AN OPEN LETTER: TO HOMELAND

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Dear Homeland, please stop with the Dana Brody story lines, please.

CJ will be the first to tell you that I am a harsh critic of Homeland.  (This is partly the reason that I do not do weekly reviews of the show; I can’t bring myself to care about it enough write about it each week).  But, I don’t think this particular criticism is limited only to me.  In fact, I know it’s not.  I can’t handle another week of Dana Brody-centric story lines.  I really can’t.  Please just make it stop.

Morgan Saylor recently did an interview where she compared the backlash for Dana Brody to that which Anna Gunn received for her portrayal of Skyler White (see http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/10/06/homeland-star-morgan-saylor-tv-s-most-hated-character-talks-back.html).  Let’s get real though.  Skyler White was a complex and multi-layered character who often got put in the position of being the “bad guy” stamping out all of Walter White’s “fun.”  This is what resulted in a good portion of the backlash.  Dana Brody is nowhere close to that.  She is just a moody teenager with no real purpose on the show.

My main issue with the character of Dana Brody is that no one has ever established why I need to care about her and her life.  Isn’t Homeland supposed to really be about Carrie Mathison?  And, yes, by virtue of that we were brought into the life of Nicholas Brody.  But, that doesn’t mean that Brody’s life was supposed to take center stage…at least not in my eyes.  In Season 1, the character of Dana Brody was at least somewhat interesting in that she served as a way for her father to stay grounded (or somewhat served as a moral compass for her dad); afterall, he didn’t blow himself up because of her.  Now, however, we are in Season 3 and Brody hasn’t even been in the the first two episodes.  So, I am really straining for a reason to care about what has been happening to his family since his disappearance.

My second issue with Dana Brody is that I find teenage angst really kind of boring.  If I wanted to watch a show about the difficulties of growing up as a teenager, I would turn on Teen Mom.  Further, it’s not like Homeland is putting a new spin on the drama teenagers face.  Instead, we find out that Dana has dealt with the destruction her father caused by trying to commit suicide and by making poor decisions in the name of teenage “love.”**  You could transplant this story line to any other show involving teens.  Heck, it sounds like an episode right out of Pretty Little Liars (don’t worry, I am definitely not knocking Pretty Little Liars).  I thought Homeland might have been trying to do something with Dana continuing on in her father’s footsteps with his religious practices–that would have at least been a twist in the story–but, as Morgan Saylor revealed in her interview, it turns out that was just Dana’s way of saying goodbye to her father.  Snooze fest.

**Side note – Dana hasn’t learned the dangers of taking too many “selfies,” really?  Maybe she should spend some more time watching the Today Show and not sulking in her room.

Finally, can someone please explain to me the value that is added to the show by adding another romantic love interest for Dana?  Because I don’t get it.  Again, I go back to my point above, this show isn’t supposed to be about Dana’s love life.  Yet, this week episode spent upwards of 30 minutes with her thinking about or spending time with the kid from rehab.  We just got over having to watch Finn and Dana make googly eyes at each other for most of Season 2 and now we have another run-of-the-mill love interest to deal with in Season 3.  Let me guess, the guy somehow breaks Dana’s heart and she ends up  spiraling out of control or actually having to deal with what her father has done??  That is some dynamic story telling Homeland…oh wait.

Ok, I have said my piece.  I am sure my prayers will go unanswered, but it feels good to get this off my chest.  I will leave with this, I don’t wish harm on Dana Brody, I just simply want to stop watching her on TV.  Period.

-LJ

THE YBTV EMMYS: IF WE WERE IN CHARGE OF THE WORLD

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The 65th Annual Primetime Television Emmy Awards are set to air this Sunday, September 22 on CBS.  Thus, like everyone else in the TV blogging world, we will be doing our own list of winners.  These are not predictions.  It is who we think should win based on the list of nominees for each category.  Do we agree with the nominations in each category…definitely not.  But, we have decided to work within these shackles and come up with our favorites.  One thing should become clear, we (CJ and LJ), unsurprisingly, watch a lot of the same shows.  Apologies for any repetitiveness.

