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September 14 2014

Mossad as Superspy: Is the Myth Slipping?

I’ve run across an interesting piece by Nathan Abrams, Professor of Film Studies at Bangor (UK) University, on The Conversation website (“a collaboration between editors and academics...
August 22 2014

66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards: Who Will Win? (Updated)

Author's Note: I've updated the post to include the winners. Some predictions went well! Some, not so much. I'll be reacting in the comments, so join me there as we complain about everyone...
August 1 2013

Mixed Signals?: Homeland Season 3 Teaser Trailer

Okay, it's not much more than a teaser, but what it teases is pretty great. Read between the lines and put together the pieces of the puzzle—mystery fans should be good at that!—to...
May 5 2013

So Bad They’re Good: Sympathizing with the Bad Guy

Deliciously complex, these characters are bad, sometimes even evil, but by showing us moments of goodness and their humanity we get sucked in to rooting for them. Don’t worry this isn’t...
January 27 2013

Is Ripper Street the Deep-Fried Frozen Candy Bar of TV Crime?

Sometimes, less is more. But sometimes, there’s delirious pleasure in heaping more upon more. Like, for example, when you take a perfectly wonderful candy bar—a symphony itself of caramel,...
December 21 2012

Rules Are for Breaking: Crime Fiction’s Renegades

Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “renegade” as an individual who rejects lawful or conventional behavior. Crime fiction no matter what medium—movies, TV, or books—is...
December 17 2012

Homeland: Episode 2.12, Season Finale: “The Choice”

Wow.  Just…wow. There’s been a lot of grumbling among critics and fans that Homeland has jumped the shark this season, contorted its plot beyond reason or logic, but it’s hard...
December 10 2012

Homeland: Episode 2.11, “In Memoriam”

The penultimate episode of the season splits its time between the show’s two modes of operation: high-octane action thriller and raw emotional relationship drama. I like both sides of Homeland...
December 3 2012

Homeland: Episode 2.10, “Broken Hearts”

If a tree falls in a forest, but doesn’t take any other trees down with it, does it really fall? Up until now, Brody’s status as a terrorist was somewhat iffy. An attempted terrorist? Sure,...
November 26 2012

Homeland: Episode 2.09, “Two Hats”

The hands-down best thing about this show is that you never know what new zig it will take just when you expected it to zag. We left off at the towering moment last week of Brody nabbed and coming...
November 19 2012

Homeland: Episode 2.08, “I’ll Fly Away”

The tension levels ratcheted back up to 11 in this week’s episode. And if Damian Lewis doesn’t get another Emmy at next Fall’s awards, there is no justice in the world. Brody...
November 12 2012

Homeland: Episode 2.07, “The Clearing”

Maybe it’s because I watched the Saturday Night Live skit, but this week’s Homeland felt off to me. It felt like a filler episode, which is surprising since it was written by one of...
November 5 2012

Homeland: Episode 2.06, “A Gettysburg Address”

It’d be understandable after the last two episodes if Homeland had decided to take a little breather this week, and for the first forty minutes it seemed like that was the case. We open on...
October 30 2012

Homeland: Episode 2.05, “Q & A”

“Is there a plan to attack America?” “Yes” It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. The whole series has been leading up to this, the outing of Nicholas...
October 22 2012

Homeland: Episode 2.04, “New Car Smell”

What an amazing roller coaster this show is! Homeland up-ends your expectations with every new scene, making you cheer in triumph just moments before you’re covering your eyes and cringing...
October 15 2012

Homeland: Episode 02.03 “State of Independence”

We all know how TV drama plots generally work: one step forward, two steps back. Both Carrie and Brody’s stories this week had a circular nature that seemed to be following that model—and...
October 8 2012

Homeland: Episode 2.02 “Beirut is Back”

There isn’t a show on television that does intensity like Homeland. If last week’s pilot felt slightly laid back, the show doubles down tonight with a nail-biter of a secret op and then...
October 2 2012

Homeland: Season 2 Premiere, “The Smile”

Season 2 of Homeland returned with a premiere episode that thrust us back into the action as seamlessly as if no time had passed—even though it had. It’s six months since we left Carrie...
September 29 2012

Homeland: What You Need to Know

If you tuned into the Emmys last Sunday night, you saw a little program called Homeland emerge as the night’s big winner, snagging six awards including the hat trick of best actor, actress, and...
September 28 2012

Cupcakes and a Kill Table! The Sweet Science of Homeland and Dexter

Through the end of today, the Showtime Experience is taking over part of Grand Central Terminal and dedicating it to the sweet science behind Dexter and Homeland. Yesterday, some of us from CrimeHQ...
September 5 2012

Fall Television: What Will You Watch?

Back to school means the return of many of our favorite TV shows.  Major Crimes, Copper, and Grimm have already started, and we’ll have to wait until 2013 for BBC’s Sherlock, but plenty...
December 13 2011

AFI’s Criminally Good Taste in TV

We here at Crime HQ know that good TV isn’t just singing teenagers and sword-wielding knights, and it looks like the American Film Institute knows that too. The AFI recently released it’s top 10...
November 21 2011

My Lost Weekend—Sucked into Homeland

So last week, Tara Gelsomino posted here on Criminal Element about Homeland on Showtime. I’d never heard of the show before, but her recap sounded so fascinating I thought I’d give it a shot. ...
November 16 2011

Homeland Brings Terrorism Home

The unreliable narrator is a tricky storytelling device to pull off successfully. Audiences can feel deceived or cheated or they can lose interest in the multiple questions being raised without clear...
November 11 2011

Should I watch?: The Episode Two Test, Part 3

[note from CrimeHQ:  We’ve had our beady eyes on some of the new series like paranormal police procedural Grimm, Marine (turned terrorist?) versus CIA in thriller Homeland, and the kitchen...