You know how some athletes have one incredible season in their careers, and spend the rest of their time trying to live up to that year, only to fall short?
That’s kind of how I feel about “Homeland,” which was once my favorite show on TV and in two short years has become a show whose season I was glad to see end on Sunday night.
I will continue to argue forever that Season 1 of “Homeland” was among the best seasons of any TV show, ever. The acting was brilliant, the plot exciting, the writing terrific, and the drama and tension of the last few episodes were amazing. I think I said on the blog then that “Homeland” had the potential to be one of the greatest shows of all time.
But like Brady Anderson of the Orioles chasing that 50-homer season, “Homeland” never maintained those heights. Season 2 was pretty good, but then its ludicrous plot twists that were SO far removed from any reality started to kill its buzz.
And then this season, it sank even further. Sadly it seems that with so many plot ideas to choose from, the writers decided that Brody and Carrie’s neverending love was the one to focus on (that, and Dana Brody’s adventures).
(SPOILER ALERT HERE, READ NO FURTHER IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN SUNDAY’S EPISODE) Things got so insanely out of control that to buy into the latest plot, that Saul and the CIA could have ex-Marine and ex-heroin junkie Brody infiltrate the Iran National Guard and kill the top general, you had to pretty much turn off your brain.
When it actually worked (sort of), and Brody just walked out of Akbari’s office Sunday and made it all the way to the front gates before anyone noticed that, um, the General was dead, I just laughed out loud and turned to my wife and said “Even for this show, that’s ridiculous.”
I will say that “Homeland” did finally do the right thing and kill off Brody, and they seem to be setting up for a fresh start next year with Saul out of the CIA, Carrie in Turkey with her new Brody baby love child, and who knows what else.
But I’m honestly not sure I’ll watch Season 4. The creators and writers have taken this show so far off the rails, and there’s so much great TV on right now (like “Masters of Sex,” plus at some point I’m legally required to start watching “Breaking Bad, right?) that I don’t know if “Homeland” is still worth my time.
Maybe I’ll feel differently in nine months or whenever it’s back. But right now, I’m like Saul: Happy to sail off into the sunset.
**And now, three minutes of dogs sledding through the snow. And treating snowmen like they treat fire hydrants (it gets really good around the 2:00 mark)
**Finally today, another short movie review from a flick I saw over the weekend. I’m a big Coen Brothers fan, as I’ve said on here before, even when they make inscrutably bad movies (I defy anyone to tell me “A Serious Man” was a good film), they’re always interesting.
“Inside Llewyn Davis” is not a bad movie; it’s pretty good, actually. Not one of their best, but definitely in the upper echelon.
It’s about the New York City folk scene in the early 1960s, before Bob Dylan and Joan Baez made folk music mainstream and popular. Llewyn Davis has nowhere near the talent of Dylan, and the movie basically follows him through a week of his life.
Davis is a pretty unlikable character, like many Coen creations, and he seems to treat everyone he meets badly, from former lover Jane (Carey Mulligan), his older friends the Garfeins (whose cat is basically a co-star of the movie), to Mr. Roland Turner (John Goodman), an old musician who steals the few scenes he’s in.
The movie is really dark, and Davis keeps running into obstacles that block his success, many of his own making.
Like in “O Brother Where Art Thou?” the music in “Llewyn Davis” is the best thing in it; Oscar Issac’s Davis has a beautiful voice, and a lot of the songs have deeper meanings connected to the plot.
So if you’re a Coen fan like me, you’ll like this. If not, eh, steer clear. It’s definitely as weird as their other flicks.