‘Homeland’ season 2 review

6:30 pm EST, December 19, 2012

After Sunday evening’s thrilling finale, where will Homeland go from here?

Homeland concluded its second season on Sunday evening with a thrilling episode begging fans for more after such a roller-coaster season. Some fans will ask the question of whether Homeland lived up to its first season’s expectations, after that Golden Globe and Emmy-winning season, as Alex Gansa hits back at some of the critics.

Gansa, the executive producer, has described that it’s “natural” that critics would attack such a successful television show. However, Gansa has already ignored the criticism and is already plotting season 3 with his writers, saying that, “Dana will get another pair of boots [and] I imagine the cork-board wall will return next season!”

The success of the show has been overwhelming for Homeland‘s network Showtime, who has boasted record-breaking viewership with Homeland as well as television fan favourite, DexterIn light of Homeland‘s recent success, it is great news that Showtime has tied Damian Lewis down for an incredible seven-season contract, but insists that Nicholas Brody could be killed off at any point. This move gives flexibility for all parties, and is great for Homeland. If Lewis moves on to newfound territory from the limelight of his starring role in Homeland, the writers have the freedom to act quickly, and whether in the seasons to come, Homeland could of course flop, the contract negotiations would be relatively simple. What matters most is that the writers have excessive freedom, and sharp plot directions need to be more frequent to keep Homeland fresh.

But, this post is a season review, and what has happened this season with Homeland? We’ve seen the true side to Nicholas Brody, finally. Brody, the main protagonist, is the heart of Homeland, and thus, carries the main plot that at times has dragged, but has kept the fans keen for more. For many of the episodes, including the first season, we feel that Homeland did a brilliant job at prompting questions, but only hinting at the answers. Nicholas Brody is not a terrorist, but came exceptionally close to working solely for Abu Nazir. There is no question that he loved Issa, and that becoming a Muslim made him a character who appeared to be on both sides. 

Brody also finished ties with Jess, finally. We feel a little sorry for Morena Baccarin, whose character, Jess, the wife of Brody, hasn’t exactly changed whilst still being an integral character, she’s undoubtedly an incredibly good mother. Yes, she got a bit more feisty and confrontational, but she is still written into the hands of Mike Faber. Jess, who has stuck through the turmoils of her family life, and her on-screen affair with Brody’s ex-best friend Mike, just weren’t enough to keep us fans wanting more as this was always inevitable and too predictable. It felt too familiar to season 1 between the pair and the writers could have done much more.

However, staying within the Brody family, Dana and Chris have had more airtime and character development has flowed. Dana has had her own sub-plot, with an interesting storyline within Homeland. Dana was involved in a hit and run incident with Finn Walden that has given fans an insight into the potential Dana, played by Morgan Saylor, has as an actress, and definitely has the attitude to carry Homeland for such a mature 18-year-old. She’s definitely a keeper for the Homeland producers.

Our main female protagonist, Carrie Mathison, played by the cultured Claire Danes, turned up the volume on her struggle with bipolar disorder. Dispatched from CIA, Carrie becomes a “freelance” CIA agent. She’s mentally unstable, but she’s knows the score. Saul drafts her back in, and she’s absolutely all over the place. Carrie soon calms down, and her crazy theories and leads take her from looking like a complete fool in front of her colleagues, to the woman who solves the puzzle.

She’s onto Nazir from early on, with a little help from Brody, and eventually catches on to his plans before tracking him down in the abandoned warehouse. Carrie’s love for Brody goes from strength to strength and she is desperate to see him at any given moment. Brody is spending more and more time away from his family and he is constantly cutting them out in favour of Carrie. Brody undeniably loves his children, but he does not love Jess any longer. A huge result for Carrie. However, the writers haven’t been creative enough with Carrie and Brody’s love life, as it is almost identical to season 1 again, even revisiting the cabin for some romantic sex. We all knew it was coming, but it was just a long wait for it to happen. All Carrie wants is to be with Brody for the foreseeable future, but this just isn’t to be.

Season 2 also unravelled the supporting cast with David Estes, head of operations for the CIA. Estes, who had been quite a cool head within the CIA, turned out to be a power-hungry snitch. Estes constantly interrupting Saul’s effort to help bring in Nazir and wanting to assassinate Brody were Estes’ highlights of the season. Eventually, both scenarios ended in failure, but what we did not see coming was the surprising end of David Estes. Estes died at Vice President Walden’s funeral, when Brody’s SUV is parked up outside of the venue, with a bomb blast killing almost everyone inside the funeral.

