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(BenQQ 2.13.18) Last night the stream of its first episode artifacted with what I thought to be the millions crowding the pipeline. The show itself has become a kind of symbol of the "normie" conciousness, that is the huge part of us who thought Trump would never be elected because he was, well, not one of us (speaking strictly of the political class). So back in 2016, the show like everybody else misread its own audience and decided to make a Hillary alter ego become president.
At that time, she was a sympathetic character, a mom who had lost her son in war but who was driven by responsibility to do her job. If--and granted that's a big if, I wasn't there--Homeland was art reflecting a somewhat confused if not rattled reality, The season ended up reflecting its own misread of the American people. Excitingly enough, Madame President lay on a floorboard as a military coup fired rounds into her vehicle in the streets of the capital. Let's ignore any thoughts that reflected Trump's frame here and move on...
Last year I wrote the series had banked on the Big Hillary becoming president. Without that backdrop, the series felt disjointed, especially with its President Elizabeth Keane, played by Elizabeth Marvel, who is threatened by wild and wooly independent internet media personified by an over the top Alex Jones type character, played by Jake Weber.
His character shamelessly is made to look like a nazi sympathizer goosing for a good street fight. Subtlety is not the show's forte. (Reminded of another Hollywood conservative hack job in a recent Law and Order episode when much the same was done to a commentator who looked like Ann Coulter.)
Uh, sorry. Wake up. Smell the steaming black coffee. Hillary is not president. Jones is not a national threat. If Hollywood is going to teach us rubes in the sticks, at least they could be crafty about it. Rewrite!
[Update 4.20.18: Daily Maily yesterday reported Homeland star Claire Danes, who plays the lead, a CIA officer afflicted with a bipolar disorder that disjoints the story line even further, said the series would not be renewed. Perhaps another victim who assumed they would ride political liberal coat tails. The lesson here of course; art should not try to imitate reality until its reality.]
So last night we see a Madame President who has survived the coup albeit more brittle, vindictiveness and insecure. Did writers accidentally channel the real Hillary? The show now straddles a pointed fence between the two national political memes: the old liberal standard and the new awareness of the deep state. (Actually the "Deep State" has always been around but without the Alex Jones types to sound the alarm.)
In last night's show, Clare Danes' sees the error of her previoius deep state loyalty and mounts an all out battle against the President herself. To be fair to the writers, she indeed saw this foreboding in the political imprisonment of a formerly allied CIA executive, played by Mandy Potemkin. But that doesn't carry the water.
The assumption of the second season series at its beginning: let us big boys play in politics. We really know what's going on. We are the experts. Homeland will become an interesting cultural footnote in Hollywood media at a particular time: it played with the mechanisms of government intrique, excess and manipulation, but couldn't quite break from the Deep State and the swamp.
I hope President Trump does much better.
Ben "BenQQ" Harrison is a writer, photographer and web worker in Memphis, TN. He edits www.memphispixnews.com, admins www.marketeventsocial.com a site for event vendors and runs www.myartmagnets.com. His bio can be accessed at the "BenQQ" link on www.benjharrison.net.