Homeland is a Hit, but Why?

Recently the show Homeland won a slew of Emmy’s, including Best Dramatic Series, Best Actress for Claire Danes and Best Actor for Damien Lewis.  Personally, I am a huge fan of the show, but I was recently thinking about why the show has been received so highly among fans and critics.  The show is excellently acted and the writing and direction of the series is top notch.  Showtime has been aiming for a show like this for years and I really like how networks like HBO, Showtime and AMC are putting out top quality products.  These new shows present a way for stories that would normally not be suitable for a film, to stretch out over time on television.

Back to Homeland and why it is such a big hit.  I am not sure if people really like the show for the storyline and everything else associated with it, or does the show play on the fear of citizens around the country and the thought that there may one day be a terrorist that aligns himself with the middle east values and that person could be homegrown.  Don’t get me wrong, television and movies have been playing on people’s fears for a very long time, and they have gotten pretty good at it.  You could also say that businesses and our government also play on people’s fears for their own benefit as well.  I am hoping that the quality of the show is not outdone by the thoughts and fear of the general public are not what is driving the success of the show.  But, maybe, that is exactly what the show is trying to do.  Maybe the purposeful showing of a homegrown terrorist acting according to a very radical Muslim orthodoxy is what Homeland is trying to create.  The act of taking a very normal character who could also be considered and American hero and turning him into a terrorist is something that might finally break our fears that only people from the Middle East can be terrorists and that violence is lurking all around us from every possible scenario.

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