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.


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.

Tag Cloud

natural history Freeform Hallmark Christmas movies zero dark thirty king kong Mary Tyler Moore children's TV Lucasfilm Musical Showtime Academy Awards nbcuniversal vampires cancelled Legendary Walt Disney Pictures Anna Paquin TCA 2017 australia politics National Geographic game show Comic-Con@Home 2021 lord of the rings royal family Starz 2020 Apple TV+ 24 frames Calendar kids political drama Paramount Plus Logo Extras black comedy festivals renewed TV shows green book docuseries Amazon Studios TV Land Comic Book Kids & Family Universal spinoff New York Comic Con Country Alien comics 2016 art house biography 2019 Pop AMC Mudbound Family black Nickelodeon batman comic books Avengers screen actors guild game of thrones young adult Spectrum Originals new zealand science fiction blockbuster Western docudrama Turner Classic Movies scene in color werewolf Super Bowl American Society of Cinematographers critics composers Trophy Talk HBO Max Elton John 2015 sequel Awards emmy awards YouTube Premium Cartoon Network fresh Television Critics Association trophy Discovery Channel The Walt Disney Company obituary Pirates 93rd Oscars singing competition Disney Tumblr comedies blaxploitation adaptation dc venice NYCC Video Games WarnerMedia die hard Pet Sematary CBS MSNBC james bond YouTube halloween streaming movies golden globes TNT revenge LGBT NBA TBS Election Countdown crossover Cannes 007 dark know your critic Travel Channel rotten movies we love Trailer TCA Winter 2020 President SDCC name the review El Rey Television Academy Certified Fresh Oscars sitcom stop motion social media harry potter hist films OWN saw BBC One hollywood Holidays Disney Plus cancelled TV shows Paramount Network Amazon Prime Netflix AMC Plus technology First Look Teen Fall TV ghosts TCA blockbusters basketball boxing Opinion screenings Tomatazos vs. Interview stand-up comedy Ghostbusters Premiere Dates Fargo FOX classics french Grammys Adult Swim DC Universe Shudder Disney+ Disney Plus Best and Worst parents Captain marvel 45 christmas movies GIFs Amazon halloween tv rom-coms Ovation golden globe awards TIFF thriller Winners mutant olympics heist movie Brie Larson ratings GoT action-comedy Masterpiece biopic popular Superheroe all-time laika Exclusive Video BET Awards cats unscripted PBS marvel cinematic universe Emmy Nominations free movies Ellie Kemper Peacock spider-verse genre spain 72 Emmy Awards archives 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards crime finale festival canceled TV shows miniseries cancelled television 2018 OneApp DC streaming service telelvision suspense E! Rom-Com chucky kaiju WGN comic target directors TruTV book war Arrowverse Spike sag awards kong slasher Sneak Peek television CNN ABC Family romantic comedy IMDb TV HBO ESPN Nominations The Arrangement zombie twilight satire spider-man TCM psychological thriller See It Skip It sequels ID 90s The Walking Dead Infographic Tokyo Olympics Disney streaming service dragons witnail Bravo Mary poppins Christmas period drama VICE Comics on TV Schedule ViacomCBS spy thriller dexter HFPA animated YouTube Red hispanic heritage month 4/20 Prime Video boxoffice Marvel pirates of the caribbean Rocky Classic Film IFC Films transformers Red Carpet canceled news ABC BBC CBS All Access anime crime drama football aapi Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Podcast Amazon Prime Video FXX superman Year in Review slashers Action Hollywood Foreign Press Association Pop TV women disaster Sony Pictures deadpool 2017 Turner trailers comic book movies 79th Golden Globes Awards Black History Month based on movie indie Writers Guild of America FX hidden camera criterion DC Comics Winter TV Pride Month diversity Crackle legend jamie lee curtis reboot Music series TV renewals Lifetime book adaptation Baby Yoda The Witch MTV Epix dreamworks Creative Arts Emmys Toys quibi new star wars movies police drama scorecard TLC BET APB cooking Pixar Animation Lifetime Christmas movies VH1 Set visit feel good romance Hear Us Out discovery Shondaland ITV Star Trek rotten spanish language Warner Bros. Superheroes Lionsgate crime thriller south america YA adenture Neflix documentaries Syfy Sundance Watching Series Martial Arts 73rd Emmy Awards nfl razzies Marathons foreign fast and furious aliens psycho Paramount Pacific Islander Rocketman serial killer superhero sopranos Tarantino Thanksgiving 20th Century Fox Instagram Live Comedy justice league strong female leads Columbia Pictures international cinemax CW Seed franchise 99% MCU jurassic park Cosplay Chernobyl Tubi PaleyFest concert facebook Polls and Games asian-american Tags: Comedy japan Fox News Acorn TV Netflix Christmas movies Film Festival Marvel Television Reality Competition The Purge TV movies travel elevated horror DirecTV Sundance TV a nightmare on elm street wonder woman Sci-Fi Holiday Disney Channel toy story Hallmark adventure Film Musicals cancelled TV series comic book movie Universal Pictures Valentine's Day teaser posters anthology San Diego Comic-Con documentary award winner NBC Esquire Black Mirror spanish LGBTQ critic resources rt labs USA Network GLAAD Trivia richard e. Grant TV PlayStation italian USA remakes E3 Awards Tour dramedy Binge Guide latino independent indiana jones Star Wars king arthur Song of Ice and Fire cars doctor who The Academy Reality SXSW mission: impossible TV One marvel comics Dark Horse Comics Fantasy cartoon sports ABC Signature DGA Image Comics Emmys Endgame video talk show Broadway live event The CW Hulu IFC X-Men Apple TV Plus supernatural A24 streaming video on demand CMT gangster Mary Poppins Returns mockumentary space Nat Geo medical drama universal monsters worst movie joker movies live action Chilling Adventures of Sabrina scary movies Crunchyroll 21st Century Fox BBC America mcc high school best Apple Character Guide 1990s rt archives Drama dceu History Quiz Food Network Wes Anderson what to watch Summer Marvel Studios TCA Awards scary debate Horror binge Fox Searchlight Stephen King Heroines Spring TV Box Office japanese nature Vudu reviews tv talk hispanic breaking bad new york toronto A&E 2021 robots Biopics prank versus leaderboard 71st Emmy Awards Photos RT History cops BAFTA zombies RT21 dogs Britbox Comedy Central godzilla SundanceTV Mystery comiccon true crime HBO Go First Reviews VOD monster movies FX on Hulu child's play Mindy Kaling Women's History Month theme song Funimation rt labs critics edition casting Rock cults worst movies Sundance Now mob historical drama stoner