Estes had become an important part of Homeland, being the character who directed Carrie, Saul and Quinn primarily, and helped the plot move along at the pace he dictated. It was a complete surprise that he was killed off, when trailers and interviews hinted it could have been Brody. But the deaths of Estes, Nazir and Walden do give room for other characters to blossom and new characters to be introduced. Cue, Peter Quinn.

But what can we expect from season 3? Alex Gansa is quoted as saying, “Before I start talking the particulars of season 3 in terms of the narratives and the story, but we will begin filming season 3 sometime in the third week of May and the show will air in the last week of September 2013. Everyone is going to have to just take a chill pill during our time away.”

No surprise there’s no leaks as of yet as the series hasn’t even begun to be written, but the promos and the rumour mill will begin around May. The setup for season 3 looks pretty mouth-watering, with Brody on the run from the CIA, and the media pinning him as a terrorist after getting ahold of his suicide-note video earlier seen in season 1. Now he’s being framed. The man they all thought was a hero seems to be gone in their eyes. The writers have six months to decide the fate of season 3 and the pressure will be more than ever to deliver, especially with Homeland‘s Damien Lewis and Claire Danes nominated in the upcoming 2013 Golden Globes.

But what did you think of the second season of Homeland? Will you return for the third season? And if so, what do you think will happen? Let us know as always in the comments below.

Be sure to check out Hypable, for all the latest fandoms, and Homeland will return in 2013.

Newt’s brother was assigned to search for Grindelwald, new ‘Fantastic Beasts’ prop letter reveals

This likely has major implications for future Fantastic Beasts movies.

1:06 pm EST, December 9, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them included a mention of Newt Scamander’s “war hero” brother Theseus, and now it looks like the reference was something to think twice about.

Earlier this week Warner Brothers’ Los Angeles Studio Tour refreshed their Harry Potter exhibit with new props from Fantastic Beasts, and in one display is a letter from Theseus to Newt. Take a look at the photos thanks to Snitch Seeker:

fantastic-beasts-theseus-scamander

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them included a mention of Newt Scamander’s “war hero” brother Theseus, and now it looks like the reference was something to think twice about.

Earlier this week Warner Brothers’ Los Angeles Studio Tour refreshed their Harry Potter exhibit with new props from Fantastic Beasts, and in one display is a letter from Theseus to Newt. Take a look at the photos thanks to Snitch Seeker:

fantastic-beasts-theseus-scamander

fantastic-beasts-theseus-newt-grindelwald

The letter reveals that Theseus was tasked with searching for Grindelwald himself — a very interesting development for this film series. Though some words on the letter can’t be seen due to another prop covering them up, the note to Newt appears to suggest that Theseus was honored to be assigned the role. Here’s what it says, again courtesy Snitch Seeker:

Well, little brother,

I don’t know how much you have heard wherever you are about what’s going on in jolly old Europe but this chap Grindelwald has been making a lot of noise since you have been away.

Charismatic blighter, but the Ministry doesn’t like him and nor does the International Confederation.

He has upset a few of the big wheels and he’s gone underground. I have been chosen to go away and ferret him out. _______ at the chance to be picked, actually, because the whole _______ want to be on this case and it’s taken some _______ hard work to reach this status.

_______ wishing you well – wherever you are. _______ whatever beastly quests you are undertaking!

Best regards,

Theseus

The fact that this letter was made for the movie is very interesting. It suggests that Theseus at one point may’ve had a larger role in the movie — or at least, he could’ve been referenced more than once.

Further, this letter could mean that Theseus’ll have an on-screen role in future movies. In fact, Theseus’ role as Grindelwald Hunter could be J.K. Rowling’s ticket to getting Newt deeply involved with the search for Grindelwald.

johnny-depp-grindelwald

Theseus will surely be pleased to hear that his brother helped capture Grindelwald. Theory time: What if Theseus dies in a future Fantastic Beasts movie as the fight against Grindelwald (inevitably) continues? What if this leads Newt to avenge his brother’s death?

What else do we know about the character? Not much, but Snitch Seeker says that during an interview with Colin Farrell the actor revealed Theseus “was a British Auror with whom his character, Percival Graves, corresponded.”

How do you think Theseus will play into future ‘Fantastic Beasts’ movies?

Daily Show host Trevor Noah takes his experiences growing up in South Africa and puts them together in Born a Crime for our entertainment and enlightenment.

‘Born a Crime’ by Trevor Noah

The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

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Daily Show host Trevor Noah takes his experiences growing up in South Africa and puts them together in Born a Crime for our entertainment and enlightenment.

