‘Homeland’ season 2 review

6:30 pm EDT, 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.

Major changes coming to ‘Sense8’ season 2

And I'm excited about what happens next.

11:00 am EDT, May 30, 2016

Sense8 is currently in production for their second season, and they’ve gotten pretty far. Here are some important things you need to know about what’s to come for your favorite cluster!

Ever since Sense8 debuted on Netflix a year ago I’ve been obsessed. Not only because it was such a fantastic premise of connecting 8 people, but because it was so immensely diverse and represented so many people from all over the world. Now that we’ve got a season 2, it’s about time to start learning what it’ll be about.

There’s some major things about Sense8 season 2 that are going to be dramatically different, and we’ve gotten an update on what our favorite characters will be up to this season thanks to BuzzFeed.

There’s only 1 Wachowski left

One of the biggest draws of Sense8 was the fact that it was a Wachowski sister production. These sisters have brought us The Matrix and Cloud Atlas so we knew when we heard that last name that this was going to be an epic series.

This year, only Lana Wachowski is staying on to direct the show. Lilly Wachowski is taking the much-deserved time off after having just come out as transgender in March, and is using the time to focus on herself. Should the show return to Netflix for a third season then she’ll probably return.

The return of only one sister isn’t something that should affect the show too much, and I’m sure if it does then any changes will be welcome and give the show a fresh vibe — not that it needs it.

Sense8 Nomi Amanita

Capheus has been re-cast

For those who enjoyed Capheus’ story in Kenya the most prepare yourselves for a major change. Due to disagreements between Lana and Aml Ameen, who portrays Capheus in season 1, Ameen left the show before production began.

Capheus’ story isn’t one you can just replace and end so suddenly, so instead of writing him out Wachowski opted instead to re-cast him. Toby Onwumere will now play the part.

For those of you concerned with any disagreement between Ameen and Wachowski being over her being transgender, Jamie Clayton, who plays Nomi, was adamant about stopping that rumor.

The good news is that Onwumere has been completely welcomed by the cast and he felt immediately connected to them upon meeting them at dinner for the first time. This makes me more confident that his chemistry with the actors will show on screen, which is one of the reasons I love Sense8 so much – the chemistry has been fantastic in every episode with all 8 actors.

But these changes can be amazing!

Even though they’re major changes from how the show operated last year, I feel like the new single director and the new actor is going to bring a welcome fresh take for the new season.

Every show can use something new in each season they come back just to keep it interesting and unique every year. I feel like, thanks to these changes made to the cast and crew, the story isn’t going to have to change too drastically just for the sake of change. Obviously it’s going to probably take to places we don’t expect, but that will be because the story is naturally progressing, instead of them trying to change actors and plots already set.

Are you excited for season 2 of ‘Sense8’

Hollywood reacts to ‘Begin Again’ director’s candid criticism of Keira Knightley’s acting skills

Should the trust between actors and directors ever be broken?

10:33 am EDT, May 30, 2016

After Begin Again director John Carney’s candid comments about Keira Knightley’s acting went viral, Hollywood has taken to Twitter to defend the British actress.

In case you’ve somehow not heard the story, here’s the sitch:

Over the weekend, The Independent released an interview with Irish director John Carney, in which he had some harsh words for former colleague Keira Knightley.

The pair worked together on the 2013 musical rom-com Begin Again, where Knightley starred opposite Mark Ruffalo as a promising young folk singer recovering from a broken heart.

Carney evidently wasn’t satisfied with Knightley’s performance, claiming she “always has an entourage that follow her everywhere so it’s very hard to get any real work done.”

Related: Exclusive: Keira Knightley, Joe Wright talk Anna Karenina and the choice to set it in the world of theater

Going on to praise both Ruffalo and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine’s performances, Carney said, “I think that that’s what you need as an actor; you need to not be afraid to find out who you really are when the camera’s rolling. Keira’s thing is to hide who you are and I don’t think you can be an actor and do that.”

“I like to work with curious, proper film actors as opposed to movie stars,” he continued. “I don’t want to rubbish Keira, but you know it’s hard being a film actor and it requires a certain level of honesty and self-analysis that I don’t think she’s ready for yet and I certainly don’t think she was ready for on that film.”

Carney concluded, “I learned that I’ll never make a film with supermodels again.”

Now, Carney clearly had a frustrating experience working with Knightley on this film, and his distinction between ‘proper film actors’ and ‘movie stars’ may be legitimate in theory. Begin Again certainly wasn’t the great critical hit that Carney’s Once had been, and at the time of the movie’s release, Keira Knightley herself admitted that she struggled with the material, not being a singer-songwriter herself and having no great appreciation for music.

“It’s terrible. I know nothing about music whatsoever,” she told The Guardian. “I was always more into reading and drama. I was such a geek. … There’s often a huge link between music and memory. And I’ve got such a bad memory.”

But the issue Hollywood professionals have with Carney’s comments seem to have less to do with Knightley’s specific performance, and more about the fact that Carney made these comments at all.

Ava DuVernay certainly makes a great point about why Carney should have stayed silent:

Both industry professionals and notable journalists have joined DuVernay in speaking out against Carney. Here are some of their reactions:

All the same, there are some that find Carney’s candidness refreshing.

What do you think? Should John Carney have held back his criticism of Keira Knightley out of professional courtesy? Or was he right to share his negative experience?

John Carney rose to international fame with Once in 2007, and this year he’s coming out with a musical drama titled Sing Street.

Spectre director Sam Mendes is officially not returning for more James Bond movies.

While we wait for (almost certain) confirmation that Daniel Craig won’t reprise his role as 007 in the next James Bond film, we can at least contend with the knowledge that Sam Mendes will not direct Bond 25.

The two-time James Bond director came on board the franchise for the wildly successful Skyfall, but his follow-up Spectre was not considered as great of a success.

Even before Spectre‘s release, Mendes was talking about quitting the all-consuming franchise, saying at the time, “I don’t think I could go down that road again. You do have to put everything else on hold.” But it was only during a Welsh literature festival that he finally confirmed his departure.

Related: Quantico’s Priyanka Chopra doesn’t want to be a Bond Girl, she wants to be Bond

“It was an incredible adventure. I loved every second of it, but I think it’s time for somebody else [to direct],” said Mendes, as quoted via The Sydney Morning Herald. “I’m a storyteller. And at the end of the day, I want to make stories with new characters.”

Bond 25 is likely to be completely new chapter of the franchise, with Daniel Craig set to follow Mendes’ lead and officially announce his departure soon. Everyone’s been expecting him to bow out ever since his controversial promotional campaign for Spectre, and it’s even more likely now that his two-time collaborator has called it quits.

On the speculation about who might replace Craig, Mendes says, “I can guarantee that whatever happens next it will not be what you expect.”

“[Bond producer] Barbara Broccoli chooses who is going to be the next Bond, end of story. And without that there would have been no Daniel Craig because public support for Daniel was zero. It was her saying: ‘That man over there, he’s going to change the whole tenor, I’m going to cast him.’ That turned the whole thing on its head,” says Mendes.

Rumor has it that Tom Hiddleston is in talks to be the next James Bond, but until we learn more, we can speculate away as we wish! It’s also time to start making those Bond 25 director wishlists. Anyone know if Ava DuVernay is available?