Happy 11th Birthday, Homeland!

Homeland premiered on Showtime on October 2, 2011, exactly eleven years ago today.

Happy Birthday!

None of us on Fan Fun had any idea about the show when it premiered. However, it is Damian Lewis’ mesmerizing portrayal of Nicholas Brody that brought “almost” all of us to the fandom at some point. And, well, the rest is history!

I know that Season 3 finale was the series finale for many Brody fans who protested Homeland and quit watching the show after Brody died. And I am not going to lie to you, I was desperate enough to jump on the “No Brody, No Homeland” bandwagon in my own way when Season 3 was over and stayed there until a certain ginger told me to keep watching it 😀 So I did, and thanks to the healing powers of time, and Damian tackling other fantastic roles in Wolf Hall and Billions, I came to accept that, as Brody told Carrie, it was over. It still makes me happy to know no one can take Homeland Season 1 and 2 away from me, but I also recognize the fact that Homeland is a show about the CIA and, in particular, about one CIA agent, Carrie Mathison, one of the best written female characters on TV. And I cannot agree more with Damian who praises Claire Danes’ portrayal of Carrie in an interview with Hunger Magazine:

“Can you imagine if the part had been played by any other Hollywood actress, anyone with an ounce of vanity about them as a performer? Claire has no vanity. She’s committed to making sure she represents the story in the best possible way. Her performance is totally and utterly committed, terrifyingly so at times.”

So, for whatever it is worth, I highly recommend post-Brody Homeland and particularly vouch for the last couple of seasons being up there with the first few. As a bonus, in my humble opinion, Season 6 also makes you feel Brody’s presence a little bit more than the seasons that precede it. He is there. In Carrie’s life. In her words. In their daughter. JaniaJania has done a brilliant post about Brody in Homeland Season 6 here. Oh, and, in Season 8, we follow Carrie as she steps into Brody’s shoes. I really hope either JaniaJania or NotLinda, our Homeland bloggers, write about the parallels between Carrie and Brody in the last season of this brilliant show.

source: Christian Times

So, Happy Birthday, Homeland! Thank you for enticing us, surprising us, and confusing us with some brilliant writing and outstanding acting. Thank you for giving us the best “impossible” love story ever told on TV, and above all, thank you for bringing Damian Lewis into our lives. It is not an exaggeration, not at all, to say there would have been no Fan Fun should there have been no Homeland. And we cannot think of a better birthday card than sharing our own stories about how Homeland came along unexpectedly and changed our lives for good. Cheers!

source: Showtime

Damianista: “It is all about Brody”

“To tell you the truth, I heard about Homeland before the Emmy buzz but I was not very interested. I even remember seeing the series poster and saying to myself: “I like Claire Danes but who is that guy in the uniform?” Oh yes, I did say that and left it there.

source: Showtime

The main reason for my apathy was that I knew Homeland was being made by the guys that made 24, a show that I saw in its entirety and actually enjoyed; but honestly, I did not want to see another 24. I had been there, I had done that.

Man, was I wrong!”

Read the rest of Damianista’s story here.

JaniaJania: “Why Damian Lewis?”

“Like gravity or magnet, from Brody’s first appearance getting cleaned up at Ramstein (the damage in his eyes, the coldness) then on the plane back home to D.C. The way Brody couldn’t look Jessica in the eye at first, embodying in one non-glance the latent shame of being held captive, of being absent from his family, afraid that she wasn’t who she was when he left, knowing he sure as hell wasn’t the same man she said goodbye to the day he left for war. Damian Lewis communicated all of that in a microsecond.”

Read the rest of JaniaJania’s story here and DON’T MISS her “Carrie and Brody: Was it Love?” series, a wonderful look into our favorite impossible love story.

Lady Trader: “Well, How did I get here?”

“I have always been fascinated by Tudor England, with a particular interest in Elizabeth I. Since I try to read and watch almost everything Tudor, of course I read Hilary Mantel’s “Wolf Hall” and “Bring Up the Bodies”. Imagine my excitement when learning those books would be made into a mini-series! When reading the list of the cast, I was very familiar with many of the actors from my love of British drama. But in the role of Henry VIII would be Damian Lewis. I had never seen him act before, but knew he was in “Homeland”, which many of my friends had watched and enjoyed.

I asked my friend and partner (who loved “Homeland”) about this actor who would be playing Henry. Was he any good?  “He’s good, but I don’t know why they are getting an American to play Henry VIII” he said.”

Read the rest of Lady Trader’s story here.

