Homeland, Carrie and Brody, Was it Love?: Part I

As I’ve written before, I didn’t know who Damian Lewis was until Jennifer Lawrence went full-on fangirl over him on camera. Until then, I’d heard of Homeland only thru my Twitter timeline, taken over by live tweeters every Sunday night. And what you learn from following timelines for a show is 1) a lot of people you like to keep up with on Twitter watch a show, and 2) a lot of those people, when they are watching said show, are often reduced to exclamations of “OMG #Homeland”, “WTF #Homeland”, “Wow, didn’t see that coming #Homeland”, and the very informative “Can’t wait till next week #Homeland”.

So, JLaw’s unscripted display of awesome awe at seeing Brody on a red carpet combined with the wealth of information from my timeline drove me to pursue the show. I got the basic premise and players and knew it came from the folks who made 24, but, foolishly, before deciding to shell out the Showtime subscription, I started with trying to find clips on YouTube. All I found were music videos, and the kiss in the parking lot was immediately spoiled.

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Homeland, Carrie and Brody: Was it Love?

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Took many breaks while walking us all through the love story told on Homeland Seasons 1-3, and, while we wile away what remains of the summer, this time I plan to finish it. Here’s where the “argument” starts.  Continue reading “Homeland, Carrie and Brody: Was it Love?”

Band of Brothers at 17: Before and After 9/11

onecollageSeventeen years ago on September 9, 2001, a documentary-like mini-series tribute to D-Day and to WWII, Band of Brothers, aired its two first episodes. Two days later that same year the world turned upside down. It was very difficult for any entertainment to be very entertaining in the days after September 11, 2001. If there were people who looked at ratings, advertising revenue, critical reviews and other such metrics to gauge the success of a series, chances are that they, like the rest of us, were distracted by other headlines. On this anniversary, I wanted to examine how Band of Brothers was perceived by critics, before and after September 11, 2001.

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Revisiting Dick Winters

On the 17th anniversary of Band of Brothers, my post will be a revisit to my second post on this blog, “Before Nicholas Brody, there was Dick Winters”. Seems the love for Band of Brothers has never abated in anyone’s minds and the honor of portraying a true American hero lives on in Damian’s mind too. He tweeted on Winters’ death anniversary:

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Much Ado About Nothing

Ah, the romantic comedy: A genre when presented as an evening’s viewing option has sent many an otherwise lovey-dovey couple to opposite ends of the couch. I have to say the romantic comedy has never been my first stop when Netflix surfing. Actually, it’s rarely my choice at all, unless When Harry Met Sally is on (the last great romantic comedy, IMO) or the least appreciated but my personal favorite of the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks vehicles: Joe vs. the Volcano. [The guy falls for different versions of the SAME woman; how much more romantic (and comedic) can you get?]

William Shakespeare knew a thing or two about romantic comedies. In fact, he invented the genre! The formula of boy meets girl, they run up against some obstacles, surmount said obstacles with the help of a jocular coterie of friends, and live happily ever after: That’s Shakespeare! And perhaps the most seminal of his romantic comedies is Much Ado About Nothing. The plot and characters gave rise to many adaptations and permutations. There was the beautifully hilarious big-screen adaptation in 1993 with real-life couple-at-the-time Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson. More recently, in 2012, there was another lovely big-screen adaptation, this time by Joss Whedon, set in modern times but true to Shakespearean language. And between those two, in 2005, our very own Damian Lewis starred as Benedick in a BBC adaptation of the story, set in modern times with modern language, for their series Shakespeare ReTold.

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A Lesson in Rhetoric: Damian Lewis as Antony

To be filed in the category of “This is a guy who makes you want to go back to school”, we learned and reported (on our lovely sister site damian-lewis.com) that Damian’s version of Antony’s funeral speech from Julius Caesar, for The Guardian’s video series Shakespeare Solos, was featured in a seminar on rhetoric. This wasn’t an avenue for literary criticism or drama theory, but a newsletter on effective public speaking.

How is speaking any different from writing and reading, you may wonder? Well, there are components to classical rhetoric, when dissected, can show you what makes one speech different from another. Such an analysis would reach your brain (or at least attempt to). Alternatively, we can talk about how a speech makes you feel. Granted we’re not seeing much great oratory from our current elder statesmen, so examples are few and far between. But, there was a time, wasn’t there? In our not too distant history, when a leader spoke, it did a heart good to hear, didn’t it?

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