Homeland: The Interrogation

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Now that Sandy has finally decided to leave us alone, after several days of non-stop media coverage, I am sure most of you are probably tired of hearing about it, and I can’t really blame you. But for those who were in the thick of it all, it’s been a rough ride to say the least. Fortunately for me, I never lost power and was generally out of harm’s way in my particular Manhattan neighborhood that, while close to water (a couple of blocks from the Hudson River), is not geographically near where the hurricane had the greatest impact. We were pretty much untouched, while some of the more vulnerable neighborhoods definitely suffered, and it will likely be days before things are remotely back to normal for a lot of people. But I do take comfort in knowing that everyone I know, no matter where they live, is safe and sound- and at worst, might be displaced for a couple of days taking shelter with loved ones. It looks like the physical damage to property will be the worst of it, at least for us in the tri-state area. And here’s hoping that it’s not as widespread as it seems. I know that people living by the shore are much worse off (some will have a lot of restoration to do on their homes) but hopefully everyone is safe from harm, which is by far the most important thing.

For the moment, I thought I’d turn your attention to – not surprisingly – entertainment. Given the fact that Mayor Bloomberg (rightly) decided to shut the city down for several days — and having grown up in NYC, I don’t ever remember schools being closed for three days straight, so this was no joke — I obviously had some time to catch up on the shows that had backed up on my DVR. Now if I ever see the word “Homeland” on the list of recordings, no matter how many episodes of my other favorites like Modern Family or Revenge or 30 Rock or Boardwalk Empire or even Parks and Recreation and Parenthood may be sitting there adjacent to it, I immediately go straight to the hit Showtime drama. And that is exactly what I did- admittedly shortly after my heart fluttered and a bit of adrenaline rushed through my veins. Sound like an exaggeration? If you are already watching it, I need not explain myself. And if you’re not, well, you should definitely read on.

The thing is that Homeland is one of those shows that is so good, you worry about when it will stop being that good, because it seems almost impossible that it can maintain at such an astonishingly impressive level indefinitely. From the very first episode I wondered how many seasons the show could conceivably last, and this past episode (Season 2, Episode 5) was such a turning point that I suddenly realized these writers aren’t just good, they are geniuses. Rather than dragging out what appeared to have been the main premise of the show across several seasons, they went and turned everything on its head, and took us to a whole new unexpected place. And did it flawlessly, I might add. I won’t spoil anything for you, but suffice it to say that I for one did not see this coming. And I am so thrilled that the show took this major turn because there is nothing worse than tuning in week after week to watch an unresolved story that should have resolved two seasons ago. (I hate to say it, but I might just be looking at you, Breaking Bad.) And it’s important to note that while everyone already knows what a stellar cast we are dealing with, the acting was some of the best I have ever seen on the small screen- this episode alone will undoubtedly guarantee repeat Emmy wins for both Claire Danes and Damian Lewis. Without giving too much away, these two superb actors were able to keep me riveted in a single scene alone together for a good fifteen minutes, with minimal dialogue and maximum expression and emotion. It was a face-off that will certainly go down in pop culture history as one of the all time best.

With that, whether you were fortunate enough to witness the latest Danes/Lewis magic, or still have it to look forward to, voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of these classic pop culture face-offs is your favorite?

Cruise v. Nicholson (A Few Good Men)
De Niro v. Pacino (Heat)
Hopper v. Walken (True Romance)

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