Tbkwrm: “Another One in the Hole” 

“There is quite a lot of season 1 of Homeland to look back at and eulogise about Damian’s performances, but his scene in the corner of the room in ‘Grace’ as he flits back and forth in his mind is simply heart-breaking and wonderful (performance wise) at the same time. The wounded soldier retreating to the perceived safety of the darkest corner in the room. It wasn’t even the first time he reeled us in on Homeland -he managed that for me in the Pilot when the first person he asks for is ‘mom’ – but it certainly wasn’t the last either. As his performances in s1 of Homeland captivated me more and I began to look back at his earlier works, it suddenly became clear where I knew him from…”

Read the rest of Tbkwrm’s story here.

As everyone has a different way of dealing with pain, it seems Tbkwrm found her therapy in writing fan fiction about an alternative world where Carrie and Brody have a lofe together. Well, why not? So here is Brody about to be a dad for the third time. ENJOY!

source: imdb.com

Holliedazzle: “It’s all my husband’s fault.”

So my husband and I had just moved in together, and were sitting down together one evening to watch TV and relax. He had pulled up a new show to watch, something called “Homeland”. He asked if I wanted to try it, as he would buy a single episode on Amazon Prime and then decide after that if he would spring for the series. He listed who was in it, and I was already interested just based on hearing that Claire Danes was in it. As a teenager during “My So Called Life” and “Romeo and Juliet”, I had been a fan of hers for some time, already. But then he mentioned a name I didn’t know.
“It’s also got a guy that I’ve been watching since ‘Band of Brothers’, you’ll probably like him, he’s just your type, he’s got red hair.”

Read the rest of Holliedazzle’s story here.

I have shared with you at the outset that “almost” all of us came to the fandom via Homeland: All except Gingersnap. And her story attests to the fact that it is quite possible to go from Bobby Axelrod to Nicholas Brody while most of us took that trip in the opposite direction 😀

NotLinda: “By The Weekend I was enthralled, by Q&A I was in love.”

I was forced by illness to endure a month of idleness in January 2017. How much can you read when a week has gone by with no change in circumstance? Time for a binge watch! I read a review of season six (and not a positive one) of Homeland and thought I’d give season one another try. Yes I’d watched an episode in real time but I couldn’t tolerate how oddly Claire Danes behaved. I know, I know bi-polar! So I got it this time.

Read the rest of NotLinda’s story here.

Gingersnap: “Who the Hell is Brody?”

source: Showtime

“I did not know who Damian Lewis was until, wait for it…Billions!  Yep, meet the first Damian Lewis fan who had never heard of Brody, nor fell in love with Damian because of Brody. Back then Homeland just didn’t appeal to me so I never watched it and avoided the bandwagon for quite some time.”

Read the rest of Gingersnap’s story here.

Since this is a birthday party, let us finish in style, with a quick glimpse into Homeland Season 1 Wrap Party in Charlotte with our favorite US Marine/POW/terrorist singing “Should I stay or should I go?” for his favorite CIA agent:

“Take it away, boys…” 😀


Author: Damianista

Academic, Traveler, Blogger, Runner, Theatre Lover, Wine Snob, Part-time New Yorker, and Walking Damian Lewis Encyclopedia :D Procrastinated about a fan's diary on Damian Lewis for a while and the rest is history!

25 thoughts on “Happy 11th Birthday, Homeland!”

  1. No wonder you are such a great team! Varying stories from an articulate collective, sharing the same unabashed admiration. What a gift to us readers! It’s good to be a bit crazy among friends! Feeling grateful

  2. Pourquoi Damian Lewis,qui est fantastique dans la saison 3 de homeland,n’a t’il pas été nominé pour un emmy,ou un Golden globe?Il est tellement merveilleux surtout épisode 2 et 3!je ne comprend vraiment pas!
    Merçi si vous me répondez,je suis en train de regarder cette saison!

  3. Cela ne peut être que parce qu’ils étaient aveugles ou stupides! Droite? 😉 Je serai intéressé de suivre votre jouney jusqu’à la saison 3, Monique

    1. Hahaha. I think we should ask the Emmy voters. Damian’s performance especially in Eps 3 and 10 is mind-blowing. That cold turkey scene! OMG it was disturbing. But, I guess the awards are always a bit random in the end since everyone nominated gives a great performance in a series. I have always thought getting nominated is great on its own — maybe I am someone that tends to see the full half of the glass!

      1. I read too, that he was not nominated, because, he played in too few episodes! It’s ridiculous because no need for 12 episodes, to see his talent !!

        1. And that is absolutely true. The actors submit one episode. But maybe the voters thought he should have run in supporting actor category instead. I don’t know if Showtime or actors make such decisions.

