeland isn't Islamophobic. Muslims are depicted as either terrorists or women escaping their abusive Muslim husbands, and the Islamic faith is portrayed as synonymous with attacks on the United States.
Simply the concept that an otherwise loyal American would be radicalised into killing the Vice President because apparently that's the ethos one adopts when they're Muslim is... bizarre.
When Brody's wife Jessica eventually discovers he's converted to Islam her response is a mixture of anger and disgust. She yells that those are the people who kept him captive and abused him, even though there's a fundamental difference between faith and a small group of people who happen to belong to that faith.
Then in season three, after the bombing of Langley, Saul berates a new analyst named Fara for wearing a headscarf, because apparently it's insulting to all the people who lost their lives - even though he currently believes that the man responsible for the bombing is an American, who happened to be working for him. So yeah, definitely blame the analyst, because the real threat here is head scarves.
Carrie's entire relationship with Brody.
Why is this so... unbelievable? Maybe it's because Carrie derails an operation by having Brody arrested, yells at him for being a traitor and how he'll rot in prison and "I loved you!" etc, and then less than 12 hours later she's comforting him and trying to work out how he's going to be okay.
For the entirety of this show I cannot work out whether he feelings for Brody are genuine. Which is confusing.
You know what story line no one needed alongside the issue of Brody being a terrorist? A hit and run. Involving two teenagers who are by no means old enough to be in a vehicle let alone driving it.
I'm so mad.
And Dana's story line only gets more problematic. In season three she attempts suicide, the references to which are profoundly irresponsible. Then she steals her mum's car, breaks her boyfriend out of a mental health facility, trades the car in for another car, and disappears for another few days, and when she's finally found and returned home, her only words are "I'm okay, really".
ARE YOU SORRY THO?!
She then decides to leave her family home and just move in with a friend no one has ever met and her mum pauses for a moment before deciding this is fine.
Carrie needed to be fired from the CIA in season one, episode one.
There is literally nothing safe about Carrie working at the CIA and you can't just kill off all the characters who have a problem with her.
She's a huge liability. Not because of her mental illness, and not even because of her relationship with Brody. But because she is constitutionally incapable of following basic instructions.
How many times can someone derail a plan mid-operation before you decide that they're just not a team player? She continuously goes off on her own or with random people she's forced to join her, and puts her own life and the lives of others at risk.
ALSO. This entire show seems to be based on the assumption that Carrie Mathison is a supremely talented analyst - and that's why she can get away with doing whatever she wants. But there's a problem.
She's not that... good.
SHE MAKES SO MANY MISTAKES.
No offence but the bombing at Langley was a huge fail on her part. As was the story line where she and Saul blackmailed a businessman called Al Zahrani into helping them catch Tom Walker, but then a random guy with a briefcase blew up everyone in the vicinity.
I'm frustrated, I'm overwhelmed, and I simply cannot stop watching.
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