HOMELAND: smarter than 24, more exciting than The West Wing

HOMELAND is, by far, the best new show on television.

Claire Danes’ portrayal of bi-polar, manic CIA agent Carrie Matheson is stunning — she’s someone who has the right ideas, but no one around to believe her.

Damian Lewis is equally astounding and incredibly believable as the captured, turned military sergeant torn between his love for an Iraqi terrorist and his own family.

Having just finished the season finale, I am desperately grasping out for more of this show.

Incredibly intelligent and suspenseful, Showtime’s latest hourlong drama is far from a shoot-em up.

HOMELAND explores the intricacies of soldiers returning from war, corrupt American government and a world that is still afraid of Muslims and terrorists a decade after 9/11.

Stephen over at Pop! Blerd describes my sentiments best:

Homeland has left me chomping at the bit to pick up where we’ve left off, so much so that, at least for now, the year long wait seems unbearable.

Simply put, go watch this show. The first season just wrapped up so it will be a few months until its fully available for streaming, download or purchase on DVD or Blu-Ray.

You will not regret this.

A place where dead TV series can live on

I’m a little late in the game on this one, but I finally got around to watching the season finale of NBC’s “The Event.

While far from one of my favorite shows (LOST, 24, Fringe), “The Event” blends all the genres I love: action, adventure, sci-fi and drama.

But, as good-but-expensive television series go, it was recently announced that “The Event” was cancelled. Damn!

Every time I get engrossed in a good new series, the money-hungry network execs cancel the crap out of them.

Last year it was “Flash Forward” and this year it was the “The Event.”

I was REALLY, REALLY upset when I found out about “Flash Forward” last season. Loved this show and I was totally hooked. Great character development, intriguing government conspiracies, double-crossing intelligence agents, the works — everything a man needs for a good TV show.

Both shows ended after a single season, and both ended with a bang — basically the same concept that started the show’s plot happened again. Sounds cheesy, but it worked for me. Same sort of thing worked for Keifer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer in eight seasons of “24.” (Where’s that “24” movie we’ve been hearing about anyway?)

The real news here is the rumor that “The Event” may resurface on SyFy.

According to media blog The Deadline, the producers of the show have received interest from multiple cable and digital entities, including Netflix and SyFy.

If there’s one trend I like in the TV world these days, is the continuing rise of services like Netflix and Hulu and a creative desire to try out new kinds of programming. Or in this case, find a home for a quality show that didn’t have enough viewers to remain on primetime.

Sure, it’s easier to get lost in the sea of Web videos, between YouTube’s memes and Vimeo’s fledgling filmmakers, but we must do something to keep the quality.

America has already been sucked deep into reality shows like “The Real Housewives”, “The Bachelor”, “Survivor” and “American Idol.” Personally, I don’t need to turn on the TV to see what other people’s “real” lives are scripted to look like. It’s all just a bunch of cat fights and teary-eyed nonsense anyway.

But here’s to forward-thinking operations. It’s 2011, come on guys. If a show musters up a hardcore niche fanbase, no matter how relative sized it may be, that’s got to be something worth banking on. What about iTunes launching its own series? Season pass only.

Or how about Comcast, who now owns NBC and controls plentiful TV pipes, going iPad-only on a show like the Event? We can AirPlay it or Slingbox it onto our widescreens and get the full experience for a fraction of the investment.

I know the writers over at Pop Culture Junkie would agree.

It’s time to find new ways of keeping the good content alive when a major network station can’t afford to take a risk or think outside the damn box.

Reality America

Is life not real enough? Apparently, for Americans, the answer is no.

Reality TV

Reality TV

NBC just ditched 5 hours of scripted programming for scripted “reality” television. Awesome.

I turned on cable for the first time in ages, and it’s the same ollllld shit. The shit that reminds me a) why I don’t have cable and b) what’s wrong with our country on so many levels.

You turn on American TV and it’s no wonder everything is so fucked up here. One glance and you can see all that we care about: girls, cars, glory, money, beauty, and making it big.

Everything is about the ever-so challenging lives of beautiful people, mostly women, across the country. All we care about are the beautiful people! Normal people do far more impressive things FYI. We’ve got the Kardashians with a new show about what a couple sexy ladies can do with a buttload of money in Miami. The answer? Whatever they want. Duh.

Jon of Jon + Kate Plus 8 wants out of the TV show and a regular 9-5 job. He’s probably made his millions already, so who blames him?

I think even Heidi from The Hills has her own show with Spencer now, too. It pains me that I even know all this!

I admit, I pipe up sometimes looking to find the most ridiculous reality TV or pop culture craze to poke fun of, but man do they make it easy.

I mean, MTV and VH1 have completely ditched music for “reality” programming. What has the world come to?!

And a few signs of the Apocalypse, judged from my first 20 minutes of channel surfing:

– White Chicks and an third (fourth? fifth?) installment of Bring It On are on TV at the same time

– SNL and MTV reruns are just as terrible as I remember watching a year ago

– 15 years since “The Real World” first aired on MTV, reality shows dominate.

It’s cheap, it’s stupid, and it’s entertaining. So why bother giving us something worthwhile?

Well, maybe because there are SOME people out there who appreciate a decent drama or an honest attempt at comedy (Arrested Development, for one).

“Unscripted” “reality” television sucks for everyone: it takes away work from writers, eliminates jobs in Hollywood, makes audiences dumber, takes away chances for the public to experience decent programming…oh, and not to mention, it’s quite the stab in the heart to ever-sinking creativity.

On top of all that is already wrong with the world, we have TMZ perpetuating it all. This obsession with vicariously living through celebrities and invading every last inch of their personal lives just so we can get the juicy “scoop” on who they’re dating? Or maybe a glimpse of them leaving a club drunk? WHO CARES?!

It hurts. And it hurts bad. The real world (not the show) is real enough these days. Honestly.

I will never like reality television. Someone, anyone, please stop all this. Before it spirals out of control. Oh wait….