  4. I believe it’s true that a certain amount of screen time limits each category regardless of the importance of the character to the show. It’s certainly true on the stage.

  5. Yes indeed, first Bobby then Brody 🙂

    Ladytrader – made me laugh out loud about the “American” actor 😉

    1. I had no chance to think he was American since I first “met” him at Emmys 2012! The first thing I heard about him from him was that he was one of those pesky Brits 😀

  6. Happy Birthday Homeland! I can hardly wait for the next Season. Again I’m going through a stressful time – moving 900(ish) miles away. Last night I lay in bed and watched The Good Soldier S1E6 just to spend some time with Brody. Damian is magnetic and magnificent.

    1. Is Good Soldier the one with car sex? I was scandalized!!!! 🙂
      Happy Moving! And I hope you have noticed your fan story has been added to the post, too!

  7. I so appreciate being included! So many things look differently 2 years in 🙂
    Yep car sex and bar flirting and looking into the camera at the lie detector test and, of course, “Get in”. Oh Damian! Oh Brody!

    1. You know what? And this is not expressing any kind of worry or anything like that but I do not think there will never be another character like Brody in my lifetime.

  8. I am remembering the first episode of the 2nd. season of Homeland. My husband and I were planning on beginning a road trip on Monday, Oct. 1st. A few days beforehand he decided we should leave Sunday morning the 30th. of Sept. I was horrified! Homeland season 2 was to begin that Sunday evening! I told him why we could not go till Monday. He laughed because we both knew that epi would be aired several times that week and later on demand. Of course I told him I HAD to see it on the first airing. (After all, I had been a Damian fan for 11 years at that point.) So we went out and got my first iPhone so I could download the app for Showtime. Off we went that Sunday and I happily saw that episode on my tiny little screen but we both were satisfied.

  9. I raise my morning cup to wonderful man and husband! You bless us with your stories of him and your Fanfun companionship.

  10. Thank you Notlinda. BTW, I am just raising my morning cup. It comes much later than yours – a great advantage to being retired. I will probably watch the next (and last) season of Homeland, although I see it won’t begin until June 2019 I think. Of course it wasn’t the same without Brody and there were a couple of seasons I didn’t care if I saw it or not.

    1. Oh, and I raise my cup for you two, Connie! What a lovely memory! I so wish to have as long a marriage as you and your husband had.
      And, yes, I also read Homeland S8 will be coming in June 2019 — maybe just after Billions Season 4 ends?

      1. I’m sure you’ll get your wish Damianista! I figured out a long time ago that one of the reasons our marriage endured was that not only had he been my boyfriend (since high school), my husband, my lover, he was also my best friend. Other than work, neither of us did much without the other. That might be too stifling for some couples, but it wasn’t for us. (Sorry folks, this entry was a bit off topic!)

  11. We can say that Brody was one of the best-built characters in history – alongside Carrie, Saul, Quinn and Dar Adal… It would be possible to clarify the following doubts:

    – Would you like to see Homeland reveal how the CIA explained Brody in Iran and his death to the American press?

    – Clearly, Javadi’s ability to receive credit for Brody’s capture helped his cause in Iran, but did the US government reveal Brody’s role in Akbari’s murder?

    – Was your name cleared for the CIA attack? I’d love to know what you think.

    – Another loose thread: Paul Franklin and the murder of the “real” CIA bomber. He ended up doing that scene … why ??

    Carrie was publicly humiliated, beaten, doped, shot and put her life on the line countless times without hesitation, just to make others see Brody as she saw him … and she succeeded. Abu Nazir, the CIA, Jessica and the show’s own audience, no one came close to seeing Brody with the clarity Carrie has always seen. Carrie has always read Brody like no one else.

    Ah, Carrie’s dialogue with Javadi was incredible, it will be one of the most memorable moments in the series, without a doubt!
    “And what you wanted, which was for everyone to see what you see in him. That happened. Everyone sees it through your eyes now … ”

    – How did Carrie see Brody? and how did the US come to see this? It’s the world?

    The 3rd season did not correspond to the 1st and 2nd as it should be.

    Compared to most seasons it was weak, as the plot and plot issues that were overlooked or addressed briefly stood out in season 3. There was no “hunting” in Brody’s scenes earlier in the season to make it look like he really was desired NOS.

    Where Roya Hammad and his terrorist partner M.M. They were?

