Homeland premiered on Showtime on October 2, 2011, exactly eight years ago today.
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 Season 6 and 7 being up there with the first few seasons. 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.
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!
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.
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.”
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!
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?”
“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…” 😀