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TV review: ‘Homeland’

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Morena Baccarin and Damian Lewis co-star in Showtime’s ‘Homeland’.

The Details

Homeland
Three and a half stars
Sundays, 10 p.m., Showtime

The producers of 24 have a time frame of far more than a single day for their new Showtime series Homeland, and that allows for a more grounded, realistic, character-driven espionage drama. Claire Danes is fantastic as Carrie Mathison, a troubled CIA agent who is certain that Sgt. Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), a returned POW who spent eight years imprisoned in Iraq and Afghanistan, is a sleeper agent for a terrorist organization. The show follows Mathison’s investigation as well as Brody’s efforts to reintegrate into society, and allows both characters to emerge as complex and well-rounded. Although the first three episodes exhibit some of 24’s tendency toward narrative dead ends and red herrings, they also resist offering up easy answers or simple categorizations. Without that ticking clock pushing it forward, Homeland has the potential to be a measured and nuanced drama about combating terrorism, rather than just 24 plus swearing and nudity.

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