    We never received an explanation for the events surrounding how Brody’s car was moved and his involvement, only what we got was the “real” author of the bomb at the CIA in a hotel that we must believe to be a super leap that changed the script. For such an investment in storytelling around Brody’s family over the past 3 seasons, for him to just disappear the way he did, it was a waste of time – to make Dana’s story worse, it was shallow. And all those scenes about Mike and Brody’s wife continually in love with each other, and just ending up in season three were useless – and Brody’s son disappeared. What about Brody’s marine friends who thought he was part of the conspiracy? And Quinn’s underutilization throughout the season after being instrumental in the beginning of the second season’s premiere.

    All positive points, they should have made the homeland a show of this 3rd season and address every possible plot!

    Claire Danes and Damian Lewis gave us, in Damian’s words, “two broken-winged birds sort of hobbling and circling around each other” in Carrie and Brody in such a compelling way that even though it really ended in tears, it was a GREAT RIDE as long as it lasted. And if you miss these two as much as we do, you may want to re-live the LOVE with Carrie and Brody: Was It Love? YES.

    Homeland had a sensible ending, closed all of Carrie’s stories, while continuing the ongoing story of America’s and Russia’s rivalry. The series ends, but does not end, only better than that was seeing all these years incredible performances by Davis, Damian Lewis, Rupert Friend and Mandy Patinkin …


    Today marks one year since #Homeland ended. One year since that perplexing fade to black. Then: a card: “Two Years Later.” Another: “Moscow.” For as long as I live I will never, ever forget the feeling of watching that 12 episode, as the familiar Sean Callery score swelled and then died and the then-unfamiliar piano of Kamasi Washington’s “Truth” sprang to life. This is to say nothing of the exhilarating slow pan across Carrie Mathison … More than anything else, the !!!!!!!!! Of that moment, on that night, will stay with me forever.

    In all the ways, that night seems very far away: much further away than one year ago. I feel we–collectively, we, as a society, an earth–have lived years and years since then. Trauma on top of trauma, never-ending. It feels silly to mark one year since this lil’ television series concluded when so many more important things have occurred.
    Here’s what I’ve come up with:

    A) I do miss Homeland, now I much miss Carrie.
    I’ve elaborated on this seeming quandary previously, now I passionately do miss the show Homeland and the emotional and physical labor it required of me. Now I desperately miss Carrie Mathison. It makes me very sad to think that that character will never come to life again, onscreen. I was always a big proponent, especially in some of the middling middle seasons, that the bounds of the character existed far beyond what was actually shown in canon. That she existed, collectively, in our heads and hearts, and we could chart whatever course for her that we required. And I still do believe this. Now I feel a real loss when I think that that character, in some respects, has basically died.

    B) There will always be another difficult female character to spiral over.
    Much of my missing Carrie this past year has been dampened by how buoyed I was by other characters I found in wildly different stories: Buffy Summers, Elizabeth Jennings, Leah Rilke, Marianne Sheridan, etc. The list won’t ever end. The next time someone asks for a recommendation for a show “like Homeland,” I’ll point them to one of these shows, which are nothing like Homeland, now happen to be centered around a volatile female energy.

    C) Revisiting the series, even passively, is both fulfilling and frustrating.
    When decided to watch Homeland after months, I was very uneasy. That it was like letting read one diary. This is the most true summation of the of real life (although we maintain this internet life is a part of real life). I loved reading texts on thoughts from the episodes we’d watched. I was often legitimately thrilled at the way he viewed the series, beaming internally with pride. I thought meticulously about how should sequence episodes for maximum effect (e.g., one should never not watch “New Car Smell” and “Q&A” together). And when I as was season eight, and I love season [(1 > 2 > 4 > 8 = 7 > 6 > 5) > 3]! Now: the emotional work. It’s just so much, even on repeat viewing. The best analogy I can think of is being forced to see old friends. You still have a fondness for them, you still like–even love–them. Now you’ve moved on to a new life. (This begs the question of why this homepage still exists and the answer is that there are some things that do hold sentimental value for me.) (That said, I do wonder whether the afterlife of this show will extend beyond my energy to sustain it.)

    More than anything, the end of the series has opened a door. In a way, I always expected this. The day after the finale, was I lighter? Had something been excised from me, some burden I didn’t know I was carrying? Yes and no. It is impossible for me to call this show and this canal and everything wonderful it’s brought me a burden. It has been the opposite: a gift. Now it weighed, no matter how hard I tried for it not to. Without it, I’ve been free.

    Looking back now, I think I felt the freedom from what was, secretly or otherwise, a big part of my identity for so many years. This identity has now been cemented in print for posterity (which does remain the coolest thing to have ever happened to me), and even still, how exhilarating, what a rush, to know one of the central truths of this story firsthand: no one’s just one thing.

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