TV show Homeland (2011-) is interesting for many reasons.
Carrie Mathison (portrayed by Claire Danes) is a strong female lead. She is actually one of the most complex female characters I have seen on TV.
All while not being stereotyped as the sexy female skimpy outfit hooker agent (Yup, an older rant here).
That and the sensitive portrayal of Bipolar Disorder make Homeland a series to watch.
I know the show has been criticized for its stereotyping of Muslims (originally based on the Israeli series Hatufim/Prisoner of War (on my to-watch list)), and for fear of exhausting the story. Both equally legitimate but not the focus of this rant.
Before watching it, I was afraid that the show was only a copy of 24, but what do I know? I have not seen 24. And probably never will.
I am glad I gave Homeland a chance.
I am impressed by the portrayal of Bipolar Disorder in the first season. Somebody knows what they are writing about!
It is off course simplified. It needs to be, to tell the story.
And the story is not about bipolar disorder, mental illness or awareness at all.
Claire Danes is perfect for this role. I have personally been a fan since My So-Called Life (1994-95) but feels she has made some weird choices during her career. Now, as Carrie, I feel she is right at home, playing on her strengths as an actress.
Her subtleties, wide range of emotions and expressions are executed perfectly. Carrie is intense and somewhat unpleasant.
Her strengths are also her weaknesses. I would actually go so far as to say that she is excellent at her job, not in spite of, but because she is Bipolar.
Claire makes her believable and watchable.
Carrie is pushy, confrontational and ambitious without becoming bitchy.
Her highs and lows intricately played out; from incoherent, maniacally chaotic to her dark and silent meltdown feels raw and real.
Carrie is flawed but never flat.
If you have questions about Bipolar Disorder or other mental health issues, please contact your national and/or local mental health organizations and clinics.