Thursday, November 10, 2011

'Homeland' & 'Boss:' The Best Shows on TV Right Now

If you get Showtime and/or the Starz Channels, do yourself a favor, start watching Homeland, starring Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin, and Boss, starring Kelsey Grammer in a role that’ll make you say, “Frasier who?”

Both shows are unpredictable. Both of them have shocked and intrigued me and left me craving more. Intelligent and challenging, they are two of the best dramatic offerings you’re going to find airing right now.

A half dozen episodes into Homeland, here are a few of the things viewers have witnessed:
  • A Marine sergeant, who’d been held hostage and was tortured in Afghanistan for eight years, was discovered by U.S. troops, after a CIA agent had been told that a U.S. POW had been turned by the enemy and would be used as a tool to hurt Americans.
  • That CIA agent, Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) set up surveillance in the home of Marine Sgt. Nick Brody where she obsessively watched all the intimate goings on in his house for several weeks, including relations with his wife Jessica (Morena Baccarin who was the alien leader on V), who’d presumed her husband was dead and took up with Nick’s best friend.
  • Brody has been secretly reciting Muslim prayers on a prayer rug in his garage and having flashbacks of being held at gunpoint and forced to beat a Marine colleague to death.
  • Carrie has serious mental health issues that she’s hiding from the CIA and from her dodgy mentor Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) who seems to have a murky past of his own.
  • Brody’s lead torturer, who has affiliations with a terrorist group, was apprehended and Carrie’s supervisor allowed Brody to speak with him. Shortly thereafter, the torturer committed suicide with a razor blade. It was assumed that someone slipped him a blade. Carrie suspects Brody.
  • Brody beat the heck out of his former best friend Mike who had become romantically involved with his wife Jessica and later, Brody had drunk sex with Carrie in a car.

 Folks who’ve seen the next new episode are raising expectations to lofty heights. I can’t wait.

A few episodes into Boss, a brutal, profane examination of raw political mayoral power at the epicenter of an old school Chicago machine, we’ve seen: 
  • Kingpin Mayor Tom Kane (Grammer) violently grab and twist the ear of a supporter whose underling had made things difficult for one of the mayor’s landmark public projects. Later, the underling who’d gone on TV and caused problems for Kane presented the mayor with a gift box wrapped with a tidy bow. Inside the box? His ears, indicating that he’s now listening. Kane chucked the ears down the garbage disposal in his kitchen sink. 
  • Kane is suffering from a degenerative, fatal disease (Lewy Body Dementia) that will compromise his mental functions, cause hallucinations and confusion, as well as affect physical functions. He's been buying drugs from a drug dealer in darkened parks to try to treat curtail his symptoms.
  • The neurologist who diagnosed Kane has been assaulted and threatened by a Kane henchman after a pesky newspaper reporter came to visit her and asked questions about the mayor’s health. After that same reporter confronted the mayor’s wife about the neurologist, Kane’s goon demanded that the doctor take her son and flee the city. Immediately. 
  • One of Kane’s key staffers has taken to having brazen, risky, adulterous sex in hallways and stairwells of public venues with a young, charismatic, Kane-backed candidate for governor who has a wife and two young children.
  • There’s a strange side-story involving Kane’s estranged minister/addict daughter Emma and the icy reaction Kane’s contact with Emma elicited from Kane’s estranged wife Meredith, with whom he no longer shares a bed. 
Between Homeland and Boss, I’ve been left wondering where they’ll take me next.

1 comment:

bed and breakfast luray said...

Thanks for sharing this post. Yes it’s really the show people watch a lot.