I was watching the first episode of Homeland – Season 5 – and you probably know by now that the story line was virtually ripped from the headlines. You’ll remember a while back (seems so long ago) that Angela Merkel and her government were incensed that we (The U.S. being “we”) were spying on them. Somehow the surveillance got identified and, of course, this led to an entirely embarrassing situation that occupied the media for weeks. Casablanca. I’m shocked, shocked Rick! There’s gambling going on here.
There were some TV commentators who took issue with the mention of the German surveillance, “hactivists”, and of “Anonymous” as if it were somehow cheating, somehow not as good as if you made stuff up out of whole cloth. Other commentators were okay about the idea, having opinions lukewarm or tepid, and then there is a third category of commentator who comprised of people like me who are good and fed up with stuff that pretends we are in a different world than the one we’re actually living in. Things are tough all over, the planet is a lot smaller, we see and experience all of it, or at least more than ever before. On the extreme end of the escapist crowd are the people who absolutely insist that their creative inputs must have no connection to the awful, awful things that occur every day. Things like the refugee problem, also given billing in Ep 1 of Season 5 “Homeland.”
As you know, Carrie had quit the CIA and is working at the “Foundation,” a supposedly humanitarian aid organization which, in contrast to hardcore CIA types, espouses liberal anti-U.S. sentiment akin to what we are now experiencing from Doctors Without Borders. The great thing about “Homeland” is that all sides are presented, and no sides are pretty in the way some people insist creative work absolutely, positively and without a doubt MUST be.
Let’s face it – most television drama is decidedly liberal and aimed at a sort of flavor-of-the-week cause like gay rights, women’s rights, rights of the mentally ill, LGBT rights, abortion rights, persecution of minorities (no matter that minorities here do the least amount of suffering of any social group in the universe), and so on ad-infinitum. The only rights that are rarely upheld or promoted in liberal TV dramas are Second Amendment rights. The people who create this vast onslaught of liberal dreck are elite Democratic Socialists who feel they are enlightening us – peons, troglodytes, subhumans, and others liberals look down upon as vermin.
“Homeland” is successful because it’s the real shit. We don’t live in a black and white world. There are not only two sides to every issue on “Homeland,” there are maybe 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 sides. Most of us have empathy for human suffering but beating our breasts and cueing our outrage to show others how deeply we feel the suffering of others doesn’t do a damn thing to alleviate suffering and in many cases makes things worse. It should be especially obvious in the current political environment that weakness, abdication of power, making nice with our enemies has created a vacuum that others have filled. (Iran Nuclear Nightmare, ISIS, Putin, Kadyrov (spelling? The Chechnyan Warlord, I mean) – those are the result of our nation’s current weakness. The mercenary liberal cant has given us a failed economy, a failed foreign policy, and it has created the most massive refugee problem seen since WWII.
“Homeland” is great in depicting real events. They should rip everything out of the foreign policy headlines. That still leaves the great task of creating realistic dialogue, acting, and cinematography and putting it all together in a coherent and intelligent fashion. That’s what Homeland does, and if you think it’s easy. . . I have to say one thing about that Claire Danes’ “Carrie” character. She is one messed up chick with her husky voice, her perpetual panic and revulsion, her clanging emotions, her chameleon face. Other characters, too, seem to have hard studied the meanings of ambivalence and ambiguity. How can you not love her, them, it?
TV writers should add to our understanding of the world, and not condescend to us or try to re-engineer our DNA to make everyone and everything fit into infatuated liberal notions of how the world should be. I’d much rather be engaged in what it is instead of what it’s not.