BIGGEST NOMINATION OVERSIGHT:

CJ’s pick:  Walton Goggins, Justified

LJ’s pick:  Emmy Rossum, Shameless (*not only should she be nominated, but she should win)

WIN THAT WILL HURT THE MOST:

CJ’s pick: Damian Lewis, Homeland

LJ’s pick: Anything from Homeland.  Also, anyone from Downton Abbey (*I actually like Downton, but this year, it just can’t win)

DRAMA SERIES:

Breaking Bad, AMC
Downton Abbey, PBS
Homeland, Showtime
Game of Thrones, HBO
House of Cards, Netflix
Mad Men, AMC

CJ’s pick: Mad Men

LJ’s pick: Breaking Bad

LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey, PBS
Bryan Cranston, Breaking  Bad, AMC
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom, HBO
Jon Hamm,  Mad Men, AMC
Damian Lewis, Homeland, Showtime
Kevin  Spacey, House of Cards, Netflix

CJ’s pick: Jon Hamm, Mad Men

LJ’s pick:  Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Connie Britton, Nashville, ABC
Claire Danes, Homeland, Showtime
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey, PBS
Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel, A&E
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men, AMC
Kerry Washington, Scandal, ABC
Robin Wright, House of Cards, Netflix

CJ’s pick: Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

LJ’s pick:  Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men (*This close to picking Kerry Washington)

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire, HBO
Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad, AMC
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad, AMC
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey, PBS
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones, HBO
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland, Showtime

CJ’s pick: Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad

LJ’s pick:  I am emotionally torn between Aaron Paul and Jonathan Banks.  Ok, Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad, AMC
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey, PBS
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones, HBO
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife, CBS
Morena Baccarin, Homeland, Showtime
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men, AMC

CJ’s pick: Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad

LJ’s pick: Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones

COMEDY SERIES:

The Big Bang Theory, CBS
Girls, HBO
Louie, FX
Modern Family, ABC
30 Rock, NBC
Veep, HBO

CJ’s pick: Veep

LJ’s pick:  Veep

LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Jason Bateman, Arrested Development, Netflix
Louis C.K., Louie, FX
Don Cheadle, House of Lies, Showtime
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes, Showtime
Jim Parsons, Big Bang Theory, CBS
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock, NBC

CJ’s pick: Louis C.K., Louie

LJ’s pick:  Full disclosure.  I watch none of these shows.  So, I abstain.

LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Lena Dunham, Girls, HBO
Laura Dern, Enlightened, HBO
Tiny Fey, 30 Rock, NBC
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation, NBC
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep, HBO
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie, Showtime

CJ’s pick: Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

LJ’s pick:  Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Adam Driver, Girls, HBO
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family, ABC
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family, ABC
Ty Burrell, Modern Family, ABC
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live, NBC
Tony Hale, Veep, HBO

CJ’s pick: Adam Driver, Girls

LJ’s pick: Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory, CBS
Jane Lynch, Glee, Fox
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family, ABC
Julie Bowen, Modern Family, ABC
Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie, Showtime
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock, NBC
Anna Chlumsky, Veep, HBO

CJ’s pick: Anna Chlumsky, Veep

LJ’s pick: Anna Chlumsky, Veep

WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES:

George Mastras, Breaking Bad, “Dead Freight”
Thomas Schnauz, Breaking Bad, “Say My Name”
Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey, “Episode 4”
David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, Game of Thrones, “The Rains of Castamere”
Henry Bromell, Homeland, “Q&A”

CJ’s pick: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, Game of Thrones, “The Rains of Castamere”

LJ’s pick: George Mastras, Breaking Bad, “Dead Freight”

DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES:

Tim Van Patten, Boardwalk Empire, “Margate Sands”
Michelle MacLaren, Breaking Bad, “Gliding Over All”
Jeremy Webb, Downton Abbey, “Episode 4”
Lesli Linka Glatter, Homeland, “Q&A”
David Fincher, House Of Cards, “Chapter 1”

CJ’s pick: Michelle MacLaren, Breaking Bad, “Gliding Over All”

LJ’s pick: Michelle MacLaren, Breaking Bad, “Gliding Over All” (*The one and only time I considered something from Homeland)

WRITING FOR COMEDY SERIES:

David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik, Episodes, “Episode 209”
Louis C.K. and Pamela Adlon, Louie, “Daddy’s Girlfriend (Part 1)”
Greg Daniels, The Office, “Finale”
Jack Burditt and Robert Carlock, 30 Rock, “Hogcock!”
Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield, 30 Rock, “Last Lunch”

CJ’s pick: Louis C.K. and Pamela Adlon, Louie, “Daddy’s Girlfriend (Part 1)”

LJ’s pick: Once again, I abstain.  Womp, womp.

DIRECTING FOR COMEDY SERIES:

Lena Dunham, Girls, “On All Fours”
Paris Barclay, Glee, “Diva”
Louis C.K., Louie, “New Year’s Eve”
Gail Mancuso, Modern Family, “Arrested”
Beth McCarthy-Miller, 30 Rock, “Hogcock! / Last Lunch”

CJ’s pick: Lena Dunham, Girls, “On All Fours”

LJ’s pick: Lena Dunham, Girls, “On All Fours”

**All selections were made independently and at separate locations.  We take this stuff seriously (probably too seriously).