‘Born a Crime’ by Trevor Noah

The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother — his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.

Born a Crime Trevor Noah

‘Born a Crime’ book review

Trevor Noah is best known for his current hosting gig on The Daily Show where he had huge shoes to fill following Jon Stewart’s departure — shoes that he has, by the way, filled with grace, humor, and a sharp wit.

Noah has been candid about growing up in South Africa under Apartheid and the troubling parallels he sees developing in the United States, especially since Donald Trump’s rise to power, but Born a Crime puts a spotlight on his childhood adventures in a way that his segments on The Daily Show cannot.

Born a Crime is an interesting mix of heartbreak and humor. There is no denying that Noah’s childhood was not easy. He talks extensively about trying to find a place for himself at school and in life. He was too White for the Black kids and too Black for the White kids. As a child, what do you do when you have nowhere to belong?

You adapt.

Unless it wasn’t abundantly clear already, Trevor Noah is an intelligent man. Born a Crime documents the way he viewed the world and used his situation to his advantage while living in South Africa. He learned dozens of languages, either in part or in full, in order to survive the endless dangers of his hometown. He found a way to make money and build himself a tiny empire using only a computer and his wits. He took what was given to him, which was, honestly, next to nothing, and found a way to make his life fulfilling.

Born a Crime Trevor Noah feature

Noah’s mother has a huge impact on the stories presented in this memoir because she had a huge impact on her son. Strong, independent, stubborn, reliable, hardworking, clever, pious, strict, and loving, Trevor makes it explicitly clear that his mother is the reason he turned out the way he did. We should all give thanks to her.

Her story is tragic, as is growing up under Apartheid, but despite their circumstances, both led vibrant lives in which they became partners in an us-against-the-world kind of way. Hearing Noah speak about his mother infuses you with a warmth and respect for a woman you have never met, and yet that feeling is as genuine as they come.

For his part, Noah was a handful as a child and a teenager, though it’s that spunk and comedy that we so look forward to seeing now. He got into trouble — he even broke the law — but he experienced life and all the ups and downs that comes with it. He is a wealth of knowledge because he has gone far and wide to gather that knowledge himself.

Born a Crime will certainly make you laugh far more than it’ll make you cry, but don’t be so bold as to put the tissues away before the final chapter of the book. This memoir is a lesson in humility, love, faith, and perseverance. Hopefully it will affect you as strongly as it has affected me, especially if you are so lucky as to be able to listen to Noah narrate the book himself on Audible.

Add ‘Born a Crime’ to your Goodreads list or purchase it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or IndieBound

The first full Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer aired on Jimmy Kimmel Live! tonight and we once again got a great look at Tom Holland as Peter Parker.

The first Spider-Man Homecoming trailer is here, and it doesn’t disappoint! In what totally feels like a coming-of-age/high school flick (but with a Marvel twist!), Peter Parker decides he wants to grow up and fight like the Avengers. But is he ready? Maybe with a little help (and no hug) from Tony Stark, he will be.

Watch the full-length trailer for ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming

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The first full Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer aired on Jimmy Kimmel Live! tonight and we once again got a great look at Tom Holland as Peter Parker.

The first Spider-Man Homecoming trailer is here, and it doesn’t disappoint! In what totally feels like a coming-of-age/high school flick (but with a Marvel twist!), Peter Parker decides he wants to grow up and fight like the Avengers. But is he ready? Maybe with a little help (and no hug) from Tony Stark, he will be.

Watch the full-length trailer for ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming

The main theme of Homecoming certainly seems to be Peter’s desire to prove that he’s a capable member of the Avengers team. If you remember in Civil War, Tony wouldn’t let him get too deep into the fight, for fear that he wasn’t ready. But Peter doesn’t want to be treated liked a kid.

Except he definitely is a kid, and it’s a nice break from the other Spider-Man movies we’ve seen so far, which depicted an older Peter Parker that never quite fit the high school vibe.

Tom Holland’s Peter is undoubted an awkward teenager, and the younger character lends itself to a lighter, more humorous tone for the movie. Marvel has always been good at balancing action and comedy in their movies, and Homecoming is already promising to be a fun romp.

We get a lot of great looks at other characters in this trailer, too, including a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo from Donald Glover and Zendaya. Michael Keaton will be playing Vulture, and of course we also get Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man.

How cool was it to see Spidey swinging along next to Iron Man like an equal?

As is often the case for Marvel movies, ABC and Jimmy Kimmel debuted the trailer for Homecoming following pretty high expectations from fans. Did it live up to your hype?

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ hits theaters on July 7, 2017