Binge Guide

Everything You Need to Know Before You Binge-Watch Homeland

by | September 28, 2015 | Comments

With Showtime’s monster hit Homeland coming back for its much-anticipated fifth season this weekend, we know some of you still need to catch up. With that in mind, here’s a handy-dandy guide to help you in your effort to binge the past four seasons in anticipation for Sunday’s premiere, should you choose to attempt such an undertaking.


Homeland4

What’s the premise? A bipolar CIA officer determined to bring down a notorious terrorist suspects a returning war hero has been compromised.  As her investigation progresses, it takes a toll on her personal life and her career, putting the agency, her loved ones, and herself at considerable risk.

What’s it like? If the action in Homeland feels familiar, that’s because one of its creators, Howard Gordon, previously worked on 24. Gordon co-developed this government thriller with Alex Gansa, whose credits include The X-Files and the 1980s version of Beauty and the Beast. Take the political intrigue and action of 24, add the strong-yet-flawed female lead of Nurse Jackie, and shake well.

Where can I see it? Season five begins this Sunday, October 4 at 9:00 p.m. on Showtime. The next day, episodes are available on demand and on Showtime Anytime. Previous seasons are on Vudu, Amazon Instant Video, and iTunes, as well as DVD, Blu-Ray, and Showtime Anytime.

How long will it take? All four seasons consist of twelve episodes each, with a grand total of 48 episodes clocking in at about an hour apiece. In other words, if you’ve never seen an episode, there’s probably not a good chance you’ll be caught up by Sunday. But if you’re willing to give it a good three weeks to a month, you should be back on track before the midpoint of season five.

What do the critics think? The first four seasons are all Certified Fresh, with season one coming in at a perfect 100 percent, followed by season two at 97 percent, three at 84 percent, and four at 82 percent on the Tomatometer. Most of the critics are hooked: Dorothy Rabinowitz of the Wall Street Journal said, “Once you watch the first episode, it’s going to be hard standing the wait for the next,” while Mike Hale of the New York Times wrote in his season two review that “the combination of adult intelligence and crisp action is still pretty much unmatched on American television.”

Why should I watch this? If ever there was a series that consistently left you with your mouth agape in shock at the end — and sometimes, even in the middle — of each episode, this is it. The season one finale will leave you with a cliffhanger so huge that it’ll feel like Christmas morning to have season two readily available to watch. And for all of you My So-Called Life fans, if you felt Angela Chase disappeared from your screen much too soon 20 years ago, you’ll want to tune in to watch Claire Danes‘s Emmy-winning performance as Carrie Mathison.

What’s my next step? Homeland is based on the Israeli series Hatufim by Gideon Raff, whose inspiration came from moving back to Israel after living in Los Angeles for eight years. “Home” looked and felt different than he remembered, and he harnessed that sense of general apprehension to write a sharp government thriller. Although Raff didn’t draw from any specific films, if you enjoy political thrillers, you may also like State of Play, Body of Lies, Zero Dark Thirty, and Fair Game.

What do you like about Homeland? How would you explain it to a newbie? Any big predictions for season five? Get in on the conversation here.

  • Justin Medrano

    “What do you like about Homeland? How would you explain it to a newbie? Any big predictions for season four? Get in on the conversation here.”
    I think you mean season five.

    • RoyBaty

      Watching the final episode of season 1 (on DVD) today. Not sure I will watch any more, getting sick of seeing this guy Brody get away and Carrie made to look like a fool. From what I can tell Brody doesn’t get caught for a while if at all. Not sure I can sit thru more episodes of this deceitful muslim b@stard.

      • Brent

        Brody is a complex character for whom you’ll feel different emotionally by his final scene in season 3 (and his reappearance in season 5). In between lies a range of emotions between rooting for him, pitying him and questioning your own actions in his shoes as you come understand him. Very often in media characters quite miraculously, but unrealistically, resist, survive and are unbroken by torture, depravation and chemical manipulation. Carrie (and Quinn, later) become damaged or rather further damaged by events transpiring over the course of the next four seasons. As I write, having recently binge watched all five seasons, I am quite frustrated in my wait for season six. Also it was amazing to what was written and produced before real life events transpired — how they knew/guessed and the excellent forum in which to examine ourselves.

        • RoyBaty

          Finished all 5 seasons and I can say I was not rooting or pitying Brody or questioning myself. He converted to an evil cult and even with all he went through, should not have done what he did. He does redeem himself in season 3, very well however.
          I thought the first 3 seasons were terrific, but got tired of Carrie’s “issues” and even Saul’s limp wristed politically correct performance seeking a man of peace in Iran (season 4 and 5). Still it was my favorite show so far besides Game of Thrones.

Tag Cloud

psychological thriller dragons Drama Superheroe free movies spain Sci-Fi 20th Century Fox spanish CMT nfl Fall TV women animated name the review TCA Winter 2020 Funimation Peacock werewolf Britbox Epix Marvel AMC hispanic YA GLAAD TLC CBS All Access Mystery FOX Comics on TV cults Marvel Studios talk show ABC Family BBC YouTube Premium Mindy Kaling doctor who SDCC stoner strong female leads VH1 documentaries Sundance Now Columbia Pictures DC streaming service blaxploitation Elton John 2017 24 frames worst movies composers X-Men sitcom video on demand criterion President twilight National Geographic Hulu HBO Go Sundance Lucasfilm true crime french all-time south america Rocky hist Kids & Family war 2019 space Best and Worst BET Black History Month Hallmark classics vampires MSNBC Turner Classic Movies Family Tubi a nightmare on elm street zero dark thirty scorecard Walt Disney Pictures mission: impossible hollywood cinemax Spring TV renewed TV shows TBS game show Binge Guide miniseries Marathons fresh ID discovery concert Lionsgate Lifetime Christmas movies 2016 japanese Comic Book breaking bad deadpool Masterpiece Classic Film Bravo DC Comics ratings Apple TV Plus Polls and Games San Diego Comic-Con rt archives WarnerMedia Paramount Podcast reviews Television Critics Association based on movie Musical scary movies Year in Review IFC Films halloween tv Crackle Paramount Plus Paramount Network remakes biography Apple green book award winner TV VOD spider-man Song of Ice and Fire pirates of the caribbean book 72 Emmy Awards American Society of Cinematographers Acorn TV cartoon nbcuniversal The CW news Comedy FX on Hulu 99% New York Comic Con robots Amazon Prime YouTube Red versus Pride Month crossover FX Spike Grammys 21st Century Fox Captain marvel mutant facebook Music cancelled TV shows casting Starz revenge ESPN Cannes OWN police drama laika black period drama football Alien crime drama Hear Us Out Brie Larson dc WGN Holidays Universal Fox News Academy Awards Creative Arts Emmys series CNN italian Fox Searchlight Turner zombies social media MTV Tarantino canceled TV shows universal monsters best Avengers slashers screenings Mary Poppins Returns Biopics BAFTA Nominations television Disney+ Disney Plus Calendar rotten movies we love anthology Sneak Peek PaleyFest festival political drama child's play TV One The Arrangement quibi ABC Signature The Purge unscripted HBO Max Television Academy Watching Series Tomatazos zombie children's TV Endgame OneApp Cartoon Network TCA Awards DGA Super Bowl comic Disney Plus justice league Heroines Comedy Central Character Guide sports Reality Red Carpet Tumblr emmy awards Rom-Com MCU Women's History Month Shondaland USA Netflix Christmas movies NYCC FXX what to watch independent cancelled television spinoff Arrowverse Reality Competition LGBTQ E! Teen Chernobyl rom-coms romantic comedy theme song VICE Anna Paquin Awards Tour directors witnail jamie lee curtis DirecTV Disney Channel Hallmark Christmas movies Amazon Prime Video USA Network Superheroes Sony Pictures foreign archives canceled Amazon Studios Logo LGBT video TCM movie historical drama game of thrones crime dark science fiction australia CBS golden globe awards 007 nature Martial Arts Winter TV thriller harry potter Premiere Dates Pop TV Mudbound El Rey Trivia franchise Box Office Christmas streaming Animation natural history Photos boxoffice TCA Baby Yoda Winners diversity Holiday adaptation Emmys stand-up comedy Summer Adult Swim PBS Video Games TV renewals A24 Crunchyroll comedies E3 Film cancelled TV series HBO First Look Ellie Kemper latino GIFs Western Rocketman Pet Sematary A&E christmas movies die hard asian-american parents toy story comiccon First Reviews cooking GoT Dark Horse Comics Disney streaming service Certified Fresh Set visit Country SundanceTV Chilling Adventures of Sabrina BBC One sag awards stop motion medical drama spanish language 4/20 Food Network Election supernatural spy thriller Discovery Channel 71st Emmy Awards ABC psycho politics finale Ghostbusters Spectrum Originals Mary Tyler Moore Syfy fast and furious RT History sequel TIFF The Academy cops 2018 NBC Opinion Esquire crime thriller Freeform RT21 rotten chucky Thanksgiving superhero documentary kids travel Warner Bros. Infographic BBC America cars ITV tv talk Extras Vudu Nat Geo Fantasy Writers Guild of America Black Mirror Disney Pop The Walking Dead critics festivals Ovation Shudder Nickelodeon Mary poppins Toys mockumentary IFC cancelled Pixar Musicals worst Star Wars ghosts joker BET Awards satire Trophy Talk singing competition Awards richard e. Grant batman sequels 45 trailers serial killer SXSW 2015 james bond Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Oscars toronto docudrama Apple TV+ movies obituary See It Skip It DC Universe cats romance dceu TruTV PlayStation TV Land The Witch TCA 2017 Showtime disaster comics History golden globes dogs Film Festival Interview Lifetime aliens dramedy films Stephen King Trailer The Walt Disney Company jurassic park APB elevated horror blockbuster technology Travel Channel Pirates ViacomCBS Cosplay Star Trek Quiz indiana jones indie 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards reboot Valentine's Day teaser venice Sundance TV boxing Amazon Emmy Nominations CW Seed anime Schedule Countdown screen actors guild TNT comic books YouTube Rock transformers Netflix Marvel Television Action Horror halloween binge